HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!
In the last one and a half decades,Valentine’s Day has garnered more attention and importance in India than any other event.Its regarded as an occasion when people profess their love for each other and exchange gifts(not mandatory of course).Those in love celebrate with joy,those already married cherish memories and do anything different every year and those looking for love eagerly pray that they celebrate this day with someone special..:)
Speculations over the food regime is important with restaurants and popular eateries booked several days in advance to give the best to loved ones and people like me want to make something exotic and special at home for the life partner to revel in!My better half loves desserts and exotic ones too.When asked what he wanted for gastronomical satisfactions he replied with a coy smile that he wanted me to make something special as he did not prefer eating out!Food was expensive,spicy and preferentially the desserts reeked of Chocolate(which both of us do not prefer) and last but not the least traffic was one of the primary irritants in our city!
So I set about planning a meal.I wanted to make the dessert course very special as it would leave sweet memories in our mouths.A cake appealed to me but I had already made a lot of cake during Christmas and New Year and finally scrapped it.Pudding – yes but have to make a “normal” quantity which would feed 6-7 and we being just 2 people were not game for so much of sugar.I hit upon a custard – one made with eggs.I saw Seychelles Island in the television and saw that it was a white spot in the middle of the ocean with water surrounding it and with waves forming now and then on the sides.!I thought why not go for a dessert with an island theme?Bang came the reply – Floating Island!
This is a very easy dessert of French Origin.A small piece of meringue floating on lovely crème anglaise (a thick and delicious vanilla custard) could steal the show and leave us with delicious memories.A lot of research was done into this beautifully exotic dessert.I want to share this with everyone who want to create something new and who want a memorable dessert session.Not only for Valentine’s Day you can make it for any memorable event.However please note:
This dessert contains eggs and there is no replacement for them.
Preparation Time : 30 minutes
Chilling time : 2-3 hours
Makes : 2 servings
For the Custard:
2 cups milk
3 egg yolks
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Essence
3 tbsp Caster Sugar/Powdered Sugar
1 egg white
1/2 tsp Vanilla Essence
1 tbsp Caster Sugar/Powdered Sugar
For the Jam Sauce
2 tbsp Raspberry Jam
4 tbsp water
Sugar flowers/hearts for decoration
Make the Jam Sauce:
Heat the Jam and water in a small saucepan till it forms a thick but liquid sauce.Strain the sauce into a small bowl and keep aside.
Heat the milk on medium heat in a deep pan till it is simmering away.
Take a kitchen paper towel and lay it on a plate.
Make the Meringue:
Beat the egg white with 1 tbsp sugar and 1/2 tsp Vanilla Essence till it forms stiff peaks.Now drop spoonfuls of it in the simmering milk.It will swell slightly and get poached in the hot milk.Cook each side for 2 minutes by your watch and take out on the prepared kitchen towel plate.Refrigerate till serving time.
Make the Custard:
Take the used hot milk in a bowl.
Put a saucepan of water on heat till it comes to a simmer.Beat the egg yolks with the remaining sugar in a heatproof bowl.Very slowly add about 2-3 tbsp of milk beating all the while till the milk is used up.Be very careful here as if you do not keep beating the liquid then the yolks will get cooked.This is the custard mixture which we would eventually cook.
Put this bowl on top of the saucepan with simmering water and stir with a ladle till the custard starts to thicken.Stir all the while and after it thickens to a nice creamy consistency,take it off heat.Force the custard through a soup strainer or sieve into a separate bowl and leave to come to room temperature.Add the rest of the Vanilla Essence.Refrigerate till serving time.
Serving the Floating Island:
Divide the custard between 2 Margarita Glasses(or any other stem glass or bowl).Arrange one of the Meringue “Islands” in the middle and spoon some sauce enclosing the Meringue.Top each Meringue with a sugar flower or heart and serve immediately!
Shots of this lovely dessert:
My wishes and love to everybody celebrating this wonderful day!
HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!