Vanilla île flottante

Free 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


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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)