Floatin' island malfunction

Joined Jun 20, 2011
Everytime i poach my meringues they flatten out. Is there any way to preven this from happening ? Should i use italian meringue or swiss meringue for this ?
Joined Jun 27, 2011
You might want to read sweetaholic's post where the same problem has occurred with Italian meringue.
Joined Mar 20, 2010
Do you mean Oeufs a la neige-these are poached, floating island is baked? 

For oeufs a la neige I'd personally use French meringue-and would make sure the whites are at room temperature before whisking  (I once worked with a guy who warmed the whites slighlty before whisking in a bain maire-he said it made them more stable), also be sure not to overwhisk (the whites become grainy and less stable).

Hope this helps
Joined Jul 28, 2001

post your recipe. The meringues will sometimes lose there volume when no salt is used.

The eggs is the French name, Floating islands is the American name. The process is interchangeable.

You can poach,  or bake in h2o bath, or poach and bake.

I personally think they are best kept overnight chilled.

Joined Feb 13, 2008
With respect to Panini, "Floating Island" is the English translation of the French "Ile Flottante."  It is not American for Ouefs a la Niege.  Usually Ouefs a la Niege (Eggs in Snow) and Ile Flottante are the same.  However, occasionally they're not.  When there is a difference the meringue "islands" are sometimes layered with cake (or something else), but the meringue for Ouefs a la Niege is ALWAYS just meringue.  Is this important?  Not really.

It's not exactly never fail, but you may want to look up Paul Bocuse's version of "Floating Islands Gisou."  Like so much Bocuse, it is straightforward in concept, technique and ingredients, and to die for.

Whether your meringue is flottante or in snow, you do not want Swiss or Italian.  Just beat the sugar into the room temperature egg whites in the regular, French way (h/t cakeface).  Your eggs will hold better volume through the poaching process if you use a pinch of salt, cream of tartar, or a few drops of lemon juice when you beat them.  They will also hold more volume if you use a plain copper bowl and a big, thin wire balloon whisk and beat by hand.  But mostly they will hold more volume if they are very, very FRESH.  More than likely, the supermarket was not your friend.  You may want to look around for a better supplier.

Most people don't even try cooking at this level.  Applaud yourself instead of being so critical.  No, really.  I insist.


PS.  Pardon the liberties I've taken with capitalization.  The point is, names are titles.  Also, pardon the lack of appropriate accent marks.  Assume, charitably, I know where they go, and I'll do the same, correctly, for you.
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Joined Jul 28, 2001
with respect to boar-d-laze, I think I refered to American.  If you see floating Islands on the menu here in America you will probably receive meringue.

If you see oeufs a la neige   on the menu here in America you will probably receive meringues. Order them in Europe you might get sponge and jam.  

I have a lot of respect for Chef Bocuse, but certainly not a pastry mentor, for me. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smoking.gif
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Joined Sep 5, 2008
Originally Posted by panini 

If you see oeufs a la neige on the menu here in America you will probably receive meringues. Order them in Europe you might get sponge and jam.  
I think you got it backwards: BDL insisted that oeufs à la neige is always just meringue. 

Growing up in France we always used both terms interchangeably, and I've personally never heard of (nor seen) iles flottantes where the meringue was layered with cake - but growing up I hated that dessert and although my mum served it to us on a regular basis at home, when going out I personally never ordered it.... and it's not like I have any experience in pro pastry making. 
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Joined Jul 28, 2001
Oh well.

I don't really know anymore. All I personally know is when you having snow eggs in Paris,Lyon,Zurich, you will be having merengues.

The only place I've seen flottant is on wikopedia. I should probably always visit there before I post something.

course I did not grow up in Europe, I grew up in a different country, the South Bronx/img/vbsmilies/smilies/smoking.gif
Joined Jul 28, 2001

  It appears the I owe an apology to Monsieur d-laze and Fries.

I was asking my wife about floating islands. I explained what I knew and wondered what she thought because we've spent time

with her family who are in France and Switzerland. She asked to see the thread. After she finished, she looked at me with eyes wide open and told

me, those people are saying the same thing you just told me. For Real? We both suffer greatly from something called chemo brain. Her's short term

mine long term. So I guess agree with you all.


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