The truth is that life is delicious, horrible, charming, frightful, sweet, bitter, and that is everything.
~ Anatole France
(Recipe to come after we conduct taste tests!)
3 eggs, separated
2 cups espresso, cooled (I used instant coffee – make this VERY strong – with at least 3 times the amount of coffee powder you’d usually use with that amount of water)
4 tbsp French Vanilla Kahlua (or other Kahlua/brandy)
4 tbsp caster sugar
250g mascarpone cheese
170ml thickened or whipped cream (optional)
16 large sponge fingers
Dark chocolate, chopped, or cocoa powder
6 ramekins for serving
Prepare the espresso and chill it in the fridge/freezer till it is at least room temperature.
Beat egg yolks and sugar until thick and pale. Add the mascarpone cheese and kahlua/brandy, and beat the mixture until just combined. Fold in the thickened cream if using.
In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the mascarpone mixture.
Spoon one tablespoon of the mixture into each ramekin, using the back of the spoon to spread it across the bottom. Break the sponge fingers to fit the ramekins, dip them in the espresso and shake them so they are not dripping, and arrange them in a tight, single layer on top of the mixture. Spread another layer of mixture on top, followed by another layer of sponge fingers. Finish with a final layer of mixture, then sprinkle the chopped chocolate bits or cocoa powder evenly over it.
Cover the ramekins with plastic wrap and refrigerate them for at least 6 hours before serving.
I myself prefer my New Zealand eggs for breakfast.
~ Elizabeth II
3.30pm, eggs on the bench, ramekins in the cupboard and trusty Google open on my laptop – this is how I came to have some magnifique oeuf cocotte for lunch today.
It was so simple to make, and this recipe is one I anticipate being able to easily tweak and experiment with without devastating consequences!
I ate my oeuf cocotte standing in the kitchen, reading an e-mail from a friend, feeling a tingle of pleasure travel slowly up my spine… the melted cheese, a warm wave of comfort and gentleness, slipped slowly over and under my tongue. The eggs were just cooked – not rubbery in the slightest. The bits of broccoli were soft, capsicum slightly crunchy – both were oh-so-sweet. The herbs, salt and pepper provided subtle and necessary flavour.
And of course, all this goodness was contained inside my white ramekins (I’m glad I made 2 small portions to double the goodness) – what can I say? Food served in ramekins mysteriously increases in tastiness and elegance.
handful of diced broccoli
handful of diced capsicum
handful of grated cheese
1 tbsp cream cheese
Preheat the oven to 220 degrees C. Grease a small ramequin, lay vegetables and cream cheese at the bottom, and break the egg on top. Sprinkle salt and pepper on top. Top with cheese and dried herbs, rubbing the herbs between your fingers as you sprinkle them to release the flavour.
Put the ramequin in a deep ovenproof dish, and pour hot water in the dish to about half the height of the ramequin. Put in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on how runny you like your eggs (mine were perfect at 10).
You can sprinkle on paprika and fresh herbs, and serve with warm crusty bread as suggested on Chocolate & Zucchini – but I ate them just the way they were, and it was perfect for me.
Yields 1 serving (I made 2 of these today).