La Boulange: Cafe Cooking at Home delivers a fuss-free recipe for utterly charming meringue islands floating in pools of crème anglaise and drizzled with just-warm caramel sauce.
Reprinted with permission by Pascal Rigo. Copyright © 2013. Published by Chronicle Books. Available wherever books are sold. All rights reserved.
- Yield:serves 4
- Active time: 40 minutes
- Total time:1 hour 20 minutes
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- 8 egg whites
- Pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup sugar
- Caramel Sauce
- Crème Anglaise
- For the Caramel Sauce
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 vanilla bean
- 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- For the Crème Anglaise
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Make the Crème Anglaise: Combine the milk and cream in a microwave-safe bowl. Whisk to blend, and heat for 2 minutes at high power in the microwave.
Add the sugar to the hot milk and cream mixture. Add the egg yolks and vanilla and whisk well.
Microwave for 1 minute longer, whisk again. Set aside to cool. (You can store the creme anglaise, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months.)
Make the Caramel Sauce: In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the cream, vanilla bean, butter and salt to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and keep warm while you caramelize the sugar. In a large saucepan, heat the sugar over low heat. Cook, stirring, until the sugar is completely dissolved and turns golden brown.
Add the cream mixture to the sugar, a little at a time, stirring constantly.
Remove from the heat and continue to stir until you have a smooth, creamy sauce. It will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Assemble the floating islands: Gather your ingredients.
In a large skillet over medium heat, toast the almonds until browned and fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and let cool.
In a large bowl, beat the egg white and salt with an electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form.
Add the sugar and beat for about 1 minute more.
Line a large plate with parchment paper. Spoon four generous mounds of the beaten egg white onto the plate. Microwave, uncovered, for 30-45 seconds on high power.
Pour enough crème anglaise into a bowl to float an island in the crème and drizzle with caramel. Sprinkle with toasted almonds.