I was reminded recently, over a great but ridiculously sweaty breakfast at Epicurious, an ultra-popular cafe along Robertson Quay, just how much I enjoy baked eggs for breakfast. Of course, I am a egg freak to begin with; I could happily eat eggs for brekkie seven days a week.Epicurious’ baked eggs were lusciously runny. Cooked with a generous helping of bacon and cream, and served with toast soldiers, they are simple yet entirely satisfying.
After that breakfast, I became a little obsessed, as I often do, with having great baked eggs at home. For the next week, I made baked eggs every single morning, trying to perfect cooking times and temperatures, while also trying to decide what the best combination of ingredients would be.
I’ve decided that my favourite combo is a pretty simple one, bacon and spinach with a hollandaise cream sauce and topped with gruyere. The recipe is below. Please note that your oven may require you to adjust the time. Plus you may prefer your eggs a tad more cooked or a tad runnier.
Baked eggs with spinach and bacon
2 tablespoons bacon lardons
2 tablespoons finely chopped spinach
2 tablespoons Roza’s Hollandaise
2 tablespoons cream
3 tablespoons grated gruyere
salt and pepper
You’ll need 2 medium ramekins or glass cocottes. I really like the Wagenfeld egg coddlers. Make sure whatever you use is large enough for 2 eggs plus the additional ingredients.
Preheat your oven to 190 °C.
In a small saucepan, over medium heat, fry lardons until crispy. Then add spinach and stir for 30 seconds to a minute. Then add the Hollandaise and stir. Then add cream, stir and reduce the sauce for about 1-2 minutes. You want it thick and yummy.
I find that with Roza’s Hollandaise, I don’t actually need to adjust the seasoning of my sauce, but you may like your sauce saltier or more peppery. Taste and adjust accordingly.
Spoon a little bit of the spinach-lardons-sauce into the bottom of the ramekins. Then crack 2 eggs into each. Spoon the rest of the spinach-lardon mix over the top. Sprinkle 1.5 tablespoons of the gruyere over each ramekin. Pop them into the oven for 16 minutes or until the cream on top gets all brown and bubbly.
Serve with toast soldiers.