I try not to make resolutions in the New Year, mostly because I always break them about thirty seconds after I make them. I prefer goals. Of course, I generally fall short of those, too, but it doesn’t stop me. My goal this year is to get back on the Daring Bakers and Daring Cooks wagon. To that end, the first challenge of the year for the Daring Cooks was given to us from Kim at Ask a Foodie. Making sure that no matter where in the world we are, we’d have a bit of snow by making Ouefs a la Neige or Eggs in Snow. It’s pretty similar to Floating Islands—meringues in Crème Anglaise—only the meringues in this case are poached, not baked.
Full disclosure: I don’t enjoy Crème Anglaise or any vanilla pudding-type desserts. I turn down vanilla ice cream and milkshakes and crème brulee and even flan. I don’t know if it’s a milk thing or a texture thing. I suppose a combination of both. This isn’t a dessert I’d normally make, order, or serve; however, it was fun to make, and it was certainly a challenge.
The recipes we were provided by Kim. The crème Anglaise and poached meringues are from The Encyclopedia of Classic French Pastries by Susan Whatley, and the praline recipe was from Rachel Khoo. Since I am not a fan of this type of dessert, I reduced the original recipe down to a third of the original. It reduced well and was more than enough for two large servings. I will give the full recipe ingredients list at the bottom of the post.
Apologies for the photos. Since I have been away, some things have changed, and I just have not caught up with how to share the photos between my Flickr account and WordPress. That or I have just forgotten. I’ll figure it out eventually.
Oefs a la Neige
2 large egg whites, yolks reserved
Pinch of salt
¼ cup granulated sugar
7 oz. whole milk (a little less than a cup)
Whip egg whites and salt to soft peaks.
Gradually add the sugar. Increase speed to high & whip to stiff peaks.
Over medium heat, bring milk to a boil in a heavy saucepan; reduce it to a simmer.
With two spoons, spoon the meringue in an oval shape into the simmering milk. Poach each side between 2-3 minutes, turning once. They puff, so don’t try more than two or three at a time. Remove with a slotted spoon to drain on a plate.
2 large egg yolks (reserved from the meringue)
¼ cup granulated sugar
1/8 tsp vanilla
Remaining warm milk from poaching egg whites
In a heavy medium sauce pan, mix yolks, sugar, salt, and vanilla together until pale yellow in color.
Add a small amount of the warm milk, whisking vigorously. Slowly add the remaining milk. Stir until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Do not boil because it will curdle. This step takes a little while, but it does get there.
Pour mixture through a strainer. Chill custard.
7 tbsp. granulated sugar
2 tbsp. less 1 tsp. water
½ cup slivered almonds
Bring water & sugar to a boil.
Add almonds. Keep stirring. When the sugar turns golden, pour mixture onto a silpat or parchment paper to cool. Mine seized,
so I added more water and it looked like everything was okay…
until it cooled, then I had huge sugar crystals everywhere.
Delicious, but not what I wanted.
To serve, place the chilled crème anglaise in a shallow dish
and top it with the poached meringues and pralines.
Yield 6 servings
6 large egg whites
¾ cups sugar
2 ½ cups whole milk
6 large egg yolks
¾ cup sugar
1/8 tsp salt
½ tsp. vanilla
Remaining warm milk from meringue poaching