Today I’m serving breakfast for dessert… or is it dessert for breakfast? My play on boiled eggs and soldiers is a sweet combo of boiled vanilla custard and mango
puree poured into sterilized egg shells. Like the original savory toast version, the shortbread soldiers are used for dipping into the faux yolk.
has been made extra sweet in the form of a lollipop. It can be enjoyed as is or you can use it in a brewed cup to stir in strength and sweetness.
The custard eggs make a nice special occasion dessert, and they’d be really cute for the Easter table. The original idea for these eggshell desserts was found at The British Larder (they use panna cotta), but it appears that Martha Stewart has a version too!
The coffee lollipops will probably be made bi-monthly at our house. Like-minded coffee fiends, you must give them a try!
Boiled Custard Eggs and Shortbread Soldiers
8-10 servings [click to print]
Prepare the egg shells:
8 Jumbo Eggs or 10 Large eggs
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Place a cooling rack over a baking tray.
Crack the eggs by tapping them with a spoon on the most pointed end. Don’t even think about trying to crack them on the sides – I tried repeatedly -this does not work. Once egg tip is cracked, pinch away just enough of the egg shell top for the egg white and yolk to pour out. Reserve 2 eggs for custard and save the rest of the eggs for other use. Wash the shells in warm
water. Rub your finger on the inside to remove any bits of the membrane.
Place the cleaned egg shells onto the cooling rack and bake for 20-25 minutes. Let the sterilized egg shells cool completely before you fill them with the custard.
Make the custard:
1 cup milk -can use heavy cream for richer custard
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
Note: Have your eggshells ready. Place them in an egg carton standing upright.
In a small saucepan whisk together milk and sugar and place over medium heat. Heat until milk is very hot but not boiling. Remove from heat. Gradually pour in eggs, whisking constantly and taking care to temper the mixture slowly (you don’t want scrambled eggs in your custard). Return to heat and whisk constantly until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
Pour the custard into the eggshells and refrigerate until firm. Meanwhile…
Prepare the mango “yolk”:
1 medium ripe mango
2 tbsp. sugar
1/4 tsp lemon juice
Peel and slice the mango into chunks. Puree the flesh with the sugar and lemon juice in a food processor or blender. Transfer sweetened puree to a piping bag or a ziplock bag with a corner snipped.
When custards are firm, spoon out a small portion in the middle creating a divot for the mango puree. Pipe in the mango puree and return to the refrigerator until ready for serving.
Make the shortbread:
2 sticks (1 cup) of unsalted butter
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups all purpose flour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat
the butter and granulated sugar until well combined. Add the confectioners’ sugar and beat until
incorporated. Add the vanilla extract
and mix again. Add 1 cup of flour
and salt and mix on low speed until a dough forms. Add the last cup of flour and mix again
on low until a very stiff dough forms.
Gather dough together with your hands and place on a lightly
floured surface. Using a floured rolling pin,
roll dough until flattened to about 1” thickness. Wrap in plastic film and place on a
cookie sheet or jelly roll pan. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. This
dough will firm up in quickly because of the high butter content. If your dough is difficult to roll, let it
stand at room temperature for a few minutes until it is pliable.
While still cold, roll out dough to ¼” thickness. Score with the tines of a fork. You can cut the dough into shapes with a cookie cutter, or bake the entire piece and cut them into “soldiers” after baking, while still hot. I did the latter.
Bake entire dough piece for 20-25 minutes or:
7-10 minutes for small cookies
12-15 minutes for medium cookies
17-20 minutes for large cookies
When done, shortbread will be golden brown around the edges and fragrant.
Coffee Lollipops (Coffee on a Stick)
Yield: 8-10 lollipops [click to print]
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup freshly brewed espresso or very darkly brewed coffee –the stronger the coffee, the better!
1 tbsp light corn syrup
1/4 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder (not dutch process)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
White vegetable shortening for greasing pan
8-10 Lollipop sticks
Grease two metal baking sheets with white vegetable shortening. Stagger lollipop sticks on the sheets to give the candy plenty of room to spread when you pour the hot mixture.
In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, espresso or dark coffee, corn syrup, cocoa and cinnamon. Place over medium heat stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the saucepan and heat until the mixture reaches 290 degrees.
Remove pan from heat and stir in vanilla. Mixture may sputter and bubble a little. Using a metal (or heatproof) 1 tablespoon measure, dip out candy by the heaping tablespoon and pour over end of lollipop stick. Let cool at room temperature until hardened. To remove lollipops from the baking sheet, gently push the candy with your fingers or a spoon to SLIDE the candy off the edge of the baking sheet. Do not try to lift it.
Wrap in cellophane candy wrappers or store in an airtight container. Will stay fresh for 1 month.
Variation: Mix 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of espresso powder in the 1/3 cup hot coffee before adding it to the saucepan. I loved this highly caffeinated super-strength treat!