Vanilla île flottante

New recipe
Credit: Pierre Monetta

Ingredients (4 people)


  • 300 g (1 1/4 cups) milk
  • 2 vanilla beans
  • 200 g (4/5 cup) liquid cream
  • 200 g (4/5 cup) egg yolks
  • 80 g (1/3 cup) sugar

Meringue Islands

  • 200 g (4/5 cup) egg whites
  • 65 g (1/4 cup) sugar
  • 10 g (2 tsp) butter


  • 250 g (1 cup) slivered almonds
  • 175 g (3/4 cup) sugar
  • 25 g (1 and 2/3 tbsp) glucose


Step 1: Custard

The night before, bring the milk, cream, and vanilla to a boil in a saucepan. Cut the vanilla beans in half, and use a knife to scrape out the seeds. Add them to the milk.

Meanwhile, beat the egg yolks with the sugar in a bowl, whisking vigorously. Once the milk mixture has come to a boil, pour 1/2 of it into the bowl, whisking constantly to prevent the eggs from scrambling. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan, and cook at 84°C (183°F), mixing constantly with a wooden spoon. Once the cream is thick, pour it into a bowl and continue to stir so it cools down quickly. Set aside for 24 hours.

Step 2: Meringue Islands

The next day, butter the soufflé dishes and sprinkle lightly with sugar. Beat the eggs, gradually adding the sugar. Pour them into the molds and cook in a water bath for 10 minutes at 100°C (212°F).

Step 3: Nougatine

Gently toast the almonds in a roasting pan in the oven, stirring them around often. Melt the sugar and glucose in a saucepan. Add the almonds while they are still warm. Stir, then pour the mixture onto a sheet of parchment paper. Cover with another sheet of paper, then use a rolling pin to spread the nougatine to a thickness of around 0.5 cm (0.2 in). Once the nougatine is nice and cool, break it into even-sized pieces. Set aside.

Step 4: Presentation

Pour the custard into a soup plate, then remove an island from a mold and place it in the middle. Garnish with nougatine.


Sweet Roussillon wine, Muscat de Rivesaltes

This recipe was originally published in "L'esprit bistrot" (Éditions Alain Ducasse)

Other recipes by Alain Ducasse