Eggs in snow” or “oeufs a la neige” or “ovos nevados“… conveys the same delight in any language: a classy, delicious, impressive dessert, that’s surprisingly simple to make. Besides that, you can prepare its components in advance, which is the golden rule for a relaxed host.


(adapted from several sources)

for the creme anglaise
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp cornstarch (optional)
1 + 1/2 cup boiling milk

for the meringue
4 egg whites
6 Tbs sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 tsp salt

for the caramel glaze
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup water

Thinly sliced almonds (optional)

Prepare the creme anglaise: beat the sugar and yolks with an electric mixer for a few minutes, until the color turns pale yellow and the texture becomes somewhat thick (ribbon stage). Beat in the cornstarch, if you decide to use it, and while still beating, slowly add the hot milk without scorching the egg yolks.
Transfer the mixture to a saucepan and warm over low heat, while constantly stirring. Don’t let it boil, but bring the temperature to 170F on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat and pass it through a fine sieve to remove any bits of egg yolk that might ruin the texture of the creme anglaise. Put it in the fridge until ready to assemble the dessert.

Prepare the meringue:
Starting with egg whites at room temperature, beat them with the vanilla, cream of tartar, and salt until soft peaks form. Add the sugar and continue beating at very high speed, until the peaks are all glossy and thick.
Heat water in a large skillet to 180F (at this point, the water will form bubbles on the edges). Using two tablespoons or an ice cream scoop, spoon mounds of meringue and gently dislodge them into the water. You can cook several at the same time, making sure that the water never boils. If it does the meringues will disintegrate. Cook them for 3-4 minutes per side, then transfer to a baking sheet lined with a soft cloth to drain any excess water. Reserve in the fridge.

When ready to assemble the dessert, add about 1/4 cup of creme anglaise to the serving dish and add 3 cooked meringues to the dish. Sprinkle on some almonds and glaze everything with streams of caramel, made as follows:

Add the sugar to a small saucepan, drizzle the water on top. Set the mixture over medium-low heat, and gently swirl the pan until the sugar dissolves. Then, increase the heat to high, cover the pan, and boil the caramel for 2 minutes. Remove the lid and continue boiling until the sugar turns amber. Place the bottom of the pan in cold water to rapidly cool it, and working quickly, dip a fork in the caramel and allow it to stream through the tines of the fork onto the  cooked meringue and almonds.

Serve immediately, or keep in the fridge for 1-2 hours.


to print the recipe, click here

Comments: If you’ve never made “oeufs a la neige“, then please consider it for your next dinner party, or for a romantic night with your partner (V-day is just around the corner…). The cooked meringue is like a sweet cloud in your mouth, that’s drenched in silky creme anglaise, and finished with a perfect counterpart, the crunchy caramel drizzle. I sometimes omit the almonds, but they do add another flavor and texture.

Don’t be intimidated by cooking the meringue. It’s simple and straightforward… Start by beating the egg whites to the soft peaks stage…

then, form the meringues one by one and release them into a large pan of water not quite at the boiling point, transfering them to the lined baking dish as they finish cooking. It’s better to use cloth than paper, because they are delicate and might dry too much on the paper.

We find three large meringues makes a nice individual dessert. You can also spoon them from a single, large bowl, but I like the individual presentation much more….



para o creme ingles
4 gemas de ovos
1 / 2 xícara de açúcar
1 colher de chá de maizena (opcional)
1 + 1 / 2 xicara de leite fervente

para o merengue
4 claras de ovos
1 colher de cha’ de baunilha
1 / 4 de colher de cha’ de sal

para o caramelo
2 / 3 de xícara de açúcar
1 / 4 de xícara de água

amêndoas em fatias finas (opcional)

Prepare o creme ingles: bata o açúcar e as gemas com uma batedeira por alguns minutos, até que a textura se torne um pouco espessa. Se for usar maizena, adicione e continue batendo sempre. Adicione o leite devagar, pouco a pouco, para nao cozinhar as gemas.
Transfira a mistura para uma panela e aqueca em fogo baixo, mexendo constantemente. Não deixe ferver, mas leve a temperatura ate’ 75 graus Celsius, preferivelmente usando um termometro. Retire do fogo e passe o creme por uma peneira fina para remover eventuais pedacinhos de gema de ovo cozidas que podem arruinar a textura do creme. Coloque-o na geladeira até a hora de montar a sobremesa.

Prepare o merengue: Começando com claras de ovos em temperatura ambiente, misture com a baunilha, e o sal até formar picos moles. Adicione o açúcar e continue batendo em velocidade muito alta, até que os picos se tornem brilhantes e espessos.

Aquecer água em uma frigideira grande ate 85 graus Celsius (neste ponto, a água irá formar bolhas nas bordas). Usando duas colheres de sopa, forme merengues e delicadamente coloque na agua quente. Você pode cozinhar vários ao mesmo tempo, mantendo a agua abaixo do ponto de fervura. Cozinhe por 3-4 minutos de cada lado, e transfira para uma assadeira forrada com um pano macio para drenar todo o excesso de água. Reserve na geladeira.

Quando estiver pronto para montar a sobremesa, adicione cerca de 1 / 4 xícara de creme anglaise ao prato e coloque 3 merengues flutuando em cima. Espalhe algumas amêndoas e decore com caramelo, feito da seguinte forma:

Adicione o açúcar em uma panela pequena, regue com a agua. Coloque a mistura em fogo médio-baixo e mexa suavemente a panela até que o açúcar se dissolva. Então, aumente o fogo, ferva a mistura com a panela tampada por 2 minutos. Retire a tampa e continue a ferver até que o açúcar fique com cor de âmbar. Coloque o fundo da panela com água fria para resfriá-la rapidamente, e trabalhando rapidamente, mergulhe um garfo no caramelo e deixe que fios do mesmo caiam sobre a sobremesa.

Sirva imediatamente, ou mantenha na geladeira por 1-2 horas.


    • Thanks, Zeb

      I was going to mention the “iles flotantes” in the comments, but thought the post was already too big…

      the iles flotantes, from what I read, is a slightly different presentation, in which instead of small meringues, the full amount is served on top of the creme anglaise, like a large island floating in the sea 🙂

      in that case, I guess pieces are cut and served to each guest. I’ve never made it that way, somehow I find it a little tricky to cook the large meringue.


    • Big ooops… I’m going to add that right away.

      I added 6 Tbs sugar (normally it would call for 2 Tbs per egg white, but I reduce the amount slightly)

      edited reply to add: I added the amount of sugar and changed the printable version too. Great that you let me know about this, I had a chance to correct a typo that had escaped me in the original version…


  1. That’s great, thanks. I have a friend who’s gluten intolerant and she’s crazy about meringue desserts and loves caramel sauce, this is a perfect surprise for her.


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