What is it with bite-sized food? Little nibbles, mini mouthfuls, or amuse bouche — call them what you like; they taste twice as nice when shrunk down to adorable proportions. Take this bite-sized eggs Benedict for instance: They look super cute and taste sensational, and I defy anyone to just eat one. I was introduced to this recipe when working on a canapés cookbook several years ago and have made it many times since. It never fails to wow at a party! You can replace the ham with a little wilted spinach for a veggie version — eggs Florentine — or use smoked salmon to make eggs royale. All are equally delicious.
First off, a chicken egg isn’t going to cut it here, but it doesn’t mean you won’t need a few of them. We used fresh quail eggs, but if you’ve ever cooked with a quail egg they are mostly yolk with little egg white. Take the egg white of one or two regular sized eggs to supplement for this. Also, you might need to cut open the quail egg at the top to create an opening due to the thick filmy substance surrounding the yolk inside. Secondly, you’ll need to cut down the size of your biscuit dough (we used a cookie cutter) so that it’s slightly bigger than your sausage patties.
- 12 quail eggs
- 2 small baguettes, cut into 12 thin slices
- 4 slices Parma ham (or regular ham)
- finely chopped chives to garnish
- 4 1/2 ounces unsalted butter
- 1 Tablespoon cold water
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/2 teaspoon white wine vinegar
- salt and freshly ground pepper to season
First make the hollandaise sauce. Melt the butter over low heat, swirling the pan. Leave to cool until tepid.
Place a heatproof bowl over a pot of barely simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl does not come in contact with the water.
Add the egg yolks, water, and vinegar, and vigorously whisk for 3 minutes using a small balloon whisk or a hand mixer. Remove the pot from the heat.
Add 3 1/2 ounces of the melted butter in a very slow stream while whisking vigorously, until the mixture thickens and becomes creamy. Taste and season.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Brush a mini muffin tin with some of the remaining melted butter and carefully crack the eggs into each hole. Bake for 4-5 minutes until the whites are set but the yolks are still runny. Leave to cool in the muffin tin for 5 minutes and then carefully scoop out using a teaspoon.
Brush your bread with some of the remaining melted butter and bake until a little toasted, about 10 minutes.
Cut the Parma ham into 12 pieces and add a small piece of folded ham over each slice of bread. Spread out on a baking tray lined with grease-proof paper.
Add an egg on each slice and then about half a teaspoon of Hollandaise sauce.
Increase the oven temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake for 4-5 minutes.
Garnish each slice with finely chopped chives and serve immediately.