Tuesday, February 10, 2009

TWD: Iles Flottante


Well, they're called Floating Islands, but it just sounds so much prettier in French. Everything sounds so much prettier in French, actually. I took a couple years of German, but couldn't get over how guttural some sounds were. It always seemed like everyone took Spanish, and Latin was a dead language, so I ended up taking French once I got into high school. Unfortunately, it wasn't offered at my college, so I haven't spoken or written it in 6 years. Someday I'll get back to it, even if it's sort of true that as long as you sound slightly nasal you can mimic some French (or at least that's what twerpy little high schoolers always thought).


Right. Floating Islands. Poached meringue with a creme anglaise and caramel drizzle on top. This seemed, well, a bit weird to me. It's totally not an American dessert, so I have no point of reference. But hey, Shari picked it, and so you gotta trust her, right?


Well, I made a quarter recipe because I couldn't see how I could bring the leftovers in to work. And while Dorie says the caramel is optional - caramel is never optional. Sorry. Not gonna happen. Unfortunately, I was so worried about the caramel hardening on me that I decided to go with a more modern (?) rendition - caramel dots and splotches! Then I played with the caramel and drizzled it all over a plate, which is how I ended up with a shard of caramel to place on top of another little meringue island.


Oh, and the boyfriend's favorite part? The creme anglaise. Would it surprise you to know he goes through ice cream by the bucket?


Last Week: World Peace Cookies, Caffeinated
Next Week: Devil's Food Whiteout Cake

45 comments:

n.o.e said...

These seemed weird to me, too, and it was a bit fussy. We really liked the taste, though. I halved the recipe buy I'm impressed that you could get it to work with such a small portion. Cute caramel work.
Nancy

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Right caramel is never optional!
You don't think this is American but I remember my grandmother making this.

natalia said...

Ciao ! My husband went crazy for them so I'll be making them again !!

Tracey said...

This one was a bit strange for me too. Good job getting it done :) Your caramel looks delicious!

Maria said...

I am loving the caramel! A very pretty dessert!

spike. said...

The creme anglaise was the best part! Your islands look lovely

rainbowbrown said...

I took a couple years of German too! Granted French is knee weakening romantic, German can be pretty beautiful too - you've just got to be able to speak like Marlene Dietrich. I really wanted to take Italian (the prettiest western language to me) or Latin (it's still alive in the natural sciences!) but they weren't offered at my college.

So, now that you're thoroughly caught up on the history of my semi-bilingualness. Your floating islands are very pretty. I very much like your post-modern style caramel dots.

Guten tag meine Freundin!

Rachel said...

I totally agree that caramel is never optional! Looks delicious!

Lady Baker said...

It was the first time I had ever made caramel--I did not see it as 'optional' either! And that creme anglaise is pure perfection! I loved this recipe!

Yours look so great! Right down to that polka dotted spoon!

vibi said...

AH! Finally! I see that up to now the week's TWD wasn't too popular and many didn't do it... but for some reason I knew I'd find it here. All it needs is to be technically challenging... and you're there to live it up! LOL
Bravo, Caitlin... very, very well done!

leanne said...

I loved the creme anglaise part too. Great caramel.

Teanna said...

Hahah you're right, caramel is NEVER an option! It is always a must! Along with any type of chocolate addition to a recipe! Love that caramel shard!

somethingsweetbykaren said...

yes, caramel is required! my favorite part was the creme anglaise too.

Snooky doodle said...

you surely made a work of art here :) Ha this is not one of my favourite desserts , you made it look delicious though

chocolatechic said...

Gorgeous.

And that polka dotted spoon......way to cute.

pinkstripes said...

I agree, caramel is never optional. Your islands look great.

Stephanie said...

so, did YOU like them?? I have to agree, caramel is NEVER optional. I think the caramel is the only reason I'm working on the desert today =)

Tammy said...

I love your toffee shards. I didnt really like the dessert though

Marthe said...

Your Islands look absolutely lovely!!

If you think German sounds guttural, you should try Dutch ;)

MacDuff said...

You would be able to make these. I swear. But look, I can navigate celestially and parallel park a minivan. It gets me out of bed in the morning. Sigh.

Gorgeous iles.

Natashya said...

I agree - go for the caramel at all times!
Your islands look divine!

Fit Chick said...

Your Islands look wonderful and very yummy!

Jules Someone said...

That looks just lovely! I didn't even risk it.

Pamela said...

I skipped this week, but your desserts turned out really pretty. And you're right...caramel is NEVER optional.

Jess said...

You're right...caramel is not optional. And yours turned out beautifully. I did 5 years of high school French and it's taken me the 15 years since to admit my mother was right...should have taken Spanish. But I love being able to say things like "isles flottantes".

Gabe's Girl said...

I loved the creme! I thought it tasted like melted ice cream, too! I slurped it up. Am I the only one to absolutely love your green polka-dotted spoon? Awesome, job.

Shari@Whisk: a food blog said...

Ok, I LOVE that spoon! I'm glad you trusted me on this, but I get the sense it isn't a dessert you'll return to anytime soon! I guess it's not for everyone. I love that shard of caramel, and you're right that caramel is NOT optional in this dessert! Thanks for baking along with me this week!

Carol Peterman said...

I loved the poached meringue, but would have appreciated a cake element as well. The caramel dots are very pretty.

The Food Librarian said...

This looks great! I love your caramel sculptures! And no, caramel is NOT optional.

Di said...

The spoon is great! And you can never go wrong with caramel. =) I took French in high school and college, but that was (gulp) almost 20 years ago. I like reading some of the blogs in French, though, to see what I can pick out that I understand. =)

Marthe said...

P.S. Did you see Dorie's latest post? She mentions you and your World Peace Cookies with Reese's Peanut Butter Cups!!!

Check it out: http://www.doriegreenspan.com/dorie_greenspan/2009/02/world-peace-cookies-metric-measures-and-variations.html

Jacque said...

I enjoyed the creme anglais too. Yep, definitely not an American dessert.

Yours look perfect!

Jennifer said...

I love caramel, too!
And I think your dots of caramel look very pretty.

steph- whisk/spoon said...

nice! i agree--leftovers would not have transported well. anglaise was my favorite bit as well.

Peggy said...

I'm late commenting, but had to get over to see what creatively scrumpdelicious way you made these! As usual, your creation is delicious looking. I skipped out on these, but I really think maybe I am missing out on something now.You are such an artist in that kitchen of yours!

Cakelaw said...

You did a beautiful job Caitlin. And I agree - it sounds so much better in French.

Liz said...

Well, as someone who took Latin for six years and has NEVER had an opportunity to use it--not even on her blog!--I have to say that French seems like the smarter choice. :)

And also: I think we're plate twins! In the last picture, is that plate from Ikea? I just got a round one with that same design.

But wait there's more: I love the caramel drops and drizzles. That is all.

Judy said...

Love your caramel decorations -- mine were okay, but very sharp and dangerous. There must be a better/different way. We liked the creme anglaise a lot, too.

Elle said...

Looks pretty and who can hate caramel with anything??...but did you like it enough to make it again? Never attempted floating islands, although hav emade all the compoments.

Annette said...

I agree that everything sounds better in french! Your Iles Flottantes look great! I was not a fan of the islands, but I loved the creme anglaise.

Sara said...

This looks so delicious, and elegant! I can't wait to try it.

crumblycookie said...

I was too lazy for the caramel, but it sounds interesting. I've never used caramel quite like that.

Elra said...

Such a classic dessert, and oh my gosh...look at that caramel decoration. Beautiful!
Cheers,
Elra

Cookie baker Lynn said...

It looks gorgeous! I'm glad you didn't leave the caramel off - it makes it.

LyB said...

I'm with your boyfriend, the crème anglaise was my favorite part too. :) Tes îles sont magnifiques!