The fluffy and billowy eggs that were a sensation on social media at one point are actually based on a 400-year-old recipe from France. Not just a food fad, this egg-filled delight gradually became a part of household and restaurant breakfast and brunch menus too. Let’s unravel the story behind this popular breakfast dish…
If there’s anything that is a constant on most of our breakfast plates, it has to be eggs. The versatility and nutritional quotient of this poultry item makes it ideal for morning meals in most cuisines. Be it scrambled eggs, cheesy omelettes, poached eggs or simply the boiled ones, there are plenty of ways to cook eggs.
But have you tried Cloud Eggs? For the unversed, Cloud Eggs or ‘eggs in cloud’ are made by separating egg whites from the yolk and then baking them together by placing the yolk in the whipped egg whites. Since the dish is super easy to make and is ready in a jiffy, it took the social media by storm a few years ago, and became quite the trend. People started whipping up these trending eggs in their own ways and they became a breakfast favourite in no time.
However, not many know about the origin story of this yummy egg dish. It is said that the recipe for Cloud Eggs is about 400 years old and it originates in France. Back in the 17th Century, French chefs were experimenting in the kitchen in a bid to revolutionise French cuisine. While doing so, they invented something called ‘Eggs in Snow’. The recipe can be found in a French cookbook from 1651, titled Le Cuisinier François, where it is referred to as Oeufs à la Neige, which translates to ‘Eggs in Snow’ in the native language.
In those days, the eggs were said to be cooked with a salamander - a shovel would be used over fire and the egg yolk and whites were baked with coal, since ovens did not exist at that time. The present-day Cloud Eggs are made a little differently, where the yolk and egg whites are first separated and then, the whites are whisked until they turn foamy and fluffy. They are baked until they form a cloud-like shape with a hollowed centre. This is filled with the yolk and then the two are baked together.
Garnished with seasonings of your choice, Cloud Eggs are ready in about five to six minutes. While the earlier versions sprinkled sugar over eggs, you can add whichever herbs and seasonings you like. Pair them with toast or enjoy the light, airy, and fluffy cloud eggs as they are. An interesting point to note here is that they are no longer called ‘Eggs in Snow’, which is now the name of a French dessert made with meringue and custard.