There is something elegant and indulgent about a baked egg, topped with a pinch of cheese and sprinkling of fresh herbs. Shirred eggs — which is a fancy name for baked eggs — seem very special, but they can be cooked up in mere minutes in your toaster oven, making them a perfect easy breakfast for one (or two, if you are into other people being around in the morning).
Eggs and cheese are two of my favourite foods, and I spend a lot of time and brain power coming up with ways to combine them. Blending cheese into the eggs, cooking eggs in piles of cheese, and folding eggs around cheese are all cherished practices of mine, and this omelette utilises all three.
Can you make these in a regular oven? Yes, and if you are making baked eggs for a crowd, that would be the way to go. But turning on an entire oven for a couple of eggs seems like a lot, and the toaster oven gets the job done just as well. To make a couple of these jammy-yolked stunners, you will need:
2 tablespoons of heavy cream
2 pinches of your favourite cheese (Parmesan and feta are both a lot of fun.)
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh herbs for garnish, such as chives or thyme
Butter for greasing
Preheat your oven to 175c, and grease a couple of ramekins with butter. Gently crack an egg into each ramekin, then pour a tablespoon of heavy cream over the top. Sprinkle on a big pinches of cheese, season with salt and pepper, and pop them in the toaster oven until the white is set, about 9-12 minutes.
Remove from the oven, let cool for a few minutes, and top with fresh herbs of you choice. Serve with toast or fried bread. Live deliciously.
Stumbling across an exciting new way to eat eggs can be the difference between making time for breakfast and skipping it entirely. I’ve gone through several egg phases in the last few years: easy poached eggs had a good run until I discovered cornstarch eggs, which were recently unseated by hard-boiled eggs with a twist. Melissa Clark told me to put butter on my eggs and she was right.