Petit Feast Masthead
BennyFeature4

Recipe: Baby Bennies

Chrissy Dupé

Nothing says I love you like Benedict in bed. That’s eggs, not Cumberbatch! Get your minds out of the gutter, people.

Eggs Benedict is one of my absolute favourite breakfasts. In the words of the great philosopher, Kanye West, “Imma let you finish, but Eggs Benedict had one of the best sauces of all time”. I mean, it’s one of the five mother sauces of France for goodness sake.

I must admit, I am a terrible Hollandaise snob. It has to be creamy and silky but also lemony and zingy at the same time. And that heinous ‘mayonnaise masquerading as hollandaise’ rubbish they serve up at some cafés is most definitely NOT ok. You may as well bring out some hard boiled eggs, whack a bit of plastic cheese on top and wash it down with some Moccona while you’re at it.

BennyFeature3

I do find that while I order Eggs Benedict often, I don’t always end up finishing it. Two eggs, two muffins, ham, hollandaise sauce and tomatoes (which often comes with it) is a bit to get through. Plus, true to form, I nearly always feel like something sweet half way through… *not so subtly eyes off brunch companion’s half-eaten french toast*.

BennyFeature1

So when I make it at home, I like to make individual bennies you can serve up one at a time as part of a brunch menu where you might serve a cute little hotcake short stack or french toast fingers to balance out the savoury with some sweetness. You could also do a couple of super mini bennies with little quail eggs if you wanted to, depending on what takes your fancy.

BennyFeature2

While nailing the perfect poached eggs is obviously of the utmost importance here, the most critical thing is to create a kick-ass Hollandaise; one that has just the right balance of flavours. The key is to make sure you whisk the butter in very slowly and make sure it’s incorporated before adding more, so you don’t split the sauce.

You want to end up with a glossy, velvety finish that’s nice and thick but still pours smoothly. And you need to add just enough fresh lemon juice and cayenne pepper to give you a perfect balance of buttery creaminess, citrus and spice, so it packs a little punch when you take your first delicious mouthful.

It can take a little practice to get it just right. But let me tell you, it is so worth it when you nail it.

Baby bennies with the perfect Hollandaise

Prep time: 10 mins

Cook Time: 35 mins

Serves: 2-4 (depending on how hungry you are)

Ingredients

4 eggs

4 English muffin halves (cut a circle cut out of middle with a plating ring and use the circle as the base for your baby bennies and use the outside part for toad in a hole for breakfast tomorrow!)

4 slices of smoked sliced ham

3 vine-ripened tomatoes, quartered

Small bunch of fresh thyme

Pinch of brown sugar

Olive oil

Tbsp white vinegar

Sprinkling of chives, sliced finely to serve

Salt and cracked black pepper

Hollandaise sauce

2 egg yolks

130g butter

pinch of salt

1 tsp water

½ tsp white wine vinegar

1½ tsp fresh lemon juice

½ tsp cayenne pepper

Instructions

Preheat oven to 160c (fan-forced).

Place tomatoes in a baking dish. Add a dash of olive oil, season with salt and cracked pepper.

Throw in some thyme leaves and sprinkle over a pinch of brown sugar. Mix well to coat and put into the oven for 20 minutes.

Fill a large saucepan with water and bring to a very low simmer for the poached eggs later on (only a few tiny bubbles should be rising to the surface from the bottom). Add a tablespoon of white vinegar and a pinch of salt.

Put your muffin circles in the toaster ready to go and set your ham aside.

For the Hollandaise sauce

Melt the butter in a saucepan and skim the white solids off the surface, discarding. Cover the clarified butter and set aside.

Put about 2 cups of water into a small saucepan and heat the water until just simmering.

Put the egg yolks, ½ tsp white wine vinegar, pinch of salt and ½ tsp cold water in a metal or glass bowl that will fit over your small saucepan. Whisk just in the bowl (not over the saucepan yet), for about 3 minutes until it starts to become a little bit frothy and pale slightly.

Then sit the bowl over the saucepan with the barely simmering water and whisk constantly until the mixture is pale and thick (about 5 minutes).

Remove the bowl from the heat and gradually whisk in the melted butter, a little at a time, waiting until each addition is incorporated before adding the next lot.

Once all the butter is incorporated you should have a smooth, golden creamy sauce. If it gets a bit too thick during the whisking process, you can add a small splash of water here and there to loosen it up. But not too much or it may become too thin and watery.

Season the sauce with the lemon juice (taste and add a little more if needed). Add the cayenne pepper to taste. Cover and set aside somewhere warm until needed (but do not place over direct heat or the sauce will split!).

For the poached eggs 

Use a whisk or spoon to make a whirlpool in your large pot of barely simmering water with the vinegar in it, and crack your eggs in one at a time, sliding them in very gently, ensuring they’re as close to the water as possible. Put the lid back on and let them cook for 2 and a half minutes.

To serve

Meanwhile, toast your English muffins, butter and top with ham.

Remove the eggs from water with a slotted spoon and immerse in a bowl of cold water to stop the cooking process. Take them out after a few seconds and set on some paper towel to dry off the excess water.

Place an egg carefully on top of each of the muffins with ham. Spoon over some Hollandaise sauce and sprinkle with chives. Add some oven-roasted tomatoes to serve.

user

Chrissy Dupé

Chrissy is a lover of lists and a self-confessed control freak. Her mission is to help other women with a strong need to be in control learn how to harness the power of their inner control freak and use it for good. Having lived through the devastation that being control freak without focus brings, and going out the other side stronger, Chrissy developed a series of hands-on, zero 'fluff' programs to help women control their freak, instead of letting it run them into the ground. Her philosophy is based on the little-known fact that control freaks are actually born for greatness... and that without them, the world would fall into disorganised chaos. You can find out more at www.controlyourfreak.com. More about the Author

Sunday Roast Leaderboard