See also: Vincent Guerithault: Tastemaker #53
Like hairstyles and handbags, desserts go in and out of fashion. When's the last time you saw Crepes Suzette, Bananas Foster or Baked Alaska on a restaurant menu? And rightly so. You'd probably hoot at the very notion.
But there's one old school dessert that still makes my heart skip a beat and that's Floating Island -- an ethereal bit of 70s-era French fluff that's almost impossible to find nowadays.
It's a simple dessert -- light, elegant and perfect for hot weather -- composed of cloud-like puffs of meringue, poached in milk and set "afloat" on a sea of cold crème Anglaise (vanilla custard).
In France, this centuries-old farmhouse dessert (no doubt the delicious result of an abundance of eggs), is called Île Flottante (Floating Island) or Oeufs à la Neige ( Eggs in Snow). But Floating Island best captures its delicacy and weightlessness.
He always has crème Anglaise on hand, so it's really just a matter of whipping egg whites and poaching them in little cups. Guerithault tops them off with a drizzle of caramel and a thicket of spun sugar, which adds another layer of airy, brittle deliciousness.
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If you catch yourself rolling your eyes over yet another tiramisu or chocolate lava cake, remember to put this sweet nothing on your to-do list.