Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Ile be making this a lot!

I have been wanting to make Îles Flottantes for a looooong time now. I can't remember where I first saw the dessert but it might even have been on an episode of Barefoot Contessa. 'Ina makes Iles' -- there's a tongue twister... I'm not sure why I was so enamored with this dessert before even tasting it. Perhaps because it's made up of elements I enjoy separately. But after finally putting it together Tuesday night for a visit from Angela, I know I will be making it [lot's] more!

Île Flottante - a fluffy vanilla meringue puff, floating in creme anglaise,
drizzled with caramelized sugar and almond praline

Dontcha love it when you try something in a restaurant and it's good... and then you make it at home and it's FANTASTIC? Well, since I had been lusting over this dessert for the past few seasons, I decided to order one at a restaurant Trace and I dined in while in Carmel. It was okay, but not great. There wasn't enough creme anglaise in the bottom, the sugar was a bit too caramelized (burnt) and the meringues seemed a bit over-beaten and dry to me. I knew I could do better...

The [not as good] restaurant version

Four easy elements - I put it together with no problems on Tuesday night after work. I did the first 3 elements starting around 6pm; Ang showed up a little after 7; I made the meringues around 9 and served at 9:30! (and served seconds around 9:47)

This is Ina's recipe. I did my own creme anglaise just cuz I've got what I think is a perfected recipe, but her recipe is simple!

Caramelizing sugar, almond praline and meringue puffs ready to gently bake

Easy steps for a wonderful night of treating a friend to dessert:

Step 1) make creme anglaise then put aside to cool
Step 2) make caramelized sugar and put aside to cool
Step 3) make praline almonds with caramelized sugar and (yup) put aside to cool
Step 4) hang out with friend(s), talk about life, watch Mamma Mia on Blu-Ray, laugh ridiculously at Pierce Brosnan's attempt to sing
Step 5) wipe away the tears from laughing over Pierce Brosnan's attempt to sing
Step 6) basically let your mixer make the meringues and bake for 20 mins
-Assemble all together and serve-

Most importantly - don't burn your sugar!

Oh yah and if you can't pronounce it correctly (roughly) "Ill Flo-tont", you can also call it "Floating Islands"; someone who knows their desserts should follow you. Actually, someone who likes to EAT dessert should likely follow you too - physically.

It's so light and creamy and absolutely delicious without feeling overly rich and heavy. I really cannot wait to make more and treat more friends to this. Gosh imagine how many other desserts are out there that are better than I've ever imagined!
DO NOT forget the praline - it made it just perfect!

*I hate my pictures in this post but they're all I've got if you want a blog post on this tonight... this is the one problem with baking, shooting and serving in a relative hurry. Quality on something's gotta go!

1 comment:

  1. OMG, your floating islands look gorgeous and SO delectable! LOve the photos too!

    Having said that, I love your blog, your attitude and your spunk! Because of the above, I'd like to pass an award to you :D You can get it here...