Ceci n’est pas un oeuf

The treachery of food at WD-50, where an egg is not an egg. The egg whites are coconut milk infused with cardamom. The yolks are carrot juice and smoked maple syrup. The texture is remarkably similar to a real sunny side up egg.

Recipe from Modernist Cuisine.

For the egg yolks:

  • 250 g carrot juice
  • 25 g glucose syrup DE 40 (I substituted corn syrup)
  • 1.5 g xanthan gum
  • smoked maple syrup, to taste (see instructions below for how to make smoked maple syrup. I used 2 tablespoons.)
  • salt, to taste (I used 1 g of salt. Ideas in Food finds 0.5% salt by weight of food is a good rule of thumb)

For the egg whites:

  • 500 g coconut milk
  • 20 g sugar
  • 9 g cardamom, cracked (I substituted 1/6 by weight ground cardamom )
  • 0.8 g guar gum
  • 0.8 g locust bean gum
  • 0.8 g xanthan gum

For assembly:

  • 250 g water
  • 1 g kappa carrageenan
  • 1 g locust bean gum
  • 0.12 g potassium chloride (I substituted calcium chloride because I had it on hand. Either ion will induce gelling.)
  • coarse salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • olive oil, to taste

Special equipment:

Start with the egg yolks because they require time to freeze. Juice the carrots and save the pulp to make carrot bread.

I’d never heard of smoked maple syrup before. I don’t have a smoker, so I improvised and combined 1/2 cup normal maple syrup with 1/4 tsp liquid hickory smoke. This ratio is smoky without being overpowering. It’s really good – I’m definitely going to use this elsewhere.

Mix the carrot juice, corn syrup, and xanthan gum using a hand blender.

Stir in the smoked maple syrup and salt. Pour into the silicone mold and freeze for 2 hours.

The original recipe calls for steeping the milk, sugar, and cracked cardamom together in the refrigerator for 20 minutes, straining the cardamom out, and then adding the guar gum, locust bean gum, and xanthan gum. I only had ground cardamom on hand, so I could skip a step and mix everything together at once.  The downside is that the egg whites aren’t perfectly white (there’s no way to strain out the cardamom powder).

Blend the coconut milk, sugar, ground cardamom, guar gum, locust bean gum, and xanthan gum together in a pot with a hand blender. Heat to 80 C. Immediately pour mixture onto service plates. Work fast, the egg whites set quickly.

For assembly, blend water, kappa carrageenan, locust bean gum, and calcium chloride together in a pot with a hand blender. Heat to 80 C, then cool and hold at 45 C. Use a toothpick or skewer to dip the frozen egg yolks into the liquid. Place onto the plated egg white and remove the skewer. Make sure to put a drop of the liquid over the hole left by the skewer to completely encapsulate the yolk in gel, otherwise the carrot juice will leak out when it thaws.

Wait 30 minutes for the yolks to melt so they are liquid inside before serving.

Runny yolks! And the illusion is complete. I didn’t know until after I took this picture that WD-50 uses much less olive oil and pepper when plating. For the yolks, the smoky maple syrup hits first, followed by a strong carrot finish. For the egg whites, the cardamom coconut milk texture was perfectly eggy. The olive oil and pepper made it more of a savory dessert.

Don’t waste the carrot pulp! Make lots of carrot bread and orange-carrot juice.