Top truf­fles

Learn to make an in­dul­gent Eggs Bene­dict

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COOK

Tom Aikens’ Ultimate Truf­fled Eggs Bene­dict with Parma ham, home­made hol­landaise and grated truf­fle I In cel­e­bra­tion of Na­tional Egg Week Tom’s Kitchen will of­fer up its own de­li­cious yolk porn dish for break­fast, brunch and din­ner next Satur­day (October 14). The Ultimate Truf­fled Eggs Bene­dict, priced at £19, will be served all day on World Egg Day and fea­tures a muf­fin topped with a poached egg, pro­sciutto and hol­landaise and grat­ings of truf­fle.

Na­tional Egg Week runs from October 9-15, so if you fancy mak­ing the recipe from Tom’s Kitchen owner Tom Aikens early, here’s how.

In­gre­di­ents (serves 4)

8 whole eggs 6 egg yolks 4 English muffins 6 slices of Parma ham Truf­fled hol­landaise sauce 120ml white wine vine­gar 2 round shal­lots, finely sliced 12 black pep­per­corns 1 sprig thyme and 1 sprig of tar­ragon 350g un­salted but­ter, cut into cubes Juice of 1⁄2 lemon 1 tsp of truf­fle paste Sea salt and freshly ground black pep­per

Method

First make the hol­landaise sauce. Put the vine­gar, shal­lots, pep­per­corns and herbs in a pan, bring to the boil and con­tinue to boil un­til re­duced by about two-thirds. Leave to cool to room tem­per­a­ture, then strain into a bowl and set aside.

Mean­while, clar­ify the but­ter – put the cubes in a pan over a gen­tle heat un­til melted. Skim the white foam off the sur­face, leav­ing only clear liq­uid. Set aside to cool un­til tepid, then care­fully tip into a clean bowl, leav­ing any solid residue in the bot­tom of the pan.

Place a metal bowl over a pan of gen­tly sim­mer­ing wa­ter and add the six egg yolks and the vine­gar re­duc­tion. Whisk the mix­ture over the heat un­til it is a pale, fluffy mass – this will take 8-10 min­utes.

Re­move from the heat and whisk vig­or­ously while adding the clar­i­fied but­ter to make a thick, creamy sauce. If the sauce gets too thick, add a lit­tle warm wa­ter. If it sep­a­rates, beat a fresh egg yolk with a spoon­ful of wa­ter in a clean bowl, then whisk the sep­a­rated sauce into that – it should mag­i­cally form a smooth sauce again.

Ad­just the flavour with a lit­tle lemon juice, truf­fle paste and salt and pep­per to taste. Keep warm un­til needed. The best way to do this is to put the sauce into a bowl and stand it in a pot of warm wa­ter, about 40-50°C. Cover the bowl with cling­film so a skin doesn’t form on the sauce.

POACH THE EGGS

Next, poach the eggs. Fill a large, shal­low pan with wa­ter, add some white wine vine­gar (about 2-4 ta­ble­spoons per litre of wa­ter) and bring to a sim­mer. The vine­gar will help the eggs hold their shape.

Break the eight eggs into sep­a­rate cof­fee cups or ramekins. When the wa­ter is sim­mer­ing, take a spoon or spat­ula and stir the wa­ter so it swirls around in the pan like a vor­tex. Add the eggs, one by one, as quickly as you can so they cook at the same time.

The swirling wa­ter keeps the eggs in a nice round shape, but you might have to move them around a lit­tle so they don’t stick to each other or to the bot­tom of the pan. Poach for three-four min­utes, un­til the whites of the eggs are soft and the yolks are runny. Mean­while, deep fry two slices of parma ham by at 170C un­til crispy.

DRY YOUR EGGS

Once the eggs are cooked, use a slot­ted spoon to trans­fer them to a small plate lined with kitchen pa­per. They need to dry off or they will make the toasted muffins soggy, which you do not want.

SER­VICE PLEASE

To serve, slice each muf­fin in half, toast them un­der the grill and spread with but­ter. Ar­range a slice of un­cooked Parma ham on top and put the muffins back un­der the grill briefly to warm. Sea­son the eggs with salt and pep­per, care­fully place one on each muf­fin half and la­dle over the truf­fle hol­landaise. Gar­nish with a half slice of the crispy fried Parma ham.

Tom’s Kitchen owner chef Tom Aikens

Ultimate Truf­fled Eggs Bene­dict, £19 will be avail­able at Tom’s Kitchen on October 14

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