My favourite desserts star any derivative of whipped egg whites, be it meringue, soufflé, or marshmallows, so when I saw this savoury recipe for "egg clouds" from The Perfect Egg by Teri Lyn Fisher and Jenny Park, I scrambled to make it. The concept is simple: beat egg whites until stiff, then form them into little cloud nests to hold the egg yolks. They bake until the egg whites turn golden brown and the yolk sets slightly. This is by far the easiest and most stunning way to present eggs for a large gathering, but it's simple enough to scale down for a weekend brunch too.
This simple dish is as delicious to eat as it is appealing to look at, with whole creamy yolks and a cloud of egg whites baked to perfection. For an even more flavourful treat, add one or more of your favourite ingredients to the beaten whites before baking. We've enjoyed mixing in crumbled cooked breakfast sausage or bacon, or sautéed diced yellow onion and bell pepper seasoned with minced fresh herbs.
- 8 eggs
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 190˚C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Separate the eggs, being careful to keep the egg yolks whole. Put the egg whites in a clean bowl and beat with a stand mixer or handheld mixer on medium-high speed until medium-stiff peaks form that hold their shape when the beater is lifted but are not at all dry. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the Parmesan and salt in a few quick strokes, taking care not to deflate the whites.
- Scoop the egg white mixture onto the prepared baking sheet in 8 mounds, using 1/2 to 3/4 cup for each mound and spacing the mounds at least 1 inch apart. Using the back of a spoon, create a small well in the centre of each mound. Carefully place an egg yolk in each well.
- For creamy yolks, bake for 14 to 16 minutes, until the yolks have set and the whites are light golden brown. For runny yolks, remove from the oven after 8 to 10 minutes.
- Season with salt and pepper and serve hot.
Source: Reprinted with permission from The Perfect Egg, by Teri Lyn Fisher and Jenny Park, copyright © 2015, published by Ten Speed Press
- North American
- 8 eggs