For a dinner party dessert option that looks classy and tastes out of this world, make these individual floating islands this week.
- for the meringues
- 2tsp cornflour
- 3tbsp water
- 1tbsp rosewater
- 4 large, free-range egg whites
- 125g (4½oz) caster sugar
- to poach
- 225ml (8fl oz) milk
- for the Framboise custard
- 300ml (½pt) milk
- 3tbsp sugar
- 4 large, free-range egg yolks
- 1tbsp Framboise
- fresh raspberries to serve
- 2tbsps toasted, flaked almonds
In a small saucepan, heat the cornflour, water and rosewater over a medium heat, stirring until it forms a thick opaque paste similar to glue. Whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks in a large bowl then gradually add the caster sugar until the meringue is stiff and glossy. Whisk the cornflour paste into the meringue.
Heat the milk with 225ml (8fl oz) water in a medium saucepan so there is a lot of steam coming off the pan but no movement in the liquid. Using two dessert spoons scoop a dollop of the meringue and shape it into a large oval. Poach the meringue scoop in the liquid for 2 minutes until firm to the touch and then gently turn over to poach for a further 2 minutes. The meringues swell in size so leave enough space in between them in the pan. With a slotted spoon, lift the poached ‘islands’ out and drain on absorbent paper as you continue to poach the remaining meringue in the same way.
In a small pan heat the milk for the custard until just steaming then remove from the heat and allow to cool. In a larger pan, mix the sugar and egg yolk until frothy then trickle a little of the warm milk onto the egg and mix. On a low to medium heat, gently pour the milk onto the egg stirring until the custard begins to thicken and coats the back of the spoon.
Strain the custard through a sieve, stir in the Framboise and spoon into shallow bowls or glasses. Float the rosewater ‘islands’ on top and serve immediately, scattered with fresh raspberries and flaked almonds.
For classic floating islands, replace the rosewater in the cornflour mix with another tbsp water, then substitute the framboise for 1tsp vanilla essence added to the egg yolk and sugar before making the custard.