On Valentines day I like to pull out the stops a little bit when it comes to serving a lovely dinner to my beloved. Nice needn't be complicated however. A simple soup for a first course . . . a steak (with a bearnaise butter) and baked potato for the main, along with a salad . . . and for dessert, this simple, uncomplicated yet delicious dish. Floating Islands. A bit old fashioned yes, but impressive nonetheless and light. Perfect for afters when you've eaten a somewhat heavy meal.
What's really nice about this dessert is . . . well three things really . . . one, you probably have everything you need to make it in your house right now and . . . two, it's very easy to make, and this version is extremely easy as the egg white souffles or "Islands" are cooked in the microwave instead of being poached as they traditionally are . . . three . . . both the custard sauce (or creme anglaise) and the "Islands" can be made several hours ahead of time, leaving only the simple caramel sauce to be done at the last minute.
So what you have is light microwave "poached" meringues sitting afloat on a lake of delicious custard . . . with a caramel sauce, lightly flavoured with lemon . . . . drizzled over top. A few flaked almonds and dessert is ready. You can toast the almonds if you wish. I don't bother myself.
*Floating Islands*Serves 6
5 large free range egg yolks75g of caster sugar (1/3 cup)
freshly squeezed lemon juice
Put the egg whites and icing sugar into a clean bowl and beat until stiff. Divide the egg whites between six ramekins, filling them to the top. Put two ramekins in the middle of the microwave oven. Make sure that the dishes touch in the middle of the oven. Cook on LOW for 30 seconds. Check and then repeat for 30 seconds more. The whites will puff up like a souffle. If they are not quite firm all the way through, repeat for a further 30 seconds. Repeat this until all six ramekins are cooked. Gently prise the islands from out of the ramekins.
Happy Valentines Day to all you lovers out there! Hope you have a fabulously tasty day!