It seems that generally people think French desserts are sweet, rich, and complicated. Iles flottantes is a common, household French dessert. When I was in France, I learned it from a local friend and it help solidify our strong friendship. Gourmet cooking is the best bridge of communication for connecting different cultures.
Take for example the iles flottantes I\'ll make today. ‘Iles’ means island and ‘flottantes’ means floating. So, the meaning of iles flottantes is floating island. Don\'t you think that’s romantic and poetic?
First of all, we prepare the ‘island’ part. Divide the whites and the yolks of three eggs. Beat the egg whites with an eggbeater until the fluid becomes glossy and stiff, and when you lift out the eggbeater, you can see it form a short, sharp point in the foam.
Then pour milk into a pot, add two vanillas beans and 40 grams of sugar. Heat the mixture until it starts to boil and then turn off the heat. Dig out a ball in the beaten egg whites with a spoon, and take special care not to destroy the shape. Transfer the egg white onto the milk, cover the pot and let it stew for ten minutes. Then shift out the steamed meringue for later use.
Then the second step, we make the ‘sea’ part. Add 40 grams of sugar to the divided leftover yolks and beat them until the color fades from a bright yellow to a soft yellow. Pour the hot milk in with the yolks, stir together, cover the pot, and heat the mixture until it becomes viscous.
Filter the mixture and then put it into a container for later use.
Finally we make caramel. Put 40 grams of sugar and 20 grams of water into a heated pot and heat them into a caramel sauce. Silky caramel, fluffy meringue, creamy custard. If you sprinkle some crisp almond slices or grapefruit slices on top of the finished dessert, it’s even better. Or make some sugar art with a spoon to decorate it.
Iles Flottantes is neither too sweet nor too rich. It\'s soft and makes you feel like you’re floating on a cloud.