Luckily, Teri Lyn Fisher and Jenny Park, in their cookbook The Perfect Egg, have concocted an amazing new technique to shake you out of your routine: eggs in clouds, or creamy, soft yolks sitting on dreamy puffs of whipped egg whites.
It's not magic, even though the egg itself may taste magically light.
Egg whites are composed of 90% water, but the molecules responsible for the fluff are a combination of both water-repelling and water-loving proteins. When whisked, these proteins are introduced to air and form bubbles as one type of protein clings to air and the other to water. Continuous whisking creates more protein-coated bubbles, and eventually creates a thick, fluffy foam.
Whipped egg whites are a fantastic way to introduce lightness into a wide variety of batters, from angel food cake to fluffy waffles. But in this recipe, they're no longer a secret side ingredient—they get their time to shine.
- 4 eggs
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 1½ tsp. Parmesan cheese (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Then, line a baking tray with a sheet of parchment paper, making sure the paper is flat so the eggs stay put. (If you have any handy, spraying the tray with non-stick spray before laying the parchment down helps keep the paper flat.)
- Separate the egg whites and yolks into two different bowls. Be very careful about keeping any yolk out of the egg white—the yolks contain oil, and any oil in the whites make it much harder to foam, no matter how long or how hard you whisk them.
- Beat the egg whites with an electric mixer on medium high until soft foam peaks form (if you dip your whisk in and out of the foam, the peak formed by your whisk will droop slightly).
- Now add Parmesan cheese, if desired, by gently folding it into the whites with a rubber spatula. The key word is gentle—if you're too rough, your delicate foam will break apart.
- Scoop the egg whites onto the baking tray using a ½ measuring cup; this should divide into four separate yet equal mounds.
- Take the back of a metal spoon and create a little well in the middle of each mound.
- Carefully angle the bowl that contains your yolks to slide a yolk onto the spoon and gently place the yolk in the center of an egg foam mound. Repeat this step for the other 3 mounds.
- Place your tray in the oven's center rack and bake—10 minutes for runny yolks and 15 minutes for creamy yolks.
- Sprinkle salt and pepper on top, then enjoy this light, heavenly egg dish!
These fluffy egg masterpieces would taste excellent sprinkled with fresh herbs and on toast... or can be enjoyed just as they are. Either way, I hope this has inspired you to try something new with this amazing and versatile ingredient.
Have you tried making eggs on clouds before? Or do you have any other new egg preparations you'd like to share with us? Let us know in the comments below.