Archive of BBC Food Recipes

Floating island with strawberry coulis and summer fruit

Prep time 30 mins to 1 hour
Cook time 30 mins to 1 hour
Serves 6
Dietary Vegetarian
These pretty floating island desserts sit delicately on a summer fruit coulis rather than a traditional crème anglaise.


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.

  2. Grease the insides of six dariole moulds by brushing them with the softened butter.

  3. For the cream cheese mixture, beat the cream cheese, icing sugar, lemon zest and a squeeze of lemon juice in a large bowl until well combined. Chill in the fridge until needed.

  4. For the strawberry coulis, heat the strawberries and raspberries in a large pan for 4-5 minutes, or until they start to break down.

  5. Add the icing (or caster) sugar and continue to cook the fruit for a further 2-3 minutes, or until the sugar has dissolved.

  6. Transfer the coulis mixture to a food processor and blend until smooth, adding a splash of water to the mixture if necessary to loosen. Strain the coulis through a sieve and set aside to cool. Chill in the fridge until needed.

  7. For the floating islands, make a meringue mixture: whisk the egg whites in a bowl until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed. Add the sugar and vanilla seeds and continue to whisk until stiff, glossy peaks form when the whisk is removed. Transfer the mixture to a piping bag and set aside.

  8. For the caramel, heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and add the sugar. Cook the sugar until it has dissolved and formed a caramel.

  9. Pour a little of the caramel into each of the dariole moulds and tip the moulds to line them with the caramel.

  10. Pipe some of the meringue mixture into each mould.

  11. Arrange the moulds in a roasting tray. Add enough boiling water to reach halfway up the sides of the moulds and bake in the oven for 7-8 minutes, or until the meringue has just set.

  12. To serve, drizzle a little of the coulis into each of six serving bowls. Sprinkle the raspberries, strawberries and melon into the bowls. Turn out one floating island into each bowl, spooning over any excess caramel from the mould. Place a quenelle of the cream cheese mixture alongside each serving.


  • knob of butter, softened, for greasing

For the cream cheese mixture

  • 225g/8oz cream cheese
  • 100g/3½oz icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 lemon, zest only, plus a squeeze of the lemon juice

For the strawberry coulis

  • 200g/7¼oz strawberries, hulls removed, cut in half
  • 200g/7¼oz raspberries
  • 75g/2½ oz icing sugar, sifted (or caster sugar)

For the floating islands

  • 220g/7¾oz egg whites
  • 230g/8¼oz caster sugar
  • 2 vanilla pods, seeds scraped out using a sharp knife
  • 50g/2oz pistachios, shells removed, finely chopped (optional)

For the caramel

  • 100g/3½oz caster sugar

To serve

  • 150g/5¼oz raspberries
  • 16 strawberries, hulls removed, cut into quarters
  • 1 small white-fleshed melon, such as Honeydew, peeled, seeds removed, flesh finely diced
  • 1 small orange-fleshed melon, such as canteloupe, peeled, seeds removed, flesh very finely diced

Shopping List

Floating island with strawberry coulis and summer fruit

Fruit and vegetables

Cooking ingredients

Dairy, eggs and chilled

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