Finish your dinner in style with this easy-to-make floating island dessert. It is a foaming meringue sphere floating on a crème Anglaise and sprinkled with caramelized hazelnuts. The dessert is a French classic worth making!
For crème Anglaise:
For caramelized nuts:
Preheat the oven to 355 F/180 C. To make the meringue, using a stand or electric mixer, beat egg whites at moderate speed, then increase the speed and continue until soft peaks are formed. Gradually add the caster sugar and whisk to get the glossy meringue. Using a brush, lightly oil cavities of the half-sphere molds. With a pastry bag fitted with Ateco plain pastry tip 809 or simply with a spoon, place the meringue into half-spheres and even top with a bent spatula. Bake for 3 minutes. Remove the mold from the oven, let it stand for a few minutes. Turn out the mold onto parchment paper and slightly press each half-sphere to release the baked meringue. Refrigerate until ready to assemble.
To caramelize nuts, toast hazelnuts at 300 F/150 C for 15 minutes. Place water and sugar in a saucepan and cook till the temperature 239 F/115 C. Add the toasted nuts and caramelize them while constantly stirring with a spatula. At first, hazelnuts will be covered with sugar syrup; then, they will get coated with sugar. Finally, the sugar will start melting and caramelizing, coating the nuts. At this point, add butter and salt, stirring constantly. Transfer caramelized hazelnuts to parchment paper and let cool. Crush lightly using a food processor and keep in an airtight plastic box.
To serve the dessert, assemble two half-spheres, roll them into crushed caramelized nuts. Pour crème Anglaise into a serving plate and arrange a meringue sphere over the custard sauce. Sprinkle crushed hazelnuts over crème Anglaise if desired.
Keywords: floating island dessert, floating island, floating island recipe, Îles flottante