The French call them iles de flottante, we call them floating islands. Call them what you will, just grab a spoon. They’re so light you can justify eating more.
- 5 eggwhites
- 280 gm caster sugar
- 1 litre (4 cups) milk
- To serve: Dutch-process cocoa
- 250 ml (1 cup) milk
- 250 ml (1 cup) pouring cream
- 1 vanilla bean, scraped seeds only
- 3 pieces of orange rind, removed with a peeler
- 5 egg yolks
- 100 gm caster sugar
- 1For custard, combine milk, cream, vanilla seeds and orange rind in a saucepan and bring just to the boil. Whisk egg yolks and sugar in a bowl until pale and creamy, pour over half the cream mixture and whisk to combine. Pour egg mixture back into pan and stir to combine with remaining cream mixture. Return pan to medium heat and cook, stirring continuously, until mixture coats back of a spoon. Then strain and refrigerate. Makes 2½ cups.
- 2Combine eggwhites and sugar in a heatproof bowl and whisk to combine, then whisk over a saucepan of simmering water until mixture feels hot to touch (2 minutes). Transfer to the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until thick and glossy (8-10 minutes).
- 3Meanwhile, bring milk and 2 cups water to the simmer over low-medium heat in a large saucepan. Using 2 tablespoons dipped in hot water, scoop meringue mixture, form into quenelles and poach in batches until just firm (2-3 minutes on each side). Remove and drain using a slotted spoon, then blot on absorbent paper.
- 4Pour custard into serving bowls, arrange meringues on top, dust with cocoa and serve immediately.