Mark Hix recipe: A festive floating island

Serves 6-8

This is a festive version of the classic îles flottantes which, in one dessert makes good use of the whites and yolks, whereas often meringue-type desserts leave you with a leftover bowl of egg yolks. If you wish you can add some alcohol to the sauce like amaretto or brandy – up to you.

6 eggs, separated
100g caster sugar
150ml double cream
200ml milk
3tbsp cranberry sauce
18-20 chestnuts, ready peeled in vac-pack or lightly roasted and peeled
½tbsp icing sugar

Put the cream and milk into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Meanwhile mix the egg yolks with 70g of the sugar. Whisk the boiled cream mixture on to the egg yolks and sugar – mix well. Return to a clean pan on a low heat and stir every so often, ensuring you stir the bottom and sides of the pan.

When the sauce coats the back of a spoon (this should take 3-4 minutes) remove from the heat, give it a good whisk and transfer to a bowl. Heat the cranberry sauce with some water to form a spooning sauce-like consistency.

Put the chestnuts on a grill tray lined with foil, dust with icing sugar and cook under the grill for a few minutes, turning regularly until lightly coloured.

Meanwhile, whisk the egg whites. Use an electric food mixer with the whisk attachment, or an electric hand whisk (the bowl must be extremely clean with no signs of grease – rinse with boiling water and dry it first). Whisk the whites with the rest of the caster sugar for 3-4 minutes, until they are stiff and shiny.

Bring a large pan of water to a simmer and with a large kitchen serving spoon, lower four spoon shapes of egg white as neatly as you can into the simmering water. Cook for a couple of minutes on each side then transfer to a large plate, preferably lined with kitchen paper to soak up moisture. Cook a couple of batches if your saucepan isn't big enough.

Serve immediately with the warm sauce, or allow to cool to room temperature. Divide the sauce between pasta-type bowls and float a cooked meringue in the middle of each. Blob some of the cranberry sauce around in the sauce with a spoon. Break up the chestnuts and scatter over.

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Recruitment Genius: Bid / Tender Writing Executive

    £24000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: With offices in Manchester, Lon...

    Guru Careers: Marketing Executives / Marketing Communications Consultants

    Competitive (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a number of Marketi...

    Recruitment Genius: Marketing Executive

    £20000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This well established business ...

    Ashdown Group: Management Accountant - Manchester

    £25000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Management Accountant - Manchester...

    Day In a Page

    Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

    The secret CIA Starbucks

    The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
    Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

    How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

    The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
    One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

    One million Britons using food banks

    Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
    Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

    2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

    Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
    The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

    The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

    The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
    Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

    Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

    A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
    Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

    Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

    They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
    Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

    Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

    The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
    The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

    The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

    Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
    How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

    How to run a restaurant

    As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
    Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

    Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

    For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
    Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

    Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

    The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
    10 best tote bags

    Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

    We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
    Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

    Paul Scholes column

    I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
    Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

    Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

    The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...