Isla Flotante

From issue #10.
Photography by Becky Nunes.
Isla Flotante

This delicious dessert will look like an iceberg floating on the sabayon cream sauce. It is smooth, fresh and simple, yet still sophisticated. It has flavours of distant Argentina with its traditional “dulce de leche”, but also has a very Italian touch. Argentina, after all, has many roots and links with Italians, as is shown through its culture and food. It is my favourite dessert, and so I am glad to share it with you. Enjoy it with a good glass of Portuguese port or dessert wine.

Serves: 8 - 12


Dulce de leche
1 tin of condensed milk, or Highlander caramel
6 egg whites pinch of salt 8 tablespoons caster sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Sabayon cream
3 egg yolks 3 tablespoons caster sugar 2 cups milk 1 tablespoon cornflour 1⁄4 cup sweet Muscat wine


Dulce de leche: Traditionally dulce de leche is made by simmering milk and sugar for 4 hours. However, there are two easier options. The first is to cook a whole, unopened tin of condensed milk in a pan of boiling water for 2 hours. The tin must be immersed in water all the time. The other is to use pre-prepared caramelised condensed milk (Highlander caramel).

Caramel: Heat the sugar with the lemon juice in a small pot over a medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Increase the heat and boil until the sugar turns a rich caramel. Immediately pour into a 1.5 litre ring mould and swirl to coat the sides.

Cool, and then brush with melted butter. Spread 4 tablespoons of dulce de leche over the top of the butter, coating the entire surface. Refrigerate the remainder of the dulce de leche.

Island: Preheat the oven to 160°C, no fan. Put the egg whites and salt into a bowl and beat until soft peaks form. Add the sugar, spoon by spoon, continuously beating until the meringue is very thick and glossy. Add the vanilla extract.

Carefully spoon the meringue mixture into the ring pudding dish. Place the ring dish in a roasting pan and pour in warm water to come halfway up the side. Bake for about 30-40 minutes. Check with a skewer.
When the meringue is cooked, turn off the oven and leave it to cool with the door half open.

Sabayon: Combine the egg yolks, sugar, cornflour and milk in a saucepan. Cook over a low heat, stirring constantly. When the mixture just starts to thicken remove from the heat and strain the mixture into a bowl. Add the wine and stir regularly until cold.

To serve: Pour the sabayon into a deep serving plate (reserve a cup to serve separately). Run a blunt knife or small spatula around the edge of the meringue. Carefully invert onto the sabayon. Do this confidently, avoiding the temptation to shake the tin.

Chill. Decorate with strawberries and serve with the extra sabayon.
Serves 8-12