Floating Islands or Îles Flottantes is a dessert I attempted early in my blog. Poaching canelles of meringue in milk was definitely daunting…and my perfectionist tendencies when baking were rattled that day. Dorie’s oven version is much less intimidating…and per usual, her step by step instructions were invaluable. Instead of individual servings, her meringue is baked in a 9 inch springform pan, then sliced in wedges. I took her cue and baked vs poached, but used individual ramekins instead of a large dish. Though, in retrospect, the single meringue would have been easier to unmold. But this recipe drew high fives across the board…even Katie, my pickiest, devoured her own serving. Plated over crème anglaise, drizzled with caramel and garnished with berries, who could resist their own meringue island???
Since I was experimenting, I made just half a recipe…using 3 egg whites which filled and mounded four 1/2-cup capacity ramekins perfectly. I baked these meringues in a water bath, or bain marie, for 15 minutes. The ramekins were well buttered and sugared and released with a bit of nudging. Dorie also recommended serving these îles with chocolate ice cream and even hot fudge sauce instead of caramel. This is one circumstance that none of the chocoholics griped about the lack of deep, dark decadence garnishing their dessert. Mine floated in the dreamy crème anglaise with a mere drizzle of caramel. Alas, I should have baked up a full batch. Next time.
Many of the bloggers I’ve been posting with on Fridays for nearly 3 years will finally be meeting in person at the International Food Blogger Conference next month. Dorie Greenspan is the keynote speaker and was an integral force in getting us fired up and registered for this event! The e-mails have been flying back and forth and even Ms. Greenspan has chimed in! Our group will get a chance to meet our cooking mentor who has inspired us week after week. I can hear the squeals of excitement when we all finally meet. The IFBC was actually the FIRST ever food blogger conference, debuting in 2009 and there will be over 300 attendees this year. Organized by Foodista.com and Zephyr Adventures, Food, Writing and Technology sessions are scheduled during the two half days and one full day of the conference. I was thrilled to hear that Seattle, Washington is the host city this year!!! I will work in a visit with my sister, Mary, and Bill and Katie will spend a couple days being tourists.
The recipe I used originally can be found on my first Floating Islands post here. I used half this meringue recipe, divided it between 4 buttered and sugared ramekins, and baked in a water bath for 12-15 minutes at 350º till a toothpick inserted in the center came out clean. I used Dorie’s Crème Anglaise recipe and my microwave caramel sauce for finishing off this ambrosial dessert.