Eggs florentine

Eggs florentine

Don’t leave this beautiful brunch to the professionals. Eggs florentine is the ultimate weekend indulgence and a great showcase for your culinary talents. Nothing beats proper hollandaise and a freshly cooked muffin!

Eggs florentine

This recipe by food producer Pollyanna Coupland breaks down how to make every element from scratch – and achieve perfectly poached eggs and wilted spinach – but you can swap in ready-made muffins or hollandaise in a pinch. See Know-how for all the skills this recipe covers.

You can, of course, replace the spinach with smoked salmon to make eggs royale, or with ham to make eggs benedict. too. Discover more delicious brunch inspiration.

  • Serves icon Serves 5
  • Time icon Hands-on time 1 hour 20 min, plus at least 1 hour 30 min proving

Don’t leave this beautiful brunch to the professionals. Eggs florentine is the ultimate weekend indulgence and a great showcase for your culinary talents. Nothing beats proper hollandaise and a freshly cooked muffin!

This recipe by food producer Pollyanna Coupland breaks down how to make every element from scratch – and achieve perfectly poached eggs and wilted spinach – but you can swap in ready-made muffins or hollandaise in a pinch. See Know-how for all the skills this recipe covers.

You can, of course, replace the spinach with smoked salmon to make eggs royale, or with ham to make eggs benedict. too. Discover more delicious brunch inspiration.

Nutrition: Per serving

Calories
698kcals
Fat
48g (25g saturated)
Protein
23g
Carbohydrates
42g (1.2g sugars)
Fibre
2.8g
Salt
0.6g

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp distilled vinegar
  • 10 medium free-range eggs, as fresh as possible
  • Salted butter for spreading
  • 300g baby leaf spinach
  • ¼ bunch flatleaf parsley, leaves picked

For the muffins

  • 75g water, lukewarm
  • 75g whole milk, lukewarm
  • ½ tsp instant or fast-action yeast
  • 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 250g plain flour, plus extra to dust ½ tsp fine salt
  • 2 tbsp fine semolina

For the hollandaise

  • 60ml white wine vinegar
  • 1 shallot, finely sliced
  • 1 tarragon sprig (or thyme sprig)
  • ¼ tsp black peppercorns, cracked
  • 200g unsalted butter
  • 2 medium free-range egg yolks
  • Squeeze lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp very finely chopped chives

Specialist kit

  • 8cm round cutter
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Method

  1. Begin with the muffins, as they need time to prove. Mix the water, milk, yeast and oil in a jug and set aside for 10 minutes to activate. Sift the flour into a bowl, stir in the salt and make a well in the centre. Slowly pour in the liquid, stirring with a fork to incorporate the dry ingredients, until you end up with a rough dough. Gather it into a ball with your hands, then knead for 5 minutes on a lightly floured worktop until smooth and springy. Return to the cleaned bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hour (or in the fridge overnight).
  2. After this first prove, the dough should have roughly doubled in size. Carefully tip it onto a lightly floured worktop and roll out to a 3cm thick sheet. Use an 8cm round cutter to cut out 5 muffins – the fifth will probably need to come from re-rolled offcuts. Sprinkle half the semolina over a large oven tray, put the muffins on it, then sprinkle the remaining semolina over the top. Cover the tray with a towel and prove for 30 minutes more.
  3. Meanwhile, make the hollandaise. Put the vinegar, shallot, tarragon (or thyme) and peppercorns in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer for a few minutes until reduced by around half, then leave to cool. Melt the butter in the microwave or in a saucepan, then leave to cool until lukewarm.
  4. Once the muffins have completed their prove, put a large frying pan over a medium heat. Cook the muffins for 5 minutes on each side. They need a full 10 minutes to cook through, so keep an eye on the temperature of the pan – you don’t want them to start burning before they’re cooked through to the centre. Set aside.
  5. Bring a small pan of water to a simmer and put a heatproof bowl over the top (make sure it’s not touching the water). Add the egg yolks and whisk for 1-2 minutes until pale, doubled in size and at ribbon stage (thick enough to leave a trail when you lift out the whisk and the sauce drops off the whisk back into the bowl). Strain the cooled vinegar reduction through a fine sieve, then add 1 tbsp of the reduction to the eggs (you shouldn’t have much more than this, if any).
  6. Remove the bowl from the heat and put it on a tea towel to help keep it stable. Have a small amount of water in a cup to hand, then very gradually trickle in the butter while whisking continuously. If the mixture looks like it’s about to split (if it turns grainy or suddenly turns thinner instead of thicker), add a little of the water to bring it back together. There will be white solids at the bottom of the jug as you’re nearing the end of the melted butter – stop before you get to those. Taste and season the hollandaise with salt and lemon juice, then stir in most of the chopped chives. Put the bowl back over the hot water to keep warm – on the lowest heat, as the sauce doesn’t like being reheated and could split.
  7. For the eggs, bring a large saucepan of water to the boil and add the vinegar, then turn down to a gentle simmer. Set up a tray lined with kitchen paper. One by one, crack the eggs into a fine sieve set over a bowl to strain off the watery part of the white, then transfer the egg to a small dish or ramekin. Whisk the water in a clockwise motion to create a vortex, lower the dish as close to the simmering water as you can, then plop the egg right into the centre of the vortex. Cook for 3½ minutes. You’ll probably need to work in batches to fit in all the eggs. Lift out the eggs with a slotted spoon and transfer to the paper lined tray to drain. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. While the eggs are cooking, halve, toast and butter the muffins. Put the spinach in a frying pan over a high heat, cover and leave for just a minute or two until it begins to wilt (don’t wait until it’s fully wilted as it’ll continue to cook off the heat and you could end up with a soggy mess). Arrange the parsley leaves on top of each other, roll up tightly, then slice as finely as possible. Toss the spinach and parsley together with a pinch of salt and pepper.
  9. Top each muffin half with spinach, an egg, then plenty of the chive hollandaise. Finish with the reserved chopped chives.

Nutrition

Calories
698kcals
Fat
48g (25g saturated)
Protein
23g
Carbohydrates
42g (1.2g sugars)
Fibre
2.8g
Salt
0.6g

delicious. tips

  1. Next time You can, of course, replace the spinach with smoked salmon to make eggs royale, or with ham to make eggs benedict.

  2. Make the muffin dough the day before and leave to prove in the fridge overnight. You can also cook the muffins up to 24 hours in advance (and if you’re not using all five, they freeze well).

  3. Homemade muffins are a game-changer – just like freshly baked bread, they’re a world away from shop-bought. The overnight prove brings a better flavour and less work in the morning for your brunch.

    Hollandaise is the emulsified sauce mayonnaise wants to be when it grows up. It scares a lot of cooks (and some chefs), but here are the top tips for getting it right:
    • Whisking by hand might seem old-school, but it allows you to keep an eye on  what’s going on and work at a steady pace.
    • Try to have everything at the same temperature when whisking things together to avoid splitting. Aim for warm, not hot.
    • Don’t rush. Make sure the egg yolks have thickened properly before adding the vinegar and butter, otherwise the sauce won’t emulsify.
    • If the sauce splits and adding a splash of water doesn’t work, all is not lost – put another egg yolk in a bowl over the simmering water, whisk it for 2 minutes until thick, then slowly drizzle and whisk into the split mixture. It should re-emulsify.
    • Season liberally – there’s a lot of rich butter in the sauce, which needs a heap of salt and pepper to bring it to life.

    Perfect poached eggs are the holy grail of egg cookery. It’s all about using the freshest eggs, sieving them to get rid of the watery part of the whites (which creates those stringy, ghostly wisps in the water), adding a splash of vinegar (no salt) to the water and creating a whirlpool to coddle the white around the yolk.

     

    Chopping herbs might not sound like a thrilling subject, but there’s a reason chefs judge each other’s talents based on how finely they slice chives. Poor technique or a blunt knife blade will crush herbs as much as chop them, releasing liquid and leaving you with something soggy and bruised rather than fresh and crisp.

A stainless-steel knife that keeps its edge in a busy kitchen is a must-have for any serious cook. This Nihon X50 16cm Nakiri knife stays super sharp, feels comfortable in the hand and is guaranteed for 25 years – cutting herbs without bruising them is a breeze.

£55 | Buy now See all at ProCook

Price correct May 2024

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