October 24, 2011
Egg and Soldiers
My Dad is a Military Man.
He started off in cadets as a school boy, served his country at war, and retired young as a Colonel to take up Gentleman Farming.
Dad is also a traditional man. Dad did everything outside the home- gardening, growing amazing vegetables, mowing, handyman, even BBQ'ing but rarely anything inside like cooking.
Whenever my Mum was ill, and us kiddies were left to Dads tender mercies, he would invariably fall back on his military roots. You remember MASH, don't you, well remember the chow line? That was our house.
Dad would fire up the electric fry pan, throw in some dripping, rummage through any leftovers in the fridge, chop up lots of cabbage and garlic and fry it all up together.
There would be a stack of plates by his side, the cutlery drawer pulled out, and us kids would line up and file past as Dad ladled a big splat of dinner on our plates.
Dad did have a few more culinary secrets up his sleeve though,- Cockies Joy, Vegemite mixed through mashed potatoes, Chapattis on the BBQ... and Egg with Soldiers.
A perfectly boiled egg with runny yolk and little strips of crisp toast to pull dipping from it's depths and gobbled up in our PJ's before bed. Mmmmmm....
This is a much better food memory of my Dad, than the infamous 'Squish my pills up on a gherkin to get me to eat them' Incident, which got messy- very messy.
This is a twist on the traditional Egg and Soldiers- not for Breakfast, not for Supper, but for Dessert. Yes, Dessert.
A rich and creamy Creme Brulee with shortbread Soldiers, served in the eggshell for fun.
To make the little emptied eggs, crack them very carefully, or use an Egg Topper Tool to make a clean crack around the rim of the egg. Empty the egg and separate as usual. Rinse the shell carefully but don't worry too much as it's going to be baked in the oven.
3 Egg Yolks
50 gr Sugar
250 ml Lactose Free Cream
Place the cram and vanilla in a saucepan on medium heat and bring to the boil, turn the heat down low and simmer for a few minutes to let the vanilla infuse.
Meanwhile beat the eggs and sugar until the sugar is dissolved and they are light and fluffy.
Slowly while beating all the time, pour the hot cream onto the egg mixture. Don't pour too quickly, or stop beating or you'll end up with sweetened scrambled eggs- yuck!
Pour the mix back into the saucepan and heat very gently until the mixture just coats the back of a spoon.
Pour the mix carefully into 6 1/2 cup ramekins, or some cute little emptied eggs.
Place the vessels into a baking tray with a folded kitchen cloth on the base. Make sure the sides of the tray reach to at least 2/3 of their height. The cloth is just to insulate the bottom of the ramekins so they bake evenly, otherwise the metal base heats quicker than the sides once filled with water. For the eggies, I just left them on in their cardboard carton sides as it just happens to be the perfect size for them- go figure!
Fill the baking tray with hot water from the kettle to come halfway up the sides of the smaller containers. The easiest way to do this is to place the tray in the oven FIRST, then moving quickly, pour in the water then shut the door. You can certainly pour the water in elsewhere, but then you run the risk of splashing it into the brulee mix and it not setting well, so why run the risk? The water is to give the little lovelies a nice, gentle bath, without a blast of heat, so they bake slowly and set nicely. Make sure you use hot water, otherwise you'll be waiting hours for the water to heat enough in the oven to start cooking the creme brulees. Trust me, I learnt the hard way.
Bake for about 30 mins at 160*c or until just set but with a soft wobble in the middle. The little eggies take from 15 minutes, but you'll need to keep a close eye on them so they don't overcook, or you'll have the equivalent of hard boiled instead of soft boiled yolks.
When they're done, pull the tray out and let them cool enough to pop into the fridge to cool and set.
Sprinkle the tops with a thin even layer of castor sugar. I prefer to build up my layer of toffee gradually rather than try and melt a thick layer that would be easy to burn before it melted. Use a culinary blow torch to caramelise the sugar so it melts to a crisp layer of toffee.
Pop them back in the fridge for a bit to set again. I never like to rush and serve them straight away, as once I got a creme brulee that had a warm liquidy layer under the toffee that wasn't very nice at all. Just give them a little bit to settle back down.
Serve in an egg cup with little shortbread soldiers on the side for dipping. If you don't have a cute little cutter, just make them into fingers like toast ( Shortbread Recipe coming next post ) Cracking through the crisp toffee is just like cracking the top off the egg with a spoon, but much more satisfying!
Otherwise serve in the ramekin with a spoon, still yummy, but not as cute.
So Dear Readers, so you like cute food and what's your favourite childhood food memory?
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This is super cute, especially the soldier shaped soldiers!ReplyDelete
wow, this is fantastic! How great - a jazzed up nostalgic dish. & I must say, the gherkin pill incident sounds interesting/traumatising haha. As does the vegemite mixed through mashed potatoes :P gotta love that creativity. My favourite childhood dish? pikelets with jam for afternoon tea. 20% for the taste, 80% for the nostalgia :)ReplyDelete
I love the story. I didn't realise that it wasn't egg and toast until I kept reading. Very clever you are and my favourite - Creme Brulee Yum!ReplyDelete
Love your story, your Dad sounded like quite the man!The creme brulee in the egg shells is a really neat idea. Looks yummy! My favorite childhood food memory (well, one of many) is my grandma's tapioca pudding. Served warm with pineapple. Yum!ReplyDelete
This is just divine. My dad was an expert at french toast. I have such fond memories of eating it in pyjamas next to the heater on cold mornings.ReplyDelete
Love the military story! Hahaha... and I love the twist on this egg and soldiers :)ReplyDelete
This is FRIGGIN amazing, I love it so much!! The literal soldiers too! Hahahaha.. And I like the story at the start you shared of you and your father, it's very sweet. I'm glad food reminds us of good times with the people we love in our lives. Looking forward to more recipes like these. Thanks so much!!ReplyDelete
oh how awesome!!!ReplyDelete
My dad's 'secret' to cooking was addding curry powder to everything lol
When I read egg and soldiers, I was thinking of the toast dipped in the soft boiled eggs that I loved as a kid. But this is WAY WAY more fun!! What an adorable idea! ;)ReplyDelete
When Mom was ill, my dad could cook everything except desserts. He went to the bakery for those and he got 'fancy' ones. Favorite childhood food? Lots of choices, probably Mom's bread, Dad didn't know there were heels to Mom's bread until I left home. Cause there isn't anything better than the heel of a loaf of bread fresh out of the oven with butter all melted in. I wish I could bake bread like she did!ReplyDelete
Your dad sounds great and I can imagine it was easier just to have a queue to be fed. It could be daunting otherwise! What are Cockies Joys? I've never heard of those before! :)ReplyDelete
Becca, this is a fantastic recipe! And soooo cute! I love the little soldier shortbreads, and how brilliant to bake the brulee in eggshells! You're a creative genius, girl. :)ReplyDelete
You are so clever!!! I thought it was boiled egg and toast at first! and I still liked it because the little man was so cute! ...but this is so much better! I can't wait to try my new brulee torch out on this one!ReplyDelete
My dad was exactly the same as yours. Mum rarely got sick but when she did dinner was always a "surprise." It always came out of one frying pan but the washing up afterwards was horrendous!
Oh Bec, this is such a lovely idea - you are very inventive!ReplyDelete
Loved the stories of your Dad, too, especially the chow line. LOL
YUM :) I love these. Such a great tributeReplyDelete
Oh these are just divine! What a fantastic story too! Loved this post :)ReplyDelete
These are seriously cute! Nothing better than a googie egg in the morning :DReplyDelete
My dad was in the Reserves, and he cooks the same way - his culinary triumph is a dish composed of hamburger meat, canned spaghetti and scrambled eggs all mixed up in a sort of stew. Mmmmm. :|ReplyDelete
Enjoyed reading about your Dad. Thanks for sharing the story with us. Hpw did you get the egg shell so uniform? I love creme brulee and it is fun way to serve them in egg shells.ReplyDelete
Your middle name is Heston, right?? :-)ReplyDelete
Very clever, and I love reading about your dad. XO
from NZ (home of the WORLD CHAMPION ALL BLACKS)
I love the soliders. So much better than my cut up bits of toast where you are forced to use your imagination.ReplyDelete
Hello Lovelies! I'm glad we could have some fun with this one, I really enjoyed sharing a little bit of my family with you too :)ReplyDelete
Christie- Thanks! I was so excited to find that cutter too :)
Heidi- Thanks! I can still taste the mixture if I think about it! The vegemite potatoes actually work really well- belive it or not :) Nostalgia wins over taste any day!
Leonie- Thanks, I like to play with my food :) Glad it's your favorite!
April- He is indeed! Thanks! I love tapioca, yummm....
Tori- Mmmmmmm, French Toast! Yumm!
Msihua- My dad is very military, and even runs his farm that way with set hours and routines. I just want to have fun :)
Winston- Thanks so much! It's amazing how food is so connected to memories and nurturing isn't it? You're welcome!
Lisa- He's a clever man, curry powder can cover a multitude of sins :)
Kim- Just for grownups- don't tell the kids!
Judy- I don't remember my dad giving us dessert, you lucky things! My littlej steals them too :)
Lorraine- He is great! I think it was just army and boarding school institutionalisation being too hard to fight maybe? Cockies Joy is a nickname for Golden Syrup- I was never sure why though, but we loved it more than honey and I still do ;)
Celia- Thanks honey! I have had that idea in my notebook for ages, just had to get the right tools. Awww shucks!
GourmetGetaways- I had to buy a quite expensive set just to get my little soldier, but it was sooo worth it :) My husband's the same, uses every tool in the kitchen, maybe its a testosterone thing?
Amanda- Maybe that's why I rebel and love to do the cheffy 'plate up' for family meals?
Nic- Thankyou, I think he was a bit embarrased though!
Anna- Thanks! I'm a story teller at heart :)
Cassandra- I love googie eggs, cackle berries,chook fruit and bum nuts too!
JasmyneTea- Maybe we should have a culinary intervention for them both?
QuayPo- My dad is the best! I have a wonderful little springloaded tool that cuts it perfectly for me.
JanetNZ- :) Well, we have so many wonderful things in Australia,we don't want to be greedy. We'll let New Zealand have this one :P
HotlySpiced- Thanks! Mornings are waaaay to early for imagination :)
I think this is an amazing idea, where did yo get the soldier cutter? I love the image of the MASH line. GGReplyDelete
Your dad sounds amazing! I just hope he didn't give you too much of a militrary drill during education ... Some children aren't made for that.ReplyDelete
OMG, your dad was a legend- mash potato and vegimite. I decided to brave it, and served it with tonights dinner- absoutly amazing!!!ReplyDelete
The creme brulee in eggs is a fabulous idea!