To make the coffee creme Anglaise, pour
the milk, cream and coffee into a pan and heat to boiling point. In a
large bowl, whisk the egg yolks, brown sugar and cornstarch together
until creamy. Whisk in the hot coffee mixture, then pour the entire
mixture back into the pan. Heat for 1-2 minutes, stirring until the
sauce thickens. Take off the heat and leave to cool, stirring
occasionally. Pour back into the bowl.
Cover the bowl with clear film (plastic
wrap) and place in the refrigerator. For the caramel, put the sugar in a
small heavy pan with 45 ml/3 tablespoons water and heat very gently
until dissolved. Boil rapidly until the syrup turns a rich golden color.
Off the heat, carefully add 45 ml/3 tablespoons hot water - it will
splutter. Leave to cool.
To make the meringues, whisk the egg
whites until stiff. Combine the sugar and star anise; add to the egg
whites. Pour 2.5 cm/1 in boiling water into a large frying pan. Add the
salt and bring to a gently simmer. Shape the meringue into small ovals,
using two spoons, and add to the water. Poach four or five of the
meringues at a time for about 3 minutes, until firm.
Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on
kitchen paper. Repeat with the remaining mixture. To serve, spoon a
little coffee creme Anglaise on to each serving plate. Float two or
three "island" on top, then drizzle with caramel sauce.