A proper introduction or l’Île Flottante

Being about to start a new job, I ended up day dreaming about the best way to make a good first impression.

Weirdly enough, I had noticed in the past that some companies could not manage to introduce new comers properly.
The poor chaps generally ended up all shy and clueless at the coffee machine, in desperate search of the coffee pads…
Not the best way to establish a productive relationship.

Productive might not be what I aspire for for this blog. Yet, today it struck me that I had failed to introduce properly Marieflottante.
Better late than never, let me make it up to you even if I cannot take credits for its name. It´s a rather simple equation.

Marie & Flo : French couple. Almost turned German after 2 years in Hamburg. Recently relocated to London. Still puzzled with the English food culture. Seeing expiry dates on apples was a particularly strong trauma.
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Île flottante : Traditionnal French desert. Belongs to our family’s best-sellers.
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Marieflottante : Home-made food. Convivial. Easygoing. Organic, local and light… when possible.

Now, let’s get back to serious stuff:

Île Flottante
The base of the desert is a vanilla cream. Then you can use the remaining egg white to enhance the desert.
As always, and that’s the beauty of it, many variations are possible. The vanilla custard can be flavoured… But for this first introduction let’s stick to basics.

1L fresh milk
6 eggs – yellow only for the custard
1 good spoon of cornflour – it is lighter than regular wheat flour
80g sugar
1 spoon rhum – if nobody is pregnant
1 vanilla pod

Heat the milk with the vanilla pod.
In a jar mix the yellow of the eggs, the sugar and the flour.
When the milk is simmering pour on the sugar mix and mix again.
Then pour back in the saucepan, keep stirring and cook until the white foam desappears.
Add the rhum if you wish.

Wisk the whites until they form peaks.
To have a good firmness of the whites you need to boil them in milk or water.
Prepare a saucepan of milk and have it simmer. Form little portions of whites and boil them 30 seconds on each side. Then strain the portions before placing them on the vanilla custard.

The traditional desert is usually covered with caramel (simply sugar boiled with water). This operation is quite risky, no kids around please. It should be done right before serving otherwise it softens in the fridge and you’ll miss the nice crispy effect.

As today I felt inspired, I swapped the traditional caramel for some roasted pistachio pralines

100g pistachios
50g sugar
4cl water
vanilla aroma

Pre-cook the pistachios in the oven at 180 degres for about 15min.
Have them cool off a bite and rub them to remove the thin skin. Then chop roughly.
Mix the sugar with the vanilla and water and boil it. Pour the pistachios and mix quickly so that they get coated and finish roasting for 2 to 3 min.
Place on a plate to let them cool off and avoid that it sticks together.

Enjoy!