Have you heard about cloud eggs? It's the cooking fad in which the whites of the eggs are whipped until stiff, baked for a few minutes, and then the yoke is added halfway through and the two element finish baking together. The usual add-ins to the egg whites are chives and Parmesan cheese, but you can fold in just about anything before the baking stage.
It's popular right now to make cloud eggs and share your efforts on social media, but I worked off of a Rachael Ray Eggs In Clouds recipe from 2012 — meaning they've been around for a while. But I was curious, so I thought I'd give it a try. My directions here are a little loose, but they should be clear.
How to make cloud eggs
For each cloud egg, you'll need one egg, about a tablespoon of shredded hard cheese like Parmesan, a tablespoon of chopped chives, salt and pepper.
Grab your eggs and separate the white from the yolk. (If this is something that you find difficult, try this separating an egg trick that uses an empty water bottle to suction the yolk out of the white after the egg has been broken into a bowl.) Put all the egg whites into one glass or stainless steel bowl that's big enough to allow the eggs to expand five times or more. Put each egg yolk in an individual ramekin or bowl.
Next, whip the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. This Good Housekeeping video explains how to do that with a handheld mixer. You can also use a whisk (although it will take a long time) or a stand mixer.
Once the whites are fluffy with stiff peaks, use a rubber spatula to fold in the chives and cheese plus anything else you want to put in the cloud. Rachael Ray's recipe calls for bacon, but I omitted that ingredient. Separate the whipped whites into rounds on parchment paper. Make one round for each egg. Make an indentation in the middle of each round for the egg yolk, which you'll add halfway through baking.
Place the unbaked clouds into a preheated 400 degree oven and bake for about three minutes. The cloud should still be white at this point.
Remove the clouds from the oven and add one yolk per cloud. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for an additional three minutes until the cloud starts to brown slightly and the egg is still runny but not raw. If you've done it right, you'll end up with a cloud egg that looks like this.
Are cloud eggs worth the work?
My first attempt at making cloud eggs (or should I say cloud egg) was successful. It looks like it's supposed to look, but how did it taste? I found it bland. Even with the cheese, chives, salt and pepper, these eggs were nothing special. They weren't awful, but the cloud part was a bit spongy and that didn't appeal to me. In my opinion, these were not worth the work. I'd much rather scramble up an egg with cheese and chives than spend the 15 minutes it took to make these, plus the additional time it takes to clean up after.
I'm not saying you shouldn't try this process though. You may find you like the taste. I would suggest you add in bacon or some other flavorful breakfast meat to the cloud part before baking to give it some flavor. And, I'm curious what these would taste like with shredded horseradish cheddar, my favorite cheese to add to scrambled eggs, instead of the Parmesan. I'm not sure if I'm curious enough to try them again, though.
Have you tried cloud eggs? Do you think they're worth the work. Or, like me, will you stick with fast and easy scrambled eggs?