Beetroot and Brown Sugar Floating Islands on a Chocolate Custard Sea


I had borrowed Lauren’s vintage American waffle iron and she had borrowed my Sicilian cake stand for ages and ages. We both felt guilty. Today we did an amnesty and swapped objects. George made his sour dough waffle batter, Lauren did the waffle making and I finished off the Beetroot Floating Islands I had made to go alongside. Those waffles were the best I ever had!

As I’ve said in my previous post I came across beetroot powder a few days ago and realised I had never used it before. So I asked Instagram followers…..and here is another beetroot homage to @ellypear @caroltennant @ayamomochan for their thoughts….

You can buy the powder, as I’ve previously said, in Wholefoods or in Indian supermarkets…..The commercial powder is pretty, but as I found out, also pretty tasteless. Whereas the homemade powder I made, tasted like beetroot vegetable crisps, slightly sweet, but not earthy. They added another layer of flavour to the meringues, and of course gave them a gorgeous glow.

I sprinkled some of my homemade beetroot powder into the meringue whilst whisking and I also mixed some of the powder with edible Gum Arabic to make a paste and used this to marble the meringues too. See recipe.

Beetroot and Brown Sugar Floating Islands on a Chocolate Custard Sea

Soft pillows of sweet meringue floating on thick, rich chocolate….

  • 600 ml double cream
  • 300 ml milk
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • salt
  • 1 tablespoon beetroot powder
  • 100 g dark or muscovado sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornflour
  • 75 g caster sugar
  • If you’re very lucky, you have a Lauren and a George to make you sour dough waffles to accompany this….No? then a soft and crunchy something, would be a good idea along side.
  • Optional extra beetroot paste for marbling
  • 2 tablespoons beetroot powder
  • 1 tablespoon liquid gum arabic

1. Heat 300 ml of the double cream and the milk in a pan with the split vanilla pod.

2. Whisk 3 egg whites, with a pinch of salt, until the mixture looks like shaving foam, then gradually sprinkle the tablespoon of the beetroot powder in, followed by the brown sugar and whisk this til glossy.

3. OPTIONAL STEP – Mix the 2 tablespoons of beetroot powder with gum Arabic to make an edible paste.  I drizzle this beetroot paste over the surface of the meringue. As you scrape large spoonfuls of the meringue mixture from the bowl the beetroot paste creates a marbling effect to the meringues. (clever huh!)

4. Lower each large spoonful of the meringue into the gently simmering milk and cream liquid and cook for about 2-3 minutes or until they are puffy and slightly firmer.

5. Gently scoop the meringues out onto a tray when they’re ready, and make 3 more meringues with remaining mix.

6. Whisk the 3 egg yolks with the caster sugar and cornflour in a bowl, pour over the milk and cream mixture you’ve just used for poaching, and whisk again.

7. Scrape back into a clean pan and heat whisking all the time until it starts to thicken. Break the chocolate into the mix and beat until the chocolate has melted. Strain through a sieve into a clean bowl and stir in the remaining 300 ml of cream. Serve warm now or cover and refrigerate and serve chilled later.

8. Serve the beetroot meringues floating on their chocolate custard sea….. a sprinkling of edible flowers and some extra beetroot powder dusted over would just be silly nice….oh yea and waffles of some such…..

This entry was posted in Brunch, Eggs & Dairy, June, May, Puddings, Tea, Cakes & Confectionery, Vegetables and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Beetroot and Brown Sugar Floating Islands on a Chocolate Custard Sea

  1. Maxine says:

    @limonilabouche says….look at this for veg and fruit powders…..

  2. Wow! thanks! (to you and @limonilabouche) My world has been opened up even more! I can’t tell you how exciting this is for me! Now I need to find out how colour fast it is…….
    Brilliant! Thanks Max!

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