The Classic Dessert David Lebovitz Loves

David Lebovitz is a famous pastry chef turned loveable food blogger. Lebovitz is most well-known for his stint at famed Berkeley, California, restaurant Chez Panisse. After working for over three decades as a pastry chef, he published his first cookbook, Room for Dessert, in 1999; Lebovitz started his personal website to share his recipes and personal stories that same year. His site-turned-blog has been going strong for over 20 years (per David Lebovitz). He's earned several accolades, including being named one of the top five pastry chefs in the Bay Area by the San Francisco Chronicle.

He celebrates French cuisine and culture, and even moved to Paris to hone his craft. He has a love for good bread, chocolate, and desserts (per ABC 7). He also has a strong penchant for ice cream — his book "The Perfect Scoop" has several recipes for ice cream, custards, granitas, and other cold confectionaries. Lebovitz loves American desserts that are recognizable and accessible, but his favorite one takes a page right out of France's most classic desserts.

A feast for the eyes and the stomach

David Lebovitz's favorite dessert's fancy name is Île flottante. This translates to "floating island," as the dessert literally looks like it's floating. In an interview with Eater, Lebovitz said about the dessert, "One of my all-time favorite desserts is floating island, and people either love it or hate it." A floating island is a French dessert that is essentially a meringue that is floating atop creme Anglaise or vanilla custard (per Taste Atlas). Lebovitz joins Julia Child as having floating island as a favorite dessert (per Taste of Home).

According to Mashed, a floating island is made by combining eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla, salt, and water. Optional add-ins for flavor include liqueur, like cognac or Grand Marnier. It takes less than an hour to prepare and requires no fancy or specialized equipment. The island is made from meringue, which is whipped egg whites mixed with sugar (per C&H). The meringue floats atop a custard, which is made by mixing egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch, then whisking until thick.

Lebovitz prefers his floating island with caramel sauce. A traditional French Île flottante has garnishes of caramel sauce or spun sugar — the sugar adds a nice crunch to the otherwise creamy dish. With all the sugar, it's extremely sweet, so tart berries are often added to curb the sweetness (per Taste of Home).