I've recently started making Oeufs En Cocotte and I'm not sure if I've found anything I enjoy more for a Saturday breakfast. These baked eggs come out with a golden runny yolk, just like the simple soft boiled egg, but you can add lots of different things to them to fancy them up. They may be a fancier version, but no one will tell you off if you still want to dip soldiers into them.
One of my all-time favorite food writers, Nigella Lawson, does a quick, easy recipe that I've used many times from Nigella Express. The thing that I love most about this recipe is the luxurious addition of cream and truffle oil. I was given the teeniest bottle of the stuff for Christmas a few years back by my friend Claire and it lasts forever. Just a drop or two does the job. Nigella suggests, quite rightly, that you can add a little chopped ham, diced cooked mushrooms, a few herbs, or some sliced artichoke heart as flavor additions.
1080 Recipes by Simone and Ines Ortega also has a wonderful section on Eggs en cocotte, or Huevos En Cazuelitas, that explores different varieties such as kidneys in sherry, cheese and ham, tomato sauce and bacon, and mushrooms.
My Auntie Michelle recently gave me these lovely vintage Royal Worcester egg coddlers and I've adapted the baked eggs recipe to cook them in these. They are gorgeous at the breakfast table served on a plate with toast at their side.
Oeufs En Cocotte
Adapted from Nigella Express by Nigella Lawson
Butter for greasing
6 organic, free range eggs
1 1/2 tbsp of sea salt
6 tbsp heavy cream
1 1/2 tbsp white truffle oil
Preheat oven to 190C/375F and put a full kettle of water on to boil.
Dip a pastry brush in some softened butter and grease the inside of the ramekins and put them into an ovenproof tin or dish as you go. If you're adding extras, put them into the ramekins now.
Crack an egg into each ramekin, making sure not to break the yolk. You may want to do this in a small bowl first to ensure that you don't get any shell in it and then just slip the egg into the ramekin.
Add 1/4 tsp of salt, 1 tbsp of cream and 1/4 tsp of white truffle oil to each.
our boiling water into the tin or dish to come about halfway up each ramekin. Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Serve immediately.
If you're going to use coddlers, do all of the above the same, but without the oven. Put a pan of water on the stove top to boil. The water should come up just below the lids of the coddlers.
Repeat all of the steps above and place into the boiling water for about 7 minutes to set the egg white and keep the yolk nice and runny.