desserts,  puddings

Floating islands

Floating islands recipe, Ile flottante, how to make floating islands, French floating islands

Floating islands are a dessert of French origin consisting of meringue floating on a milky custard sauce.
In Romania we call this dessert “Bird’s milk”. In my childhood I actually believed that my mom was milking a bird to prepare us the dessert :). I have no idea why it’s called like that.
In French cuisine the term used for this dessert is “œufs à la neige” (eggs in snow).
Floating islands are an absolutely delicious dessert, vanilla flavored, very creamy and incredibly easy to make.
The whites are beaten and shaped with spoon into dumplings and allowed to cook in milk. Then the milk is used to make a custard, adding egg yolks and vanilla. I prefer a thicker custard and I add also 1 tablespoon of flour. The custard is more like a pudding.
You can serve these delicious floating islands at room temperature or cold, sprinkled with ground cinnamon or grated chocolate. It’s a delight!

Ingredients for floating islands:

– 1l milk
– 4 egg yolks
– 4 whites
– 150-200gr granulated sugar
– 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
– 1 tablespoon of flour (optional)
– a pinch of salt
– vanilla flavor
– ground cinnamon or grated chocolate to sprinkle

How to make floating islands

How to make the meringues
Pour the milk into a large pot and add 150-200gr granulated sugar (to taste). Place the pot over medium heat and bring to a boil.
Place the whites into a bowl, add a pinch of salt and mix until fluffy. Add the powdered sugar and continue ti mix until stiff peaks form.
Place 3-4 tablespoons of the meringue mixture into the simmering milk, making sure they are well spaced out to allow to expand.
Cook for about 2 minutes, then turn over and cook for 2 minutes more.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meringues to a plate.
Repeat with the remaining meringue mixture.
Pass the milk through a sieve and allow to cool slightly. Don’t discard this milk because you are going to use it to prepare the custard.
How to make the custard
Place the egg yolks into a heat proof pan and mix. Add 5-6 tablespoons of lukewarm milk (not hot) and mix. Add 1 tablespoon of flour and mix to combine.
Pour this mixture over the milk. Place the pan on the stove and cook at low heat until thickens. Stir continuously. The custard is ready when it starts to make bubbles.
Remove from heat and add vanilla flavor.
Spoon the custard into serving bowls and place meringues on top.
Serve these delicious floating islands at room temperature or cold, sprinkled with ground cinnamon or grated chocolate.
Enjoy!

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