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Floating Islands with Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce

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Active Time:  45 Minutes
Total Time:  1 Hour 45 Minutes
  4 servings
This old fashioned French classic is popping up on bistro menus everywhere. With the use of a heavy-duty mixer, the "islands" are surprisingly easy to make -- and yet very impressive. Classically the meringues are topped with caramelized sugar, but in this recipe, I prefer the contrast of the bittersweet chocolate.
For Creme Anglaise:
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup whipping cream
1/3 cup whole milk
1/2 vanilla bean
For Floating Islands:
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon water
4 large egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
bittersweet chocolate Sauce (see recipe)
Other necessary recipes:
Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce
Floating Islands with Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce Recipe at
FOR CREME ANGLAISE: Combine egg yolks and sugar in bowl of heavy-duty stand mixer. Using whisk attachment, beat until pale yellow. Bring cream, milk and vanilla bean to simmer in heavy small saucepan. Gradually mix hot cream mixture into egg yolks; return mixture to saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens enough to coat back of spoon, about 5 minutes (do not boil). Transfer mixture to bowl. Chill until cold.

DO-AHEAD TIP: Creme anglaise can be made 2 days ahead. Keep refrigerated.

FOR FLOATING ISLANDS: Combine sugar and 1 tablespoon water in clean bowl of stand mixer. Stir until sugar dissolves slightly. Add egg whites and cream of tartar. Set mixing bowl over saucepan of barely simmering water. Stir egg white mixture gently and constantly with rubber spatula until instant read thermometer reaches 160 degrees F when inserted into egg whites, about 8 minutes. Immediately remove from heat. Using electric stand mixer, beat egg mixture with whisk attachment until soft peaks form. Add vanilla and salt and continue beating until firm peaks form.

Add enough water to 12-inch-diameter skillet to come 1 inch up sides. Bring water to simmer. Reduce heat to low. Using 2 large wooden spoons, gently shape 1/4 meringue mixture (about 1 cup) into large oval. Using spoon, carefully transfer shaped meringue to water. Cover with domed lid and cook until meringue is just barely firm to touch, about 5 minutes. Transfer cooked meringue to paper-towel-lined plate to drain. Repeat with remaining meringue mixture, creating 4 individual meringues total.

DO-AHEAD TIP: Meringues can be made 1 day ahead. Store in covered container and refrigerate.

Divide creme anglaise among 4 shallow bowls. Place 1 meringue in each bowl atop creme anglaise. Drizzle lightly with Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce and serve.

Recipe created exclusively for by Jeanne Thiel Kelley.

Recipe reprinted by permission of . All rights reserved.
Date Added: 01/01/2008
Part of These Recipe Collections Find Similar Recipes »
 Meringue Desserts
Nutrition Facts per Serving
Yield:   4 servings
Calories: 562
Fat. Total: 34g
Protein: 11g
Carbohydrates, Total: 58g
Sodium: 147mg
% Cal. from Fat: 54%
Cholesterol: 285mg
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