We gave up “baking” eggs such as “oeuf cocotte“. Eggs never cook properly ending up with overcooked yolks and under cooked whites. So, we usually substitute “baking” eggs with poached eggs. Then we came across the article and recipe on perfectly “baked” eggs in a paper copy of Cook Illustrated by America’s test kitchen. They tested many different ways of baking eggs They listed a spinach florentine recipe with baked egg. Instead of making spinach Florentine, we used my wife’s Indian style spinach without cheese curds.
The picture above shows perfectly cooked egg white and still runny egg yolk. So their method of baking eggs really works!
My wife garnished this with small chunks of Reggiano Pamigiano cheese and fresh basil leaves.
The secret of success is that the item that goes under the egg has to have a certain around of moisture to produce steam during cooking (such as this dish or florentine). It also has to support the egg white and yolk in the proper way. So, my wife made the circular indentations as you see above. The center crater will hold up the egg yolk. In addition, you need to bake the base first so it is piping hot before placing the egg on top. This allows the white to cook first while the yolk is insulated by the spinach mixture and cooks more slowly
We preheated our convection toaster oven to 400F and placed the ramekins with the spinach sauce in a glass pyrex baking dish and cooked ifor 10 minutes before placing the egg on the top. We then continued baking for 10 more minutes. After removing from the oven we garnished with chunks of parmesan and fresh basil. We had this as a breakfast with toast of my wife’s home baked white bread and freshly brewed Cappuccino (we home roast green beans and use Italian-made espresso machine, I may be able to post about our coffee when my inventory of the Izakaya dishes are low).
P.S. Later, we also tried this using spinach florentine which was also very good and the eggs were baked perfectly.