The Boys Do Bake Off - Series 4, Ep.3 - Dessert Week
Week three was dessert week in the tent and saw the bakers creating signature trifles and showstopping petit fours. The technical challenge this week was the French classic île flottante (floating islands) which saw Glenn Cosby come top of the blind tasting.
The dessert we know as île flottante is generally referred to in France as œufs à la neige (eggs in snow) as the former usually contains islands of "alternate layers of alcohol soaked dessert biscuits and jam". Though the term is generally now interchangeable.
We went for Mary Berry's recipe from BBC Food and started off heating the milk (we didn't use cream) and vanilla in a large pan. The egg whites are whisked to stiff peaks before the sugar is gradually added to create a thick and glossy meringue. It is then shaped into quenelles before being placed in the pan to cook. It is important that they are cooked on a low heat to ensure they don't collapse. Once cooked the meringues are moved to a wire rack to drain whilst the crème anglaise is made.
The egg yolks and sugar are whisked together until pale and fluffy and then the warm sieved milk, used to cook the meringues, is gradually whisked in. The mixture is then place in a clean pan and cooked on a low heat, stirring continuously, until smooth and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Lastly it is the sugar work to tackle. Melt the sugar over a medium heat without stirring. When it turns a dark golden brown remove from the heat. Careful it will be hot. Leave to cool slightly and then drip onto a non-stick sheet ensuring that sections overlap to create a continuous piece. Alternatively to you can go for spun sugar by using a fork and flicking the caramel backwards and forwards over a oiled rolling pin and then gathering the strands into a ball.
To serve pour some of the crème anglaise into a serving bowl and float a quenelle of meringue and place your sugar work on top.