Surprise your Valentine with this romantic breakfast of heart-shaped oven-poached eggs served with Grana Padano crisps and Prosciutto di San Daniele asparagus soldiers ❤️
This post was created in collaboration with Grana Padano and Prosciutto di San Daniele consortiums.
Do you celebrate Valentine’s Day? I used to dread it as an awkward teen, have a love/hate relationship with it in my 20s, enjoy it when finally in a happy relationship and now finally sort of ignore it as someone long-married. Well, not totally ignore it of course. I still enjoy making a fuss by preparing a special dessert and cocktails while my husband usually prepares a fancy dinner (and unceremoniously boots me out of the kitchen for ‘backseat cooking’).
If you would like to surprise someone special with the cutest Valentine’s Day breakfast, then my recipe for heart-shaped oven-poached eggs served with Grana Padano crisps and asparagus soldiers wrapped in yummy Prosciutto di San Daniele is just the thing! And even though it looks pretty fancy, it could not be easier to prepare. Don’t believe me? Let me walk you through it…
Making Grana Padano cheese crisps or ‘baskets’?
The last time I enjoyed cheese crisps was at a pretty upscale restaurant. They look pretty and bring so much taste to a meal but are actually surprisingly easy to prepare. First start with a wedge of Grana Padano cheese. Grate the cheese coarsely and create two little piles on a tray lined with baking paper. Cook for 4-8 minutes in a hot oven until the cheese melts and starts to bubble.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool for a few seconds until cool enough to handle. At this point you can drape the still-hot crisps over a small bowl to create ‘baskets’. The crisps will take the shape of the bowl as they cool and look very pretty with their lacy, frilly edges. You do have to work fast as the crisps cool quickly – if you bake them for 4-6 minutes they will be more pliable but slightly paler.
If you let the crips dry flat then you can make Grana Padano crisps which can be used to bring flavour to salads and soups. You can add dried herbs or some pepper to flavour these further if you like.
Heart-shaped oven-poached eggs
These super-cute eggs are also super simple to make. All you need is a heart-shaped silicone muffin tin! These are a cross between poached eggs and baked eggs if I am absolutely honest, but they are infinitely easier to prepare than stovetop poached eggs.
Preheat he oven to 180C (350F). Place the muffin tin on a sturdy baking tray if it is flexible, then spray with cooking spray or cake release.
Carefully crack a small egg in each of the holes, keeping the yolks intact. If your muffin tin is quite large you can use larger eggs but test the capacity first. Pour a little water over the top of the eggs, this will protect the yolks from burning at the top.
Bake the eggs for between 11-14 minutes, or until the egg whites are set and yolks are cooked to your liking. If you prefer runny yolks then pay close attention and take them out while still a bit wobbly. You need the egg whites to be set in order for the eggs to come out of the tin cleanly.
If the yolks are done but whites still a bit runny, cover them with a piece of foil, turn the oven off and leave them to cook a bit longer. Leave the eggs to cool in the muffin tin for a minute or two and then run a small knife around the edges.
Carefully remove from the muffin tin and transfer to a plate to serve. The eggs will continue to cook in the residual heat – mine were runny straight out of the oven, but almost completely set after I was done photographing them!
Needless to say you can use a round muffin tin or cupcake tin instead of a heart-shaped one – cooking in a metal tin actually helps the eggs cook better and faster. Whatever tin you use, you might want to do a test run to check the timing for your eggs, especially if you are serving these on Valentine’s Day!
Prosciutto di San Daniele and Grana Padano Cheese have been recognised by the European Union as Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) products since 1996. Look out for the Protected Designation of Origin symbol, which is an assurance of quality.
- 4 small eggs or as many as six
- cooking spray or cake release spray
- 100 g | 3 1/2 oz Grana Padano cheese for crisps 200g | 7oz for baskets
- 8 asparagus stalks
- 4 large slices Prosciutto di San Daniele halved legthwise
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- Preheat the oven to 200C (400F). Line a baking tray with baking paper or use a silicone mat.
- Coarsely grate the cheese and then create two circular mounds of cheese on the baking paper.
- Cook for 6-8 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbling and just starting to colour a little.
- Remove from the oven and either leave to dry to create crisps or carefully drape over little bowls if you want to create cheese baskets. Work fast, as the the cheese will quickly cool and cease to be pliable.
- Lower the oven heat to 180C (350F). Spray a silicone heart-shaped muffin tin with cooking spray and pour about 1 tbsp of water in the holes.
- Carefully crack an egg in the holes. Season with salt and pepper and then pour a little water over the eggs.
- Cook for 11-14 minutes, or until the eggs are cooked to your liking. If you cook until the yolks are completely set, the eggs will be easier to remove from the silicone mould.
- Carefully run a knife around the eggs to loosen from tin and transfer to a plate.
- Meanwhile, cook the asparagus in boiling water for about 4 minutes until just tender and then plunge into cold water. Drain and dry.
- Wrap the prosciutto slices around the asparagus stalks.
- Serve the heart-shaped eggs over the Grana Padano crisps with the asparagus soldiers on the side.
It is advisable to test the timings for your oven-poached eggs. The eggs will take longer to cook in a silicone tin than in a metal one. Remember that the eggs will continue to cook in the residual heat after you take them out of the oven. If the egg whites are runny but the yolks are done to your liking, turn the oven off, cover the muffin tin and leave them to set a bit more.