Posts Tagged ‘Anthony Chavez

09
May
10

Floating island, a dessert for meringue lovers

This is something that doesn’t show up on dessert menus much in the U.S., so when I do see it, I order it. Floating island is a French dessert, a ball of meringue (the “island”) floating on creme anglaise (custard). Side note: the English like pouring custard or cream over many of their desserts, a practice that I wish were more widespread.

This recipe is a creative take on the traditional floating island from pastry chef Anthony Chavez of 2941 via Washingtonian magazine. When I’ve made meringue for pavlovas–meringue nests filled with cream and fruit–they’ve always deflated pretty quickly. After listening to NPR’s “The Splendid Table,” I learned that fats are the enemy of meringues, so be sure to use a metal bowl when whipping the egg whites. Plastic bowls tend to absorb more fats.

Photo via Washingtonian magazine.


Floating Island With Mandarin Jus and Caramelized Popcorn

a la Anthony Chavez of 2941

Serves 6

2 satsuma mandarin oranges
½ cup mandarin-orange juice
¼ cup Champagne
½ vanilla bean, seeded (discard the pod)
1⁄3 cup egg whites
3 tablespoons sugar plus 2 cups sugar for popcorn
14 tablespoons butter
1 bag microwave popcorn

Peel and remove the pith from the mandarin oranges, then cut them into segments. Set aside.

Make the mandarin-orange jus:

In a medium bowl, combine the mandarin-orange juice, Champagne, vanilla, and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Chill in the refrigerator.

Make the meringues:

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

In a mixing bowl, combine the egg whites and 2 tablespoons of sugar and whip until the mixture forms stiff peaks. Pipe it into dome-shaped flexible molds.

Place the meringues into the oven and bake for 1 minute or until firm. Remove from the oven and cool.

Pop the popcorn in the microwave and set in a large, heatproof bowl.

In a large pot set over low heat, caramelize the 2 cups of sugar. Add the butter and whisk until combined. Pour the caramel over the popcorn and stir until well combined.

Turn the caramel-coated popcorn onto a sheet pan and let cool. When the popcorn is cool, chop it into small pieces.

Unmold the baked meringues and sprinkle the popcorn on top of each meringue.

Assemble the floating islands:

Place each meringue in a bowl and garnish with the mandarin segments and mandarin jus.