Well, I think this was probably the weirdest dessert I’ve ever cooked.
I start my final year (I hope to God it’s my final year) of post-baccalaureate classes today, so I decided to host a dinner party of sorts for some of my Denver pals to celebrate my last duty-free night until December. I made Italian fare (spaghetti and meatballs, with homemade mozzarella), so I thought that the Ile Flottante challenge might make a nice dessert.
Overall, I liked this. The meringue had a different texture than I was expecting – it was very light (well, duh), but it was not even a little bit crunchy. I guess I was expecting an angel food cake-like texture, but the meringe was kind of…well, slimy. I mean, “slimy” is kind of a gross word, and the meringue wasn’t gross, but it’s the best way I can put it. The creme anglaise was a really nice foil, though; its richness offset the lightness of the cake a lot. The carmel sauce was my favorite part, though. It had good flavor and mixed beautifully with the creme anglaise when I served it.
I used Martha Stewart’s recipe, which is the same one I saw her make on her TV show about a month ago. There’s a neat video on her website, if you’re curious. I like the video, because I feel smug that I used the same bundt pan in the video! I didn’t remember that, but I guess it must be a Martha Stewart brand pan (no surprises there.)
Because of the timing of cooking my other dinner items, I started with the creme anglaise. I heated the milk, then did the whole egg-tempering shebang with the egg/sugar mix. My first batch curdled a little – Not a whole lot, but enough for me to decide to redo it. My second batch also curdled a little bit, but I decided to use it.
After tempering the eggs:
I made my meringue next. I get a lot of pleasure out of whipping egg whites.
My meringue puffed nicely, but it didn’t look as nice as Martha’s! This is what makes me wonder, now, if my meringue wasn’t a little underdone. I wish I’d re-watched this video before I made mine!
Once we were closer to dinner, I made my carmel syrup. It seemed like it took ages to brown, and then: BAM. All of a sudden, dark brown syrup. I forgot to take photos of this part, because I was also baking meatballs and making cheese.
I unmolded my meringue –
All plated and ready to go!