Floating Island
 
Ingredients
  • 2½ cups sugar
  • 1 cup water, divided
  • 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract, divided
  • 1½ cups (5 ounces) sliced almonds
  • 8 extra-large egg whites, at room temperature
  • ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
Creme Anglaise:
  • 4 extra-large egg yolks
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1¾ cups scalded milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1½ teaspoons Cognac
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Creme Anglaise:
  1. Yield: 2 cups
  2. Beat the egg yolks and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed for 3 minutes, or until very thick.
  3. Reduce to low speed, and add the cornstarch.
  4. With the mixer still on low, slowly pour the hot milk into the eggs.
  5. Pour the custard mixture into a saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until thickened.
  6. The custard will coat the spoon like heavy cream. Don't cook it above 180 degrees F or the eggs will scramble!
  7. Pour the sauce through a fine strainer, add the vanilla extract, Cognac, and vanilla -then chill.
For the caramel:
  1. Heat 1½ cups of the sugar and ½ cup water in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan until the sugar dissolves.
  2. Cook over medium heat until the syrup turns a warm caramel color.
  3. Don't stir, just swirl it in the pan.
  4. Off the heat, add ½ cup water and ½ teaspoon of the vanilla; be careful-it bubbles like crazy!
  5. Cook until 230 degrees F - Set aside.
Praline
  1. Combine the almonds with ¼ cup of the caramel and spread them on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
  2. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the almonds are lightly browned.
  3. Allow to cool at room temperature and then break up in pieces.
  4. Lower the oven to 250 degrees F. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper.
Meringues
  1. Whip egg whites, salt, and cream of tartar in the bowl of an electric mixer with the whisk attachment on medium speed until frothy.
  2. Then switch to high and add the remaining 1 cup of sugar.
  3. Beat till very stiff and glossy.
  4. Add remaining teaspoon of vanilla.
  5. Scoop or pipe 2 mounds of meringue on the parchment paper and bake for 20 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.
Assembly
  1. Pour creme anglaise on the bottom of a plate.
  2. Place a meringue on top, drizzle with caramel sauce, sprinkle with praline, and serve with spun sugar if desired!
Recipe by Hugs and Cookies XOXO at https://hugsandcookiesxoxo.com/floating-island/