How do I even begin to describe my relationship with eggs in a few words? "Love" is a derisory litotes, for this flog would not even have come into being without the inspiration afforded by these versatile little ovoids we tend to take for granted. (I know someone out there who doesn't!)
Gratitude and dependency are closer to my true sentiments, which can be expressed as less than 3 eggs left in the fridge = panic. My regular purchases of eggs don't necessarily intersect with an intention to realise specific dishes, but materialise they do whenever eggs abound.
Given that they are sold in cartons of 6, 12, 20 or 24, and the intimidating thought of lugging groceries tens of metres through a hypermarket more than once a week after a trying day at work, 6 seem ridiculous, so I usually go for 12 or 20 depending on how many are still chilling at home. I don't know why it's not the case everywhere, but eggs here have their use-by dates printed on their shells. How neat!
Anyway, when I awoke with a start the day before the last 7 eggs in my fridge were due to "expire" (not one to tolerate wastage, I do lose sleep over how to use my eggs on time!), I agonised for the longest time on whether to make several crèmes brûlées, thus using all the yolks. But there was a mega hitch - I couldn't decide beween liquorice, lemongrass and chicory. That also meant finding some other solution for the remaining 7 whites - macarons or soufflés or angel cake? They all sounded wonderful to eat but unequivocally nightmarish to prepare and I couldn't decide either. All I was sure of was that I wasn't in the mood to slave, so finally settled on making these - flourless hazelnut Moëlleux au chocolat that used up all 7 yolks and whites!
Makes 10 small or 6 biggish ones.
How to: If making 6, grease 6 ramekins and dust with icing sugar (or flour). Preheat the oven to 180°C. Melt 200g of good dark chocolate with 100g of butter in a bain-marie (double-boiler) until the mixture is smooth. Beat 6 large or 7 small eggs with 100g of sugar and 6-8 tablespoons of hazelnut meal (which replaces the flour), then pour in chocolate-butter mixture and mix well. Pour into ramekins and bake for 25 minutes if you want a liquid centre or 35 - 45 minutes if you're concerned about salmonella. Turn out and serve.
Variations: Replace hazelnut meal with same amount of almond meal, or 3 tablespoons of flour. If flour is used, put ramekins in the fridge for half and hour or so to ensure liquid centre, then preheat the oven to 180°C 10 minutes before baking, and bake for 10 - 15 minutes. For solid centres, 25 minutes should be sufficient.
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