Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Floating Islands in a Chocolate Sea -- Tuesdays with Dorie


Okay guys -- here you have it, my Floating Islands. This amazing creation was chosen for 'Tuesdays with Dorie' to try by Shari of
Whisk: a food blog -- you can find the original recipe on her website or just check out pages 401-402 of Dorie Greenspan's book Baking From My Home To Yours. Thank you Shari, for opening my eyes to a whole new dessert! I'd never heard of Floating Islands and was quickly intrigued when I learned this was the recipe we were tackling for TWD.

Floating Islands are puffs of milk poached meringues usually served on Creme Anglaise -- but after reading through the recipe for that I felt compelled to skip it and just serve my islands on some home made chocolate fudge sauce that I had sitting in the fridge left over from a cake I made last week. Why skip the Creme Anglaise? Six egg yolks! Sorry guys, if you're a reader of this blog you know that I just don't like eggs or eggy sauces, etc. I do eat eggs, I don't mind them at all in a pancake, or cookie, crepe (although some crepes push my egg tolerance), or muffin...but there is just something that I don't like -- scratch that there are so many things I don't like, the texture, the smell, the sliminess, I could go on and on but this is about I will shut up. I feel so bad that I don't like eggs. I have egg guilt. Sorry eggs, even though you taste nasty to me I still try to make you for my kids because I know you are healthy and packed with omega-3s and protein, but they don't like you guys either. But my husband does, yes, the man that doesn't like anything yummy -- pecans, mushrooms, spinach, cheesecake -- he likes eggs. I guess we balance each other out right? Right. (By the way we celebrated our 6th anniversary last week :) )


Above the little clumps are the meringue I scooped off the beaters after mixing.
Okay on to the Floating Islands -- I had fun doing the meringues -- and guess what, I don't even mind meringue, love some lemon meringue pie, but anyway -- everything came together easily and I was soon ready to poach some islands, baby!


I was really excited about this part, I don't know why, just expecting something magical to happen. I guess it did. Okay, take that back. If something magical happens, I don't think you are supposed to say, "well, I guess it did." It must not have been that magical, right? If it was it would be "oh my goodness, wow" -- these were more along the -- "hey, that's kind of neat," magic. What happened was just what Dorie prepared us for, they puffed up, then shrunk back down after removing them from the milk. Mine weren't that perfectly shaped, they were fine, I wasn't disappointed, but not impressed with my island shaping either, going into this I was planning to do hearts, but that did not happen. After spooning a couple islands I decided I wasn't even going to bother with hearts, plenty more heart opportunities in the upcoming week -- or all month long, why not?

As my islands were poaching is where this all went down hill. You see, as I started simmering my milk I was taken back to a childhood memory, warm milk and honey, my mom used to make this for me at night all the time, a little treat to help me sleep. I LOVED it. I still do. She always simmered on the stove -- never the microwave -- which I sheepishly admit to making "warm milk and honey" in for my kids. Then, after the islands were done, I smelled the egg smell. Oh no, how could this be? I start to feel gaggy just at the thought of it. No egg smell...please!!! Why did you do this to me Floating Islands?!? You were going to help my start to want to try to like eggs, then you had to ruin it all with the cooking egg smell, blech.

That was pretty much it for me. I had a couple bites, it was egg. No floating islands for me. Just cooked egg. In chocolate sauce. At least I had a strawberry for garnish.

I hate to sound ungrateful for this TWD recipe -- here comes that egg guilt again. I'm sure it was just me and I will see tons of positive "oh my goodness, wow" reviews of this recipe as the TWD masses post about it. I'm hoping everyone loved this recipe, making it, and tasting it! I can say 100% that I had a fun time making these, a very fun time, I felt like I learned a new technique in the kitchen and enjoyed watching the Floating Islands evolve. Maybe someday I will like eggs, right?

14 comments:

n.o.e said...

Oh, too bad about the egg thing. This was a cool technique, and your islands look really cute. Mine didn't really puff/deflate and I could even detect some egg in there, but I like eggs. I look forward to your heart creations.
Nancy

Secret Server said...

MMM, I wish I had done chocolate sauce. They look beautiful. Congrats on your anniversary!

Cathy said...

Oh, Andrea, you post had me laughing! Let go of the egg guilt, it's okay! The eggs understand. You were such a trooper to even attempt this given your aversion to eggs! I think floating the meringues in a chocolate sea was a great idea.

Natashya said...

Although I do eat eggs, I understand the egg smell thing. I find that with meringue too - maybe it is contextual with me?
Anyway, it looks good, you had fun making it - that's what counts!

leanne said...

Okay. This is probably the best idea I have seen for me to do in the future. Stay away from the egg things! They look delicious

pinkstripes said...

The fudge sauce looks/sounds delicious. I almost skipped out on the creme anglaise too. I was going to do some sort of fruity sauce. I'm glad I did the creme though b/c it was delicious (but I love eggy sauces).

Peggy said...

Well you islands are precious. You make really beautiful meringue!! I'm glad I skipped this one, but I'm sure I would have liked your chocolate version!!

Gabe's Girl said...

Beautiful. I wish I had used chocolate like that! UUGGHHH, hindsight is 20/20. Lovely, work. I did not think they were all that smashing. I doubt I will make them again.

Jill said...

I was OK with eggs until I read your post! The chocolate sauce was a great idea - the white meringue looks great on top of the sauce!

Megan said...

Great story - and I really dislike eggs too. Can't eat them "as is". They have to be disguised as cake, cookies, you know.

Shari@Whisk: a food blog said...

I'm glad you enjoyed the process even if you didn't like the end result! I don't like omelettes or scrambled eggs, but these were fine for me. Oh well. Not for everyone. Thanks for giving it a go, though!

Teanna said...

Hey, at least we all learned something new, right? And the chocolate sauce is reason enough to make it worth it! Happy Anniversary!

Flourchild said...

Ya I just couldn't get myself to make these. Im glad you tried. I hope to make the cake this weekend!

TeaLady said...

Sorry, you didn't care for these. Love the chocolate sea your island floats on. And the strawberry - just the right touch.

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