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Vanilla Floating Island

2 1/2 cups 2% low-fat milk
1 vanilla bean, split
1/4 cup sugar
4 teaspoons cornstarch
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
vegetable cooking spray
1 teaspoon sugar
4 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 ounce bittersweet chocolate, grated

Pour milk into a heavy saucepan. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean;
add seeds and bean to milk. Cook over low heat 20 minutes; discard
vanilla bean. Combine 1/4 cup sugar and cornstarch; add to milk
mixture, stirring well. Gradually stir about one-fourth of hot milk
mixture into egg yolk; add to remaining hot milk mixture, stirring
constantly. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring
constantly. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly (mixture will not
be thick). Pour into a bowl; cool slightly, and cover surface with
plastic wrap. Chill thoroughly (mixture will thicken slightly).

Coat a 1-quart metal bowl with cooking spray; sprinkle with 1
teaspoon sugar. Set aside. Beat egg whites (at room temperature)
at high speed of an electric mixer until foamy. Gradually add 1/2
cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form.
Add vanilla extract, and beat 10 seconds. Spoon mixture into prepared
bowl; gently smooth surface of mixture with a spatula. Place bowl
in an 8-inch square baking pan; add hot water to pan to a depth of
1 inch. Bake at 325 deg for 20 minutes or until slightly puffed
and set. Invert island into a shallow dish. Pour sauce around
island, and sprinkle with grated chocolate.

Yield: 5 servings (serving size: 1 wedge and 1/2 cup sauce).


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