When I first saw the video for this Rachel Khoo recipe on the BBC Food YouTube channel, I was dying to make it. I even bought a deep muffin tin for it. But every time I got a hankering to make it, I was always out of a crucial ingredient (eggs one week, milk another week). I eventually made them a month ago, after returning from a very long day at the hospital where it was discovered my mother had had a heart attack (all is well now!). I definitely had to make them, to help distract me but also because I knew it would be the ultimate quick comfort food. So at midnight I set off and made these and I was NOT disappointed. Crunchy, hot, gooey deliciousness is what these muffins are! The perfect brunch or lunch time snack!
Croque Madame Muffins
Adapted from The Little Paris Kitchen by Rachel Khoo
3 slices of white bread
1 1/2 tbsp butter, melted
3 slices of ham or 40g ham cubed
3 small eggs
For cheese sauce
1/2 tbsp butter
1/2 tbsp plain flour
15g Mature cheddar cheese (or Parmesan or Gruyere), grated
Salt and Pepper
1. First make the sauce. In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat, then add the flour and beat until you make a roux (a smooth paste). Take off the heat and gradually add milk, while still whisking. Add cheese, salt and pepper and whisk until melted and sauce has thickened. If it is too thick, add a small amount of milk and whisk to thin it out a bit.
2. Preheat oven to 180°C. Remove the crusts from the bread, then flatten with a rolling pin. Brush the melted butter onto both sides of the bread. Then use the bread to line the muffin tin, like it’s a cupcake wrapper (make sure it’s a muffin tin, so that it’s deep enough to hold everything).
3. Place a slice of ham into the bread in a similar way you placed the bread into the muffin tin. Or if using cubed ham, just line the bottom of the bread.
4. Next crack egg on top of the ham (if the egg is too large, remove some of the white first). Then put two tablespoons of cheese sauce on top of the egg and if you wish sprinkle with a bit more cheese on top. Bake for 15-20 mins, depending on how runny you like your eggs. Personally I find 17-18 is perfect as it’s beginning to harden but there’s still some softness there. Serve immediately.
I’m looking forward to experimenting with these, I’m sure if you’d like to do a vegetarian version of this, some cooked spinach in place of ham might be nice. Or some lovely caramelised onions. Yum yum, the possibilities are endless!