What you’re about to see might resemble the ingredients in any old breakfast. There’s bacon, there’s eggs, there’s cheese, and there’s a bunch of chives.
But this is not any old breakfast. This is a breakfast that makes use of a magnificent quality of the egg: the capacity of the egg white to turn into a pillowy cloud. This is the same quality that gives rise to soufflés and angel food cake. When beaten into a fluffy bowlful, egg whites can act as a leavening agent for baked goods. Here, we borrow that idea from the pastry kitchen and apply it to breakfast. These egg whites will support a yolk, some bacon, and some cheese.
First, you separate the egg whites from the yolks, making sure no yolks mix with the whites at all. You can do this by pouring the yolk back and forth between the two “bowls” of your cracked egg shell, letting the whites drip into a little bowl. You can also use this miraculous suction method: crack an egg into a shallow bowl. Take an empty plastic bottle and squeeze the sides in. Turn it upside down, placing the opening right above the yolk. Release your squeeze to create suction. The yolk will leap up right into the bottle, holding its shape all the while. Release the yolk into its own little bowl by squeezing the bottle once again. Cool, right?
Then you whip up the egg whites. Here are three tips for success in this endeavor: Have your whites at room temperature for speedy whipping. Don’t let any yolk at all into the whites. Make sure the bowl and the mixer are clean and dry before you start. If you do all three of these things, whipping will be really easy!
To preserve the bounce of the egg whites, fold in the bacon, cheese, and chives very gently. Then mound the “batter” into little clouds on your baking sheet. Baking time, part one, commences, then egg yolks get added, and then you return the yolk-topped clouds to the oven for baking time part two. And then you have this breakfast, which is perhaps the fancy, out-of-the-ordinary way to eat breakfast you were looking for this Saturday–Valentine’s Day.
Keep reading for the recipe!
Eggs In Clouds
4 eggs, at room temperature
1 small bunch chives
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
4 slices bacon
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Cook the bacon. When cool, crumble or chop the bacon into small pieces.
Separate the eggs, placing the whites into one medium bowl, and each yolk into 4 separate small bowls.
With a stand mixer, a handheld mixer, or your strong arm holding a whisk, whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Carefully fold in the cheese, bacon and all but a pinch of the chives.
On a parchment-lined sheet pan, create 4 egg white mounds with the egg white mixture. Use the back of a spoon to press a well into the center of each mound.
Bake 2 to 4 minutes, or until the whites are mostly set. Remove from the oven and place 1 egg yolk into each well. Bake 2 to 4 more minutes, or until the yolk is just set, or cooked to your desired degree of doneness.
Remove from the oven and season with salt and pepper. Garnish with the remaining chives.