The delights of meringue lie in its delicate texture, its airy structure, and the way it snaps in the mouth then melts away on the tongue. But eaten alone sometimes it seems too austere — a nonfat sweet for dieters. But not in this recipe from the February issue of Martha Stewart Living. Here the charms of meringue are deepened by a gilding of caramel and a pool of crème anglaise.
Yes, chocolate is the traditional trapping of Valentine's Day, but we'd take caramel this year, please, if it came with this lovely airy cloud of meringue. This dessert takes its cue from floating islands, a classic French dessert.
We also really like the way this dessert is done. Meringue is often piped into little cookies or crisps, and while this is beautiful, it's also an extra step (a messy one). This recipe just has you pack the meringue into a bundt pan and bake in a water bath. It's simpler, and rather more dramatic to serve.
And then the caramel (and the custard sauce!) — did we mention the caramel?
• Get the recipe: Ile Flottante with Caramel at Martha Stewart
(Image: Martha Stewart)