Tuesday, 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.)