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îles flottantes or floating islands

These are such a French classic, and just a simple recipe you can knock up really quickly and it looks and tastes amazing! A real crowd pleaser...

750ml/1⅓ pint milk 1 vanilla pod, seeds only 6 free-range egg yolks 190g/7oz caster sugar 6 free-range egg whites 190g/7oz caster sugar 75g/2½oz caster sugar

Take the egg whites and whisk to soft peaks, then add the sugar a tablespoon at a time, until they are stiff and glossy!

Set to one side.

Heat the milk in a large flat pan. It should just bubble. Using a large tablespoon or serving spoon, gently place the merginues on the heated milk. Poach on each side for 5 minutes.

Get your serving dishes ready and place a poached merginue in each bowl.

Sieve the milk and place back in a pan to heat.

Mix the egg yokes, sugar and vanilla in a bowl. When the milk is bubbling add a few tablespoons of milk in the egg mixture and stir. Add this back into the milk and gently simmer for 10 minutes until it coats the back of a spoon. Take off the heat and let cool for a few minutes.

Pour the creme anglaise over each merginue in the dish, and let cool in the fridge.

When you are ready to serve. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, heat the sugar until it caramelises and turn a dark brown. On some greasporoof paper, pour in circles the caramel and let it set. Once set, break into shards and sprinkle over your floating islands.

Serve chilled.


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