The website for the lovers of the french lifestyle Live in France like the French


PICTO GOURMAND Created with Sketch.

The floating island, 1 of the 10 favorite desserts of the French

Ranked in the top 10 favorite desserts of the French, the floating island has the particularity of being neither really solid with its light egg white-based mousse, nor totally liquid with its bed of custard. It appeared at the end of the 19th century and was invented by the legendary pioneer of French gastronomy, Auguste Escoffier.

A look back at a classic

Initially, this popular dessert was simply called "snow eggs", the main ingredient being those sweet egg whites which, once poached, cooked in a bain-marie or (mostly) whipped, accompanied a jelly or a liquid cream.
A very simple composition compared to that of Auguste Escoffier, which at the beginning of the 20th century consisted of cookies from Savoy soaked in kirsch and marasch, which, once covered with apricot jam, were coated with sweetened and vanilla Chantilly and then decorated with slivered pistachios, currants and chopped almonds.

It is assumed that the man who was one of the founders of French gastronomy was inspired by an 1880's dessert: a cooked and sweetened apple puree incorporated into egg whites previously beaten and perfumed with orange blossom, which were then placed on an upside down cream.

The floating island nowadays

Today's recipe is based on these two elements, prepared separately but served together: a custard decorated with egg whites beaten to a stiff consistency, which are first immersed for a few minutes in simmering milk (sweetened and flavored with vanilla like the cream).

The cooking of the "snow eggs" is very delicate because of the lightness of the white mousse, as well as the addition of other garnishes such as roasted almonds or crushed pralines and, depending on the region, caramel or lemon zest.

On the menu of every French restaurant, the floating island surely owes its timeless success to its aesthetic appearance and its poetic name. Or is it its apparent lightness that, compared to the more traditional pastries made with pastry and fruit, offers food lovers an attractive alternative?

To get started on this iconic French dessert, check out this recipe site and its mouth-watering videos.

Valérie from Comme des Français


Stay in this gourmet theme with these other articles