Soufflé omelette with cheese, tomatoes and pepperoni – Serves 2
This omelette is puffed up with beaten egg whites to make it light and fluffy.
50g grated cheese
½ teaspoon mixed herbs or fresh parsley
1 tablespoon oil
4 cherry tomatoes
50g pepperoni or salami sausage, sliced
- Separate the eggs into yolks and whites in 2 bowls.
- Put the cheese and herbs into the yolks, beat and season.
- Whisk the egg whites until they are light and fluffy.
Gently stir in the egg yolk mixture.
- Heat the oil in a frying pan and tip in the egg mix.
Cook as the mixture sets then top with the tomatoes and slices of pepperoni.
- Place the pan under the grill – take care not to put the handle under the heat.
Grill until the top is puffed up and golden.
- Serve the soufflé omelette straight away with a salad.
The science bit
The egg protein denatures, coagulates and sets with the heat and this binds the ingredients together.
When the egg whites are whisked, the protein extends and surrounds and traps the air bubbles, creating a colloidal foam – a gas-in-liquid foam.
When the soufflé omelette is cooked, the air expands with heat and the egg proteins set and coagulate making a light, soft omelette.
Mini meringues – Makes 8
You can pipe or spoon the meringue shapes.
2 large egg whites or ready to use egg white
110g caster sugar
Filling – whipped cream, cream cheese, mascarpone or fromage frais and a little sugar
Decorate with chopped strawberries and sprinkle on icing sugar.
- Line the baking tray with parchment paper.
- Preheat the oven 140°C/Gas 1.
- Crack the eggs to separate the whites from the yolks – or buy liquid egg white.
- Put the egg whites in a bowl and whisk until the egg whites are fluffy.
- Slowly add the sugar. If you add the sugar too early it stops the egg proteins from extending to form the foam network. You need sugar to keep the foam stable when it cooks and becomes crisp.
- If you’ve beaten the egg whites too much, the foam breaks down, so whisk another egg white and stir into the mixture.
- Pile 8 heaped dessert spoons of the meringue onto the parchment paper or pipe as stars.
- Bake in the oven for time needed to crisp the meringue.
- You can whisk some whipping cream and make another foam to pile onto the meringue with fruit for decoration.
The science bit
The egg whites are beaten to form a foam.
The egg white protein, albumen, uncoils and forms a network trapping the air.
When the meringue cooks, the air expands and pushes up the protein which denatures, coagulates and sets, forming the crisp meringue.