Our move to Devon last year was followed by the addition of four hens to the family. They were swiftly joined by another three. This means we now have more chickens than people, and rather a lot of eggs to get through. It also means I’m on a permanent mission to find inventive things to do with them. (The eggs, not the chickens.) So here are a few top recipes for using up a surplus of eggs . Enjoy! (Own chickens, optional. )
1. Italian Job Spaghetti Carbonara.
Smoked bacon or pancetta
Eggs (1 per person.)
And that’s it.
Chop and fry the bacon. Meanwhile, boil the spaghetti. When the pasta is cooked chuck it in the frying pan with the bacon, add pepper and as much parmesan as you like, then crucially, TURN OFF the heat. Pour in the beaten eggs and stir, they will cook with the heat of the pasta. Add lots of black pepper and serve immediately.
2. 9 Egg Chocolate Cake
Yes, you read that right – 9 eggs, so this is a great recipe when you really have a glut to use up.
250g dark chocolate, chopped
3 tbsp liqueur (Grand Marnier or whatever you fancy / have.)
9 large eggs, separated
120g caster sugar
175g ground almonds
Melt the chocolate and butter over a saucepan of boiling water, add the liqueur. Cool then beat in the egg yolks and half the sugar. Whisk the egg whites until stiff, then whisk in the rest of the sugar. Fold into the chocolate mixture with the almonds. Pour into a 25cm tin and bake at 180 degrees (160 for a fan oven) until done. Great served with whipped cream or ice cream.
Again, this is the Italian version. Simpler, and tastier, than many others I’ve come across. It contains raw eggs, so best avoided in pregnancy.
2 packets of sponge fingers (preferably those boudoir ones.)
Strong fresh coffee
2 tubs of mascarpone
2 dessert spoonfuls of sugar
2 eggs, separated.
Cocoa powder (or chocolate curls if you’re posh.)
First, make a large pot of strong coffee and add some milk. Pour it into a large shallow bowl. Whisk the mascarpone, sugar and egg yolk until light and creamy. Whisk the egg white until stiff, then fold into the mascarpone mixture. Dunk the biscuits into the coffee, one at a time, until fairly soggy, then arrange in a layer on the base of a dish. Add a layer of mascarpone, then another layer off sponge fingers. Keep going until everything is finished (usually a couple of layers of each, depending on the dish.) Finish with a dusting of cocoa powder.
Useless fact: tiramisu means pick me up in Italian.
4. Perfect Poached Eggs
I’m not claiming there’s anything inventive about poached eggs. However, there are so many theories on how do it properly, that I thought I’d set the record straight. So forget that plastic poaching device and put the vinegar back in the cupboard. Here’s how to do it:
A sieve (bear with me on this one)
The freshest eggs you can possibly find. The less time they’ve spent outside the chicken’s internal organs, the better.
Fill the saucepan with water and bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and swirl the water around with a spoon until you have a kind of whirlpool going on.
Crack the egg into the sieve and let any watery bits drain away – the fresher the egg the more it holds its shape and the thicker the white. Very carefully, using a slotted spoon, slide the egg into the swirly, simmering water. Cook for about three minutes until the white is just cooked and the yolk is still runny. Great served on buttered toast with salt and pepper.
TIP: it’s best to poach one egg at a time.
5. Gluten-Free Banana Pancakes.
Whisk the banana and egg together. Fry. It really is that simple!
What are your favourite ways for using up eggs?