Floating Islands

Niamh's dessert recipe from the two course challenge

Ingredients


  • crème anglaise:
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod, split in half lengthways and seeds scraped out
  • 500 ml milk
  • poached meringues:
  • 6 egg whites
  • 130 g sugar
  • 500 ml milk
  • 1 tblsp caster sugar
  • caramel:
  • 75 g caster sugar

Method

  1. To start the crème anglaise, put the egg yolks into a medium sized mixing bowl with 100g caster sugar. Mix with an electric hand held whisk until pale yellow in colour and well mixed.
  2. Meanwhile, heat up 500ml milk, the vanilla seeds and the vanilla pods in a medium saucepan until just before boiling. Pour the hot milk onto the egg yolks and sugar mixture in a steady stream, mixing all the time. Return this mixture to the saucepan, over a low heat and stir continuously (this will take about 20 minutes) until the custard thickens and will coat the back of a spoon. Do not be attempted to turn up the heat to speed this step along as you could end up with scrambled eggs!!!
  3. Once the crème anglaise has thickened, place into a bowl, cover the surface directly with cling film, allow cool slightly and put into the fridge to chill completely.
  4. Next make the meringues…
  5. Place the egg whites in a spotlessly clean bowl and which with an electric hand which until you reach the stiff peak stage. I always know when I reach this stage by carefully turning the bowl upside down, but the egg whites don’t fall out!
  6. Slowly whish in 130g caster sugar until you have a glossy, but still stiff meringue.
  7. Next heat up 500ml of milk with a tablespoon of caster sugar in a medium saucepan. Once heated up, allow the milk to barely simmer… do not boil the milk too vigorously or your meringues will disintegrate when you try to poach them in the milk.
  8. Using two tablespoons, one in each hand, scoop up some of the meringue mixture and form quenelles of the meringue mixture. Gently place into the barely simmering milk and poach for two minutes on each side. You may need to do this in a couple of batches as it is not advisable to overcrowd the pan.
  9. Remove the poached meringues from the milk with a slotted spoon and place on some kitchen roll to soak up excess milk.
  10. To serve…
  11. Remove the crème anglaise from the fridge and spoon some on to a flat plate with a rim. Place two poached meringues gently on top of the crème anglaise.
  12. Next heat up 75g caster sugar in a small saucepan until a dark caramel colour. Quickly drizzle some of the caramel over the poached meringues using a small teaspoon. Be careful not to touch the caramel as it is very hot.
  13. Serve.


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