I got motivated to watch Masterchef India this year as my friend and inspiration Anagha Godbole participated in this season of Masterchef India and now, I am hooked onto it. I especialy enjoy the Masterclass series they have every Sunday where chefs and winning contestants teach techniques. In one of the episodes where egg was the main ingredient, contestant Samantha Barrett prepared this dish called floating island. I was new to the way meringue is poached and I was blown away. I had to try it myself. So one night, I learned the different techniques of making meringue, making the british custard, and making the caramel art and recreated my own interpretation of this dish. I did have some trouble on the way but the end result was good.
Components – Custard, poached meringue, Caramel art.
First Assmebly –
Take the cold custard in a bowl, add the floating meringue and top with caramel. Garnish the sauce with some candied nuts.
The orange and ginger balanced the sweetness of the dish very well. The meringue was melt in the mouth light. Caramel added depth to the dish and the crunch from nuts was just another texture that completed the dish.
Here it goes.
1 cup of full fat milk
1 egg yolk
Sugar as per taste
1/2 tsp orange zest
a pinch of nutmeg
pinch of grated ginger
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
Heat a cup of milk on stove slow heat. Beat together one egg yolk, sugar, orange zest, nutmeg, ginger, and vanilla essence.
Add the hot milk slowly to the yolk mix, whisking constantly to raise the yolk temperature without cooking the egg yolk. Put the mix back on the stove and let it simmer until the sauce thickens. To cool down, put it in the fridge.
Whisk 1 egg white with little sugar and a little vanilla essence until soft peaks are formed. You know wen the meringue is done when you turn the bowl upside down and the content don’t fall down. Simmer water on med heat, no boil. Add a spoonful of the meringue into the water. It puffs up right away. Turn the meringue after a min and take it out after another min on a towel. With just one egg white you can make 5-6 of these.
Heat white sugar with little water. No stirring. Just wait. The pot needs to be clean so no crystallization of the sugar happens. As soon as you see the sugar color change to golden yellow-brown, remove the pan and stop the cooking by lowering the pan in cold water.
While the caramel is happening, Oil a small bowl. Invert it and spoon the caramel on it, first horizontal then across so a caramel bowl will form. With oil, it will come off easily once it sets. My mistake was putting the caramel on it all the way down to the bottom. Don’t do that. Leave some space at the bottom of he bowl. Luckily, I had other forms of caramel ready and that turned out to give a more dramatic look to the dish than my previous plan.