fluffy eggs

Pictured here is an item of culinary legend from my childhood. It is a dish that conjours up a moment of calm comfort in a childhood full of chaos and freedom. Fluffy eggs. My mum sure was good with a whisk.

Essentially this is just toast and eggs, that time honoured breakfast staple. But there is something so incredible about the juxtaposition of crisp toast, melted butter, salty, peppery egg fluff and yolk, cooked just long enough to ooze into the toast. Someone cares enough about your happiness at that early hour to pick up a whisk and assemble your eggs and toast into a confection that lets the world drop away, leaving you to bask in the warm sun of their regard.

In a moment of nostalgia I made these eggs for Finn. I used some thinly sliced brazil and almond bread, a generous slab of butter and lots of fresh black pepper. I was making it up a little, but everything seemed to go to plan and Fin's eyes grew as wide as saucers when he saw his breakfast sitting on a small pink plate all fluff and barely cooked yolk.

I made one for me too, so I could share the moment. Our eyes met across the table and the years fell away as I saw myself again, egg yolk on my chin from licking the plate clean.

You could cut the toast into a heart shape for valentine's day, but I don't think you need to state the obvious. Anyone who sees you whisking egg whites while frost is still on the grass will know you love them, without having it written on a heart shaped box.

Fluffy Eggs  Makes 2 portions

2 large  eggs
2 Slices of bread
sea salt
black pepper

Toast the bread and butter it as generously as you like. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 200ºC fan/220ºC conventional oven

Separate the eggs and leave the unbroken yolks each in half a shell, wedged carefully in the egg box while you beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt and lots of black pepper until stiff.

Make a nest on the buttered toast with the egg white, leaving a space in the middle just big enough for the egg yolk to sit. You probably won't use all the egg white - you could keep it in the fridge to add to a batch of bread, or stir into an omelette.

Put the toast and nest onto a baking sheet and plop the yolks carefully into the space so as not to break them.

Bake for 5-6 minutes, until there is a skin on the yolk, (but not much more than that) and the fluff is crisp and golden. If you don't like a really runny yolk then give it another couple of minutes.

Serve immediately or all your hard work will flop disappointingly. Provide salt, pepper and maybe a dollop of homemade ketchup.