Floating Islands Iles Flottantes a Dessert from France
Floating Islands (Iles Flottantes) are a traditional French dessert that you find on classic menus. Not quite a pudding, not a custard and not a creme brulée, Floating Islands are a delicious finish to a meal.
This dessert was part of a menu that I created for my virtual cooking class, “Fusion Vegetarian Menu Inspired by My Travels in France and Morocco!” The menu included four vegetarian courses: Cheese Soufflé, Grilled Moroccan Vegetable Kabobs, Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Lime Crème Fraiche & Floating Islands (Iles Flottantes)
During the class, I gave attendees tips on how to plate your courses in the style of Michelin Star restaurants.
Floating Islands (Iles Flottantes)
- Stand-up Mixer
- Whisk, offset spatula, squeeze bottle (for caramel), slotted spoon, pot.
Ingredients for the Floating Islands:
- 4 Egg Whites reserve the egg yolks for the crème anglaise
- ¼ tsp Cream of Tartar
- ½ tsp Vanilla Extract
- 2 oz Granulated Sugar
Ingredients for Decoration:
- 4 oz Caramel in a squeeze bottle
- 8 Sliced Almonds
- Option: Garnish with edible gold from Easy Leaf Products!
Ingredients for Crème Anglaise (Vanilla Cream):
- 8 oz Whole Milk
- 8 oz Heavy Cream
- ½ Vanilla Bean split and scrape the beans
- 2 oz Granulated Sugar
- 4 large Egg Yolks
Instructions for the Floating Islands:
- In a shallow 12” pan, fill halfway with water and bring to a rolling boil.
- Gently place a heaping tablespoon of whipped egg white and poach for 4 minutes.
- Using a slotted spoon, take out the finished island and store on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
To Make the Crème Anglaise – vanilla cream:
- Pour milk and cream into a small pot, and scald. Add vanilla from pod to enhance the flavour
- In a bowl, mix the sugar and egg yolks until light yellow, then temper with the milk/cream, constantly whisking to avoid cooking the eggs.
- Now cook in a double boiler until the mixture becomes thick (sticks to/coats the back of a wooden spoon). In French, that is called Nappé! Now, chill the pan in an ice bath for 10 minutes and refrigerate for 4 hours.
- Use 2 oz. serving to plate your Ile Flottante – I recommend a shallow bowl!
- Use an offset spatula to transfer a poached egg island, then decorate with caramel (in a squeeze bottle) and slivers of almonds).
- Option: Use Gold Flakes from Easy Leaf Productions to transform your dessert from Ordinary to Extraordinary