TWD: Floating Islands

by Holly on February 10, 2009

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Well, to be completely honest, this week’s recipe for Tuesdays with Dorie, Floating Islands, chosen by darling Shari over at the fabulous Whisk:  A Food Blog, was something that until recently, I had never even heard of.  It was an enigma to me.  While I could read the recipe and figure out what I thought this would be like, at the same time, perhaps because of that, I just really couldn’t imagine this dessert was something I was going to be in love with.  I had been eyeing the picture in our Baking From My Home To Yours book though in curiosity ever since I saw it though, so I was happy to try to make it and find out what it was all about.
Nonetheless, I forged on and made the components anyway.  As I made the creme anglaise I realized that it basically was the same type of custard I make for ice cream, without the freezing. I knew that I would at least like that part.  What I wasn’t so sure of was the actual floating islands themselves.  You see, for all intensive purposes, the ‘islands’ are poached puffs of meringue, without anything else really done to them.  I am not that much of a meringue person all by its lonesome, so that didn’t really appeal to me.
I would like to tell you that I ended up loving this dessert… but I just didn’t.  There was certainly nothing wrong with it, it just isn’t my kind of dessert.  I will tell you that I had just baked a few more of the WP Cookies off my log stashed in the freezer and that those, dipped in the creme anglaise were perfectly fabulous.
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For my floating islands, in honor of the upcoming Valentine’s holiday, I decided, actually at the last minute, to add a little bit of red powdered food coloring and then to pipe the meringue into heart shapes.  I really wish I had pictures of how lovely and fun they were when I molded them or when they were poaching, but my camera was no where to be found at that point and I was already in the process and didn’t think I should delay any further.   I also decided to do a few little chocolate swirls with a bit of melted dark chocolate on the islands and floating in the creme as a bit of decoration instead of the caramel strings.
Since I have nothing to compare these too, I don’t know if mine were at all over-poached or deflated too much, but they still tasted good.  As I said, there was nothing at all wrong with this dessert, but it wasn’t something I loved either.
Don’t forget to check out all the islands floating around on the other Tuesdays with Dorie baker’s blogs today!  (See that, I made a completely lame joke with a totally straight face.  Yeah. I’m a dork… but strangely, okay with that.)
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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

n.o.e February 10, 2009 at 7:13 am

Holly, this is a stunning rendition of floating islands. I’m amazedthat you could tint and pipe your meringues. I was totally afraid of mine! Sorry you didn’t like it better. That creme anglaise was really tasty.
Nancy

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Pamela February 10, 2009 at 2:02 pm

These are fabulous, Holly! Beautiful job.

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Diana February 10, 2009 at 2:30 pm

Wow, that’s really beautiful. I probably wouldn’t be crazy about it either though, I’m not big on meringue. But what a stunning presentation!

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Chez Denise et Laudalino February 10, 2009 at 3:11 pm

Holly, beautiful job and I love the holiday theme. I thought about making the meringue look like hearts but was not in the mood to pipe – glad you did! And the chocolate must have been a great addition to the creme anglaise!

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Rachel February 10, 2009 at 3:15 pm

Wow those heart are so cute! What a great idea!

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chocolatechic February 10, 2009 at 4:21 pm

Absolutely gorgeous.

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leanne February 10, 2009 at 4:33 pm

All I can say is WOW! Love the hearts.

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Tracey February 10, 2009 at 6:22 pm

Wow, beautiful! I wasn’t a big fan of this week’s recipe either but there’s always next week.

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The Bentley Family February 10, 2009 at 6:50 pm

SOOOO pretty. Your presentation is always so gorgeous Holl! I love to see how you make these TWD recipes your own. You make food beautiful!

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pinkstripes February 10, 2009 at 8:37 pm

Wow! I love your assemble floating islands. WP cookies dipped in creme anglaise sounds like heaven. YUM!

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Manggy February 10, 2009 at 9:18 pm

Heh, I kinda figured you wouldn’t be a fan, but kudos to you for soldiering on… On to the next ooey-gooey-chocolatey project! 😉

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Marthe February 10, 2009 at 10:19 pm

I love the fact that you were able to shape the floating islands into hearts, they look so cute!!

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Shari@Whisk: a food blog February 11, 2009 at 1:47 am

You’re a sweet dork, though. 😉 Love your pink hearts with chocolate drizzles. This dessert isn’t everyone’s favorite, that’s for sure! Glad you tried it though!

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Lady Baker February 11, 2009 at 2:46 am

Holy tinted meringue, batman! Those are some very creative, and Valentine-y islands! Looks too good to eat!

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TeaLady February 11, 2009 at 3:28 am

Holly! You are my hero. These are fabulous. All that beauty and you didn’t like them. Truth be told, nor I. But yours are stunning.

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Sweet as Coco February 11, 2009 at 3:45 am

These look fab! I’m glad I am not the only one who didn’t care for them.

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Cafe Johnsonia February 11, 2009 at 4:44 am

That looks great, Holly! I keep looking at that recipe. Maybe I’ll try it someday soon.

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Peabody February 11, 2009 at 7:39 am

Aw, those are so sweet.

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Di February 11, 2009 at 1:53 pm

That looks spectacular. I had no idea that you could color merengues.

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Teanna February 11, 2009 at 3:55 pm

WOW! That is absolutely stunning! Sorry you didn’t love it, but really, that is very impressive!

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Steph February 11, 2009 at 9:33 pm

That looks beautiful! I love the presention!

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What's for Supper? February 11, 2009 at 9:47 pm

You really outdid yourself here. These are some festive looking floating islands. Great job. I couldn’t even get the fist step of this recipe down.

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AmyRuth February 11, 2009 at 10:11 pm

Piping….? Thought about it but most of my bags have had buttercream or royal icing whichever in them. Oh yea ziploc bags. Just didn’t. Anyway, you piped into a mold? Is that right? Very nifty. And I love the chocolate in the creme anglaise. Great photo subject.
You always do very creative things with Dorie’s recipes. Amazing!
AmyRuth

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The Food Librarian February 12, 2009 at 4:33 am

May not be your favorite, but they are soooo beautiful!! Love it all!

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Leslie February 13, 2009 at 2:04 pm

I love what you did with yours! I didn’t end up making these because I didn’t really need to eat all those egg yolks and cream. Sorry you didn’t love it but dipping WP cookies in creme anglais is brilliant!

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Jenny February 14, 2009 at 5:49 pm

Very pretty and thematic – Happy Valentine’s Day to you!

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Engineer Baker February 15, 2009 at 5:47 pm

Well they look beautiful! I almost decided to pipe mine, then decided it would be too fussy.

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LyB February 16, 2009 at 7:52 pm

I love your presentation, Holly! It’s so colorful, very pretty. 🙂

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