A floating island or île flottante is a dessert consisting of meringue floating on a vanilla custard. The meringue is prepared from whipped egg whites, sugar, and vanilla extract and baked in a bain marie. The crème anglaise is prepared with the egg yolks, vanilla, and hot milk, briefly cooked.
Floating island consists of a meringue served floating on a milky custard sauce. Some variations use a thicker sauce, served on top of the dumplings, but usually the custard is thin and the dumplings “float” on top.
First, the custard made of milk, sugar, vanilla, and egg yolks is briefly cooked in a bain-marie. The custard should be thick enough to coat a spoon.
To make the meringue, the egg whites are beaten with sugar and poured into a mold that may be lined with caramelised sugar. It is then steamed in the oven in a bain-marie. Once the meringue is cooked and chilled, the sauce is poured on a serving plate, and the unmolded meringue placed on the sauce to “float”. The result can be served at room temperature or chilled.
Phool Faludo Floating Island Pudding)
- 1 tin evaporated milk
- 6 eggs
- 2 Pints milk
- 1/2 Cup sugar
- 1 Tablespoons(tbsp) custard powder
- 2-3 Drop vanilla essence
- 1/4 Teaspoons(tsp) coarsely ground cardamom
- 1 Pinch saffron
- silvered almonds and pistachios for decoration
- 1 Separate egg whites from the yolks very carefully into two separate bowls
- Whisk the egg whites very vigorously until stiff
- Mould the stiffened egg whites into the required shape (eg mountains, flowers) and place on a flat unbreakable plate
- In a very large saucepan boil water and carefully transfer the shaped egg white from the plate onto the water surface removing the plate; do not cover; Cook on high heat for 10 minutes
- Heat the milk and sugar in a saucepan over low heat
- When it begins to boil add the whisked egg yolks and dissolved custard powder
- Add saffron, cardamom and vanilla essence and cook over low heat stirring continuously
- Pour the custard into a serving bowl. Carefully transfer the cooked egg white (Floating Island) onto the custard
- Soak some saffron in a little water and sprinkle on the Floating Island
- Decorate with slivered almonds and pistachios