Janine Gilbertson's Granite Kitchen: Cloud eggs: Fluffy, versatile, and hot on social mediaBy JANINE GILBERTSON May 16. 2017 11:10PM
The latest food trend sweeping social media offers a quick, easy and healthy twist on a familiar breakfast favorite — the egg.
Pictures of light, fluffy baked eggs, called “cloud eggs,” are popping up in Facebook and Instagram feeds everywhere. Of course, I had to try them for myself and see what all the buzz is about.
To make a cloud egg, you simply separate the yolk from the white, then beat the white until it’s stiff. Then you place the white on a parchment-lined baking sheet, make a little dent in the top (this creates a little nest to hold the yolk, which you add later) and set it in a hot oven. After baking for a few minutes, add the yolk on top and bake it a little more. Voila! You have a cloud egg.
There are several advantages to making eggs this way. First of all, you can do a million things with them — serve them over toast and bacon, you can top them with different cheeses, pile them on top of biscuits and gravy, season them with herbs and spices, plop them on a pile of pancakes, add mix-ins like bacon bits or chopped spinach to the whites ... you get the picture.
I experimented with a few different combinations, but the one that earned the best reviews was the Mexican-inspired cloud egg served on a tortilla and topped with salsa and a little cheese. I made these for dinner and it took less time to prepare than a frozen pizza — and was much healthier.
Since they’re so easy to prepare, they make an excellent brunch option for a crowd and look fantastic served on a platter with some garnish. Your guests will think you slaved all morning whipping up an elaborate dish. (Eggs are economical too, another great reason to serve them at a gathering.)
If you’re not a fan of the yolks, you can always leave them out. But instead of discarding them, you can always use them to whip up a quick Hollandaise sauce and drizzle it over the fluffy, baked whites.
Basic Cloud Eggs
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 425.
Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites. Place the whites in a medium bowl and beat with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form, about 4 minutes.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spoon the egg whites onto the baking sheet, in 4 even piles.
Use the back of a teaspoon to make an indentation on the top of each pile of egg whites, then bake for 4 to 5 minutes, until the whites are firm and start to brown slightly.
Remove from oven and place a raw egg yolk in each indentation, then return to oven and bake for an additional 6 to 12 minutes, depending on how you like the yolk cooked. For runnier yolks, cook for less time; for creamier yolks longer.
Remove from oven and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Mexican Style Cloud Eggs
4 corn tortillas
1/2 cup salsa
1/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
4 cloud eggs
1 tbsp fresh chopped cilantro (or chopped flat parsley)
4 Basic Cloud Eggs (recipe above)
Spray a skillet with cooking spray and set over medium-high heat. When the skillet is heated, add a tortilla and cook for 1 or 2 minutes on each side, until the tortilla is warm and starts to brown. Transfer from skillet to a plate, then repeat with remaining tortillas.
Evenly divide the cheese and sprinkle over each tortilla, then top each with a prepared cloud egg.
Spoon salsa over the top of the egg, then garnish with cilantro or parsley, if desired.
Ham, Cheese and Spinach Cloud Egg Sandwich
1 large egg
1 bagel, halved, toasted and buttered
1 slice provolone cheese
2 tbsp fresh chopped spinach
2 slices deli ham
Salt and pepper to taste
Additional spinach for sandwich, if desired
Preheat oven to 425.
Separate the egg yolk from the egg white. Reserve the yolk. Place egg white in a medium bowl. Beat the white with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. Gently fold in chopped spinach.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Mound the egg white in a pile on to the parchment paper, leaving an indentation in the center so you can add the yolk later.
Bake for about 4 minutes. Remove from oven and add the yolk in the center, then bake for at least 6 more minutes (longer if you prefer the yolks creamy) and remove from oven once yolk is set and white is lightly browned.
Layer the ham, spinach leaves and cheese on the bottom of the bagel, then set the egg on top. Season with salt and pepper, then top with the other half of the bagel and serve.