One of the trickiest desserts I have ever made is called Floating Islands. I absolutely adore it, it is actually top three in my list and I have not had it for so long. When I was little I used to rush into my grandparents kitchen to see if Abuela Tirsa had made some and a lot of times it was there. Soft and creamy custard with crispy caramel and fluffy as clouds so called "islands" made of meringue, there they were. I used to have three or four servings of it sitting by myself in the kitchen while my cousins played in the backyard.
Yesterday I woke up with those memories in my mind and decided to go on the journey of making them. So, while my baby was taking nap number one, I started by making the custard. It turned out real well I must say. Added a little sweet rum and extra vanilla to cover the eggy taste that my husband sometimes dislikes. I knew Santi's nap was not gonna last long, so I waited for second round nap, then I started with the meringue. It was just as I remembered it until I put it in the oven. They rose real well, beautiful islands ready to go on that sea of custard, but as soon as I got them out they started deflating like balloons.
Yes, I remembered. This is one tricky dessert.
Trying not to get too discouraged. I placed the sad, dessert brown islands on top of the custard and I ventured into making the caramel. Minutes after I set it up, my son wakes up screaming like a wild beast (cute one that he is) - hungry as a lion, he didn't care that my caramel was in the middle of that magic moment. Between slightly gold and amber. I sat down, told him to be quick and fed him after turning down the heat. I knew better, it was gonna get ruined. But did not know how ruined.
Next thing I know, the fire alarm goes off, I start running into the kitchen with baby still attached to me, turn the fire off, open the door, silence the alarm, get the phone that is ringing, turn on the fan and start the extractor.... outside my window, I can see two fire trucks pulling into my driveway. Five firefighters come down and rush into the porch to only see burnt caramel and a baby in distress.
They asked me if everything was fine, came into the kitchen, saw the damaged dessert and asked what it was (such a sad moment) made sure we were okay and as they started walking out, baby calmed down looked at them and said, clear as day: "agua, agua!!!".
I promise you all. I will conquer the floating islands. I will!