An Ile Flottante is a beautiful French dessert made of whipped egg whites, sugar and vanilla floated atop creme Anglaise and drizzled with caramel and topped with almond praline. This is a dessert I’ve enjoyed in France and I never thought it was within my culinary grasp. But as I was surfing the net looking for something different to take to a holiday party, I came across this.
I embarked on this cooking adventure with trepidation, expecting at every turn to be foiled. I’ve had some kitchen disasters lately and sometimes too many of those rock my confidence!
Anywhoosy, against every piece of professional advice I’ve ever read, or heard, I attempted a dessert I’d never made, and hoped for the best. I was thrilled with the results.
would turn into this:
I show this picture to emphasize the importance of pressing the meringue into the bundt pan. Had I done this more aggressively, there wouldn’t be the unsightly air holes. So don’t be afraid to rigorously push the meringue into the pan. The egg whites are sturdier than one thinks!
Next I made the caramel. Super simple. Then came the praline, made from a bit of the reserved caramel and sliced almonds, cooking it to the ‘soft candy’ stage. I think the next time I might cook them a little longer for a crispier crunch.
As I was running out of time, I decided not to make the creme Anglaise from scratch. I’d remembered a tip from Ina that melted french vanilla Hagen Daazs ice cream could be used as a substitute in a pinch. This was disappointing. It wasn’t thick enough and it didn’t warm to room temperature in time. It was just o.k. I would definitely make the added effort to make the creme Anglaise the next time around.
The assembly of this confection was simple. The creme Anglaise was poured in the center of a large platter and then the meringue set atop. It was then drizzled with the caramel and the almond praline scattered atop. A lovely piece of holly added just the right holiday touch.
It seriously was Bon Appetit!