French cafe offers discount to polite customersThe proprieties of a cafe in the south of France have struck out against their countrymen's legendary rudeness.
Why millions are giving up diet drinksNutritionists are celebrating the news that diet soft drink sales have fallen by almost seven percent in the US this year.
Some brains hard-wired to love chocolateWondering why you can't say no to a slice of mud cake, but your friend can easily pass? It could be to do with how your brain is wired.
Eggs, ham and English muffins
4 stars - based on 8 reviews
- 12 eggs
- 12 thick slices leg ham off the bone
- To serve: chervil sprigs
- 1 tbsp (14gm; about 2 sachets) dried yeast
- Pinch of caster sugar
- 600 gm (4 cups) plain flour
- 310 ml (1¼ cup) milk, warmed
- 1 egg
- 40 gm butter, melted
- For dusting: polenta
- 250 ml (1 cup) white wine vinegar
- 1 bunch tarragon, torn
- 4 golden shallots, finely chopped
- 3 egg yolks
- 250 ml warm clarified butter
Prep time 30 mins, cook 45 mins (plus proving)
For English muffins, combine yeast, sugar and 60ml lukewarm water in a bowl and stand until foamy (5-10 minutes). Add flour, milk, egg, butter and 1 tsp sea salt to yeast mixture, mix well to combine. Turn onto a floured surface, knead until smooth and elastic (3-5 minutes). Place in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, stand until doubled in size (40-50 minutes). Preheat oven to 180C. Dust a work surface with polenta. Knock back dough, scatter with polenta, then roll to 1cm thick. Cut out muffins using a 9cm-diameter cutter (re-roll scraps) and set aside to prove slightly (10 minutes). Heat a large frying pan over medium heat then toast muffins, in batches, wiping pan clean between batches, until golden (5-10 minutes). Transfer to an oven tray and bake, turning once, until cooked through and puffed (8-10 minutes). Set aside.
For hollandaise, combine vinegar, tarragon and shallot in a small saucepan and cook over medium-high heat until reduced to 50ml (15-20 minutes). Strain through a fine sieve into the bowl of an electric mixer, pressing to extract liquid. Add yolks, then place bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and whisk until pale. Transfer to mixer, add 20ml hot water and, while whisking, gradually add clarified butter in a thin steady stream until thick and pale. Keep warm.
Preheat a grill to high heat. Poach eggs in a saucepan of simmering water until soft-poached (3 minutes). Drain.
Grill ham on an oven tray to warm (2-4 minutes), halve muffins and grill, turning occasionally, to lightly toast (2-4 minutes). Place ham on muffin bases, top each with a poached egg. Spoon hollandaise over, garnish with chervil, sandwich with muffin tops and serve.