Monday, January 17, 2011

Ile Flottante

Photo courtesy of Petite Chef

I was really inspired to try something new and different this weekend.
I love all meringue desserts so I thought for sure this was going to be so simple and
a total success. Some things just don't turn out the way you want them to.
But I know that I put by best foot forward and I tried.
Somewhere along the line I took a wrong turn and total disaster stuck.
I have another recipe that I am going to try and see if my luck changes. For now
this is a posting on my adventure gone wrong.
No laughing please...

So I started by whipping the meringue to perfection...

My pan was lined with sugar and everything seemed to be going smoothly

I'm still on track....

I'm so excited to see this coming out of the oven and I can
hardly wait to take it out of the mold.

Only to discover that I baked a life preserver....and I'm not kidding....
it tasted like one to....but I am getting ahead of myself....

The almond brittle was fantastic... I should have used sliced almonds.....opps....

The creme anglaise was wonderful....liquid gold as far as I'm concern.

but once it was put all together it was completely off.
So It's back to the drawing board.
I think I'll try Ina Garten's Recipe which I've posted below.


  • 2 1/2 cups sugar, divided
  • 1 cup water, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups (5 ounces) sliced almonds
  • 8 extra-large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Creme Anglaise, recipe follows


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
For the caramel, heat 1 1/2 cups of the sugar and 1/2 cup water in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan until the sugar dissolves. Cook over medium heat until the syrup turns a warm caramel color. Don't stir, just swirl it in the pan. Off the heat, add 1/2 cup water and 1/2 teaspoon of the vanilla; be careful, the syrup will bubble violently. Stir and cook over high heat until the caramel reaches 230 degrees F (thread stage) on a candy thermometer. Set aside.
For the praline, combine the almonds with 1/4 cup of the caramel and spread them on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the almonds are lightly browned. Allow to cool at room temperature and then break up in pieces.
Lower the oven to 250 degrees F. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper.
For the meringues, beat the egg whites, salt, and cream of tartar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment on medium speed until frothy. Turn the mixer on high speed and add the remaining 1 cup of sugar. Beat until the egg whites are very stiff and glossy. Whisk in the remaining teaspoon of vanilla. With dessert spoons place 12 mounds of meringue on the parchment paper and bake for 20 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.
For serving, pour creme anglaise on the bottom of individual plates. Place a meringue on top of each serving, drizzle with caramel sauce, sprinkle with praline, and serve.
To make a day or two ahead, leave the caramel and praline at room temperature
and refrigerate the creme anglaise. Bake the meringues before guests arrive and assemble the desserts just before serving.

Creme Anglaise:
4 extra-large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 3/4 cups scalded milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons Cognac
Seeds of 1/2 vanilla bean, optional
Beat the egg yolks and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed for 3 minutes, or until very thick. Reduce to low speed, and add the cornstarch.
With the mixer still on low, slowly pour the hot milk into the eggs. Pour the custard mixture into a saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until thickened. Thecustard will coat the spoon like heavy cream. Don't cook it above 180 degrees F or the eggs will scramble!
Pour the sauce through a fine strainer, add the vanilla extract, Cognac, and vanilla seeds, if using, and chill.
Yield: 2 cups
Happy Baking!!!

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