Breakfast for Dessert: Boiled Custard Eggs, Shortbread Soldiers and Coffee on a Stick

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. 

Morning coffee 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. 

Come on t'my house.  I'm gonna give you caaaandy.  For breakfast.

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! 

link Breakfast for Dessert: Boiled Custard Eggs, Shortbread Soldiers and Coffee on a Stick By Published: Breakfast for Dessert: Boiled Custard Eggs, Shortbread Soldiers and Coffee on a Stick Recipe


  1. This is the cutest idea! I wish my family would be adventurous enough to try something like this at Easter. It looks so delicious.

  2. Awesome! That is such a great idea. I love the presentation.



  3. Coffee Lollipops! Oh my heavens, that's awesome :) I'd keep those in my desk for emergencies ;)

  4. Wonderful idea and great photo-
    I love it!
    My admiration, Diana

  5. These are all just creative ideas, and beautiful photos to compliment them! Thanks for sharing.

  6. I am continually amazed by your creativity and execution! Bravo!

  7. This is amazing. To say the least. You are one talented lady! :)

  8. This is so fun! Beautiful photos.

  9. You are awesome!! I love everything you do!!

  10. This is too creative! And I would eat them up! Thanks for the inspiration.

    How's your Monday?
    You Are My Favorite

  11. So creative, Heather! Those lollipops look really fun. Before reading I thought those were actual eggs :)

  12. Like Yuri, I really believed that they were actual eggs! This is an amazingly creative idea and my kind of breakfast indeed!

  13. I Love caaaaandy for breakfast. :)

  14. Oh cool! Those coffee lollipops...yes please!

  15. Oh wow, I love this! My favourite is the boiled custard eggs. ;)

  16. How fun! Wish I could come over and enjoy it :)

  17. I just saw this idea but with candles in the egg shells. Look what you have done! So creative, so artistic. You really are a wonderful artist.

  18. So creative! Love this whole idea....way to go!

  19. Absolutely PERFECT!!!!!!I love this idea♥

  20. Just fabulous! This is also a great April Fool's idea.

  21. Oh. Em. Gee. You're a genius!

  22. So cute! These would be awesome for a dinner party!

  23. That has got to be the cutest thing I have ever seen. Really. :)

  24. Oooh, did you get the idea for these from MasterChef? (Here? http://www.masterchef.com.au/egg-and-soldiers.htm)

    I love love love the coffee lollipops, they are my new favorite thing.

  25. I had not seen that Lianne! Love the master chef ice cream version - the chocolate pepper is really cute!

  26. You are nothing short of genius! I love your ideas and this one in particular is fantastic, your photographs are wonderful too. x

  27. I just adore every single thing you create! Amazing. I posted a link on ediblecrafts.craftgossip.com :)

  28. You're amazing, Heather! I've never had the savory version (or any version for that matter) of boiled eggs and soldiers, but I'd sure like to have this one! :)

  29. Amazing ideas and execution, heather! I thought of doing something like that egg idea for April Fools Day but got busy with other things.

  30. You are just too clever for words. Brava!

  31. Coffee on a stick - like I couldn't spill it on myself while driving????? Fabulous.

  32. I want to come to your house so badly. I imagine it to be like visiting Alice In Wonderland or Willy Wonka...where everything is just so much more magical than normal places.

    Your posts just blow me away, truly. You inspire me!! :)

  33. Beautiful and lovely post!

  34. This entire sweet breakfast spread is amazing! I can't wait to make the coffee pops for little gifts.

  35. Oh lordy, those coffee lollipops are calling to me! Was that a heart shaped sugar patch I saw on a vintage flan pan?! I just love looking at your displays every bit as much as your creations. Another absolutely inspiring post! xo ~Lili

  36. This is so fun and just simply beautiful...almost too beautiful to eat! Fantastic idea :)

  37. Bravo lady, this is over the top! One of my favorites you have posted, what a treat to share with guests.

  38. Holy moly, coffee on a stick?!?! I'm in HEAVEN! And I actually have all those ingredients in my kitchen currently, including lollypop sticks. You are amazing!!


  39. Heather! Wowzers. How fun and creative is this post and recipes?! Guests would be floored with this presentation. Coffee lollipops? Love you even more than ever ;)

  40. this is fantastic. you always think outside of the box and I think this is one of your most creative creations!

  41. Oh yes, candy for breakfast..LOVE IT!!!
    So fun!

  42. This is one incredibly fun breakfast!!! Love that custard!

  43. Love the idea of those broiled custard eggs. The coffee on a stick is simply brilliant!

  44. I love your take on the classics and how you made them your own, so cute and fun.

  45. This looks incredible! You are very talented and patient! well done!

  46. Heavenly! Love love love the idea of having dessert for breakfast or breakfast for dessert! Thanks for sharing! I am following your wonderful blog and would like to invite you to follow my blog too!


  47. wow, awesome! brilliant and beautiful. trying to think of ways I can do this now that Easter is over..

  48. I've seen this recipe for fake eggs and soldiers (plus ice cream) on Masterchef Australia (http://www.masterchef.com.au/egg-and-soldiers.htm) how awesome for you to reproduce it so well!

  49. What an amazing ideas and such delicious desserts...

  50. I made these and they were delish! I had to add a tiny bit of red food dye in the "yolk" because my mango's flesh was too pale. The shortbread just melts in your mouth and was great dipped in the custard. Here are some pictures (excuse the poor cell phone images):



  51. Wow, this is so beautiful! I am very happy I found your blog on pinterest!

  52. OMG! You have NOOOO idea how happy this makes me :) I was having such a bad night and then I saw this recipe, and now I am smiling from ear to ear. I am a coffeeholic totally cant wait to make them tomorrow morning!


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