Floating Islands with Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce

Floating Islands with Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce

Prep Time


Cook Time



Floating Islands with Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce

Recipe Courtesy of Cooking.com.

This old fashioned French classic is popping up on bistro menus everywhere. With the use of a heavy-duty mixer, the “islands” are surprisingly easy to make — and yet very impressive. Classically the meringues are topped with caramelized sugar, but in this recipe, bittersweet chocoloate adds contrast.

Nutrition Facts

4 servings

Facts per Serving

Calories: 562 Fat, Total: 34g Carbohydrates, Total: 58g
Cholesterol: 285mg Sodium: 147mg Protein: 11g
Fiber: 0g % Cal. from Fat: 54% % Cal. from Carbs: 41%


  • For Creme Anglaise: 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 vanilla bean
  • For Floating Islands: 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • For Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce: 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 5 ounces chopped bittersweet chocolate


  • 1 FOR CREME ANGLAISE: Combine egg yolks and sugar in bowl of heavy-duty stand mixer. Using whisk attachment, beat until pale yellow.
  • 2 Bring cream, milk and vanilla bean to simmer in heavy small saucepan. Gradually mix hot cream mixture into egg yolks; return mixture to saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens enough to coat back of spoon, about 5 minutes (do not boil). Transfer mixture to bowl. Chill until cold.
  • 3 DO-AHEAD TIP: Creme anglaise can be made 2 days ahead. Keep refrigerated.
  • 4 FOR FLOATING ISLANDS: Combine sugar and 1 tablespoon water in clean bowl of stand mixer. Stir until sugar dissolves slightly. Add egg whites and cream of tartar.
  • 5 Set mixing bowl over saucepan of barely simmering water. Stir egg white mixture gently and constantly with rubber spatula until instant read thermometer reaches 160ºF when inserted into egg whites, about 8 minutes. Immediately remove from heat. Using electric stand mixer, beat egg mixture with whisk attachment until soft peaks form. Add vanilla and salt and continue beating until firm peaks form.
  • 6 Add enough water to 12-inch-diameter skillet to come 1 inch up sides. Bring water to simmer. Reduce heat to low. Using 2 large wooden spoons, gently shape 1/4 meringue mixture (about 1 cup) into large oval. Using spoon, carefully transfer shaped meringue to water. Cover with domed lid and cook until meringue is just barely firm to touch, about 5 minutes.
  • 7 Transfer cooked meringue to paper-towel-lined plate to drain. Repeat with remaining meringue mixture, creating 4 individual meringues total.
  • 8 DO-AHEAD TIP: Meringues can be made 1 day ahead. Store in covered container and refrigerate.
  • 9 BITTERSWEET CHOCOLATE SAUCE: Stir milk and chocolate in heavy small saucepan over low heat until chocolate is melted and smooth.
  • 10 DO-AHEAD TIP: Can be prepared 3 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Rewarm stirring constantly over simmering water or very low heat.
  • 11 Divide creme anglaise among 4 shallow bowls. Place 1 meringue in each bowl atop creme anglaise. Drizzle lightly with Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce and serve.


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