Oven, Stovetop, Electric hand mixer, Pot (small), Whisk, Frying pan, Baking dish, Mixing bowl, Pot (large)
Preheat the oven to 320°F. To make the caramel, heat half the sugar with equal parts water in a pot over medium heat.
Add a pinch of salt. Cook until it starts to caramelize, or about 5 min.
Pour the caramel into the bottom of a metal mixing bowl or small oven-proof pot. Swirl it evenly over the bottom of the bowl. Then set it aside to cool & harden.
Separate the egg whites from the yolks.
With a hand mixer, beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt. When they start to stiffen, add 2/3 of the remaining sugar & beat again.
Pour the beaten whites into the bowl with the caramel. Spread evenly over top the caramel.
Place the bowl in an oven-safe baking dish filled with 1-2 inches of hot water. Cover the bowl with a lid or aluminum foil. Bake for 15 min at 325°F.
If using a vanilla bean, cut it in half & scrape out the seeds. Reserve the pod.
Pour most of the milk into a pot over medium heat. Add the vanilla bean seeds & pod. Bring to a gentle boil, without scalding the milk.
In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch with the remaining bit of milk.
Find another bowl in your kitchen. In it, whisk together the rest of the sugar & the egg yolks.
Add the cornstarch-milk mixture to the egg yolks. Whisk until dissolved.
When the milk starts to boil, remove it from the heat. Pour the hot milk in 2-3 batches over the egg yolk mixture. Whisking vigorously between additions.
Remove the egg white bowl & baking dish from the oven. Uncover the egg white bowl. Continue to bake over the water bath for 30 min.
Pour the yolk-milk mixture back into the pot. Stir frequently over low heat, being careful to not let it boil as it thickens.
Once the mixture starts to thicken into a custard, pour it into a clean bowl. Place the bowl over an icy water bath to cool it down. Then refrigerate it for at least 1 hour.
After 30 min, remove the floating island of egg whites from the oven. Set the bowl of egg whites over an icy water bath to cool before removing from the bowl.
Toast the almonds in a dry pan over low heat until golden & fragrant.
Using a sharp knife, carefully loosen the egg white island from the edges of the bowl. Place a shallow serving dish over the bowl. Quickly flip over the island, so it sits in the dish with the caramel floating on top.
Spoon the cooled custard around the island. Drizzle any remaining caramel from the bowl over top. Sprinkle with toasted almonds.
You did it! Enjoy!
Average estimated amount for one serving
On average, one serving of the recipe "Caramel Floating Island" contains 1141 Energy, 23 g of Fat, 207 g of Carbohydrates, 24 g of Protein, 2 g of Fiber.