TWD: Floating Islands

by Holly on February 10, 2009

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.
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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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.

Pamela February 10, 2009 at 2:02 pm

These are fabulous, Holly! Beautiful job.

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!

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!

Rachel February 10, 2009 at 3:15 pm

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

chocolatechic February 10, 2009 at 4:21 pm

Absolutely gorgeous.

leanne February 10, 2009 at 4:33 pm

All I can say is WOW! Love the hearts.

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.

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!

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!

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! 😉

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!!

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!

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!

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.

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.

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.

Peabody February 11, 2009 at 7:39 am

Aw, those are so sweet.

Di February 11, 2009 at 1:53 pm

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

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!

Steph February 11, 2009 at 9:33 pm

That looks beautiful! I love the presention!

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.

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!

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

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

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!

Jenny February 14, 2009 at 5:49 pm

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

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.

LyB February 16, 2009 at 7:52 pm

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

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