Tuesday, February 10, 2009

TWD: Off to the Islands


This week, Shari of Whisk: a food blog decided to take all the TWD bakers on a journey to the Floating Islands. For some it was a true journey: making crème anglaise, poaching meringues, and burning sugar making caramel. The end result is an elegant, delicious dessert.


Following a tip from Steph, and not wanting to waste milk, I made the meringues first, using the remaining milk in the crème anglaise. Because of the poaching, they can be prepared in advance without any deterioration.



Next came the crème anglaise, which I’ve made many times. Of course, I used my favorite method, beating the egg yolks and sugar together, adding the milk, then cooking until slightly thickened.



I strained the mixture into a small bowl, covered it with plastic wrap, then placed it in a larger bowl filled with ice cubes so it would cool down more quickly and evenly before going in the refrigerator.



Just before serving time, I made the caramel.



The final dessert was beautiful and tasty.



My only issue was with the caramel. Upon hitting the cold meringue and crème anglaise, it immediately solidified into a lovely but dangerously sharp candy. It was like a war zone in my mouth – the shards of caramel were poking holes in my tongue and the insides of my cheeks! The caramel is a great addition, but next time I’ll either pass on it or make a softer caramel topping.


‘Floating Islands – the dessert’ was a big hit with everyone, and what’s nice is that it can be prepared in advance, so it is suitable for entertaining. Check out the other TWD blogs for all the variations and comment.

21 comments:

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Ho that caramel looks divine . . . sounds dangerous. I'll use my caramel with cream in it.

Pamela said...

Ouch! The caramel sounds like a weapon. The dessert does look very pretty though. Good job.

Teanna said...

That caramel sounds scary! I used a different recipe that didn't harden! But your dish looks beautiful!

Megan said...

Wow - your picture looks better than the one in the book!

Tracey said...

I had some issues with my caramel too so I feel your pain. Your dessert looks lovely though!

chocolatechic said...

Beautiful, just beautiful.

leanne said...

Beautiful. I have a sore on my lip from a shard of caramel. But, it did look perfect on the islands.

The Food Librarian said...

Looks great! But those shards of caramel sound a bit dangerous! :)

pinkstripes said...

Your floating island looks great. I'm glad you enjoyed them.

spike. said...

Those look great, glad you liked the recipe (except for the caramel)

Marthe said...

Yum, this looks perfect!! I can't wait to try mine!

Natashya said...

Beautiful but dangerous, eh?
You did a great job on this!

Shari@Whisk: a food blog said...

I'm so glad you liked them. I had trouble with the caramel too and found my storebought did the trick for the leftovers! Thanks for baking along with me this week!

Lady Baker said...

I was so proud of the first-timer caramel outing..and then, like you, realized they are caramel spears to the roof of your mouth when they get hard like that! Your dessert looks so delicious! Great post!

n.o.e said...

Oh, interesting about the shards. Now I don't feel quite so guilty about skipping them. Your islands are quite graceful.
Nancy

Jacque said...

I skipped the caramel and I guess that might have been a good thing? sounds dangerous!

Your floating islands look delish :)

AmyRuth said...

Very pretty dessert. Glad you liked it too.
AmyRuth

TeaLady said...

Island looks perfect. What a great job. Pretty!

Andrea said...

Your Islands look wonderful! I'm glad that your tasters enjoyed this one :)

Engineer Baker said...

I am 100% with you on the caramel - jagged shards, ow! I think that I'll use caramel syrup or a caramel sauce with heavy cream or corn syrup in it next time. Just for the sake of my cheeks and gums.

LyB said...

Caramel weapons, oh my! Your islands look so beautiful!