The Cookbook Challenge is eggs. I had some egg whites in the freezer waiting to use up so my first recipe was going to be some sort of pavlova/meringue. Going on from my success of the moonblush tomatoes, Nigella had a similar recipe for her Forgotten Pudding, similar as in you cook it in the oven after its turned off. As I had a very busy morning the day I needed to cook this, it was perfect as all the prep was done the night before and all I had to do was whip up some cream and pile the fruit on top at the party - Michaels Dad's birthday lunch. Amazingly it did cook with only the residual heat from the oven being preheated. I liked it though due to the slow cooking it didnt have the outer crunchy layer of a pavlova, instead it was nice and soft and marshmellowy, nice for a change though my preference is for the crunch which I will go back to next time even though you cant beat this recipe for the laziness factor - my mum thinks Nigella is the laziest cook she has ever heard of!
Forgotten Pudding - Nigella Lawson - Nigella Express
6 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon salt
250g caster sugar. plus 2 teaspoons
1/2 tspn cream of tartar
1 tspn vanilla extract
butter for greasing
250ml double cream
350g berries (I used a mix of strawberries & blueberries)
Preheat oven to 220c. In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites and salt until peaks begin to form. gradually add the 250g sugar, then the cream of tartar and the vanilla, whisking all the while at speed, until the whites are stiff and glossy. Butter a swiss roll tin then spread evenly with the mixture. Put in the oven, close the door and turn the oven off and leave overnight - DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR TO PEEP!
When serving, move to a large plate. Whisk the cream until thick but still soft and spread over the meringue. Scoop out the seeds and pulp of the passionfruits and spread evenly over the top. Toss the berries in the remaining sugar and heap on top (I skipped the extra sugar). Slice and serve.
For my second egg week I had to pick a savoury breakfast dish, I love cooking breakfast on the weekends and have been wanting to bake some eggs for a while now so this was a good excuse. I chose Bill Granger's Baked Eggs from Holiday, they are baked in a ramekin with some spinach in the bottom & a little cream & parmesan on top. My only difficulty was that my ramekins were a touch on the small side & once I had the spinach in with 2 eggs each they were already filled to the top, my solution was to pour out a bit of egg white to make room for the cream & cheese & it was fine, egg whites are highly overated if you ask me anyway (unless whipped to form glorious meringues or macaroons of course). Michael & Chloe had theirs with my favourite Ottway bacon & toast on the side, I skipped the toast but couldnt pass up the bacon, it's not very often that I have it around so when it's there I dig in. Loved the eggs though Michael started the oven off for me & it wasnt until 3/4 of the way in that I realised he had the wrong setting so they took longer than required to puff up and goldenise (making up words here I know). As a result the eggs were hard baked rather than soft & oozing which was ok for a change even though I would have preferred the ooze.
Baked Eggs with Spinach and Parmesan - from Bill Granger's Holiday
To serve 4 (adjust quantities as required for more or less people)
1 tblspn olive oil
200g baby spinach leaves
freshly ground black pepper
4 tblspns cream
4 tbspns grated parmesan
Preheat the oven to 200c. Lightly grease four 9cm ramekins & place on a baking tray.
Heat a saucepan or frying pan over medium heat and add the olive oil, spinach & season with salt & pepper. Cook until leaves are just softened. Drain the spinach in a colander and as soon as it's cool enough to handle, squeeze out the excess liquid.
Spoon the spinach evenly into the ramekins & break 2 eggs into each on top of the spinach. Pour 1 tablespoon of cream in each & sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of parmesan. Bake for 15 minutes or until the eggs are set & puffed up. Season & serve immediately with toast.