Floating island (Ile flottante)

Floating island is a wonderful typical bistro dessert.

Baked egg whites are floating on a sea of crème anglaise, and topped with caramel.

For 4 people


For the crème anglaise:

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1,5 cup of milk (335 ml)
  • 1/4 cup of granulated sugar (50g)
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract

For the baked egg whites: 

  • 4 egg whites at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup of granulated sugar (65g )

For the caramel:

  • 5 tsp of granulated sugar (20g )


Prepare the crème anglaise:

  1. Boil the milk into a saucepan with the vanilla extract. When it’s boiling, turn off the heat and set aside.
  2. In a bowl, whisk 4 egg yolks with 50 g of sugar.
  3. Pour a little bit of boiled milk over it while mixing well. 
  4. Then, return the mixture into the pan over low heat and let thicken by stirring with a spatula.  The cream is ready when it coats the spatula.
  5. Pour into a bowl, cover and let it cool. 

Preparation of the egg whites:

  1. Preheat your oven at 350°F.
  2. Beat the egg whites into a bowl while slowly increasing the speed. When it’s bubbling, add ¼ of granulated sugar and keep beating. Finally, increase to maximum speed while pouring gradually the rest of the sugar. Stop beating when egg whites are really firm.
  3. Fill silicon cupcake molds with beaten egg whites and smooth the top with a spatula.
  4. Set it into the oven for 3 minutes. Then, set it off the oven and let rest few min. 
  5. Unmold the egg whites on a plate and set aside into the refrigerator for 5 min.

Preparation of the caramel:

  1. Heat 20 g of sugar in a saucepan over low heat until sugar turns into golden syrup.
  2. With a tablespoon, take some syrup and pour in on a coated plate to make sugar filaments. 
  3. Let it cool before gently removing from the parchment paper.

For the dessert presentation:

Pour the crème anglaise into a little bowl (or other deep dish), put the egg whites on it, and decorate with some caramel filaments.

 Et voilà! Simply delicious!

Chef’s tip

This traditional French Bistro dessert can be topped with roasted flakes almonds to add a crunchy touch.