Eggs Benedict with Shaved Truffle

Eggs Benedict is a dish of poached egg on a bed of ham or bacon over a muffin half and covered in lashings of Hollandaise - egg yolks emulsified with butter.

Topping with grated or shaved truffle makes an especially rich dish and one which is a real treat!

Truffle is the fruiting body an underground fungus and rightly deserve their accolade as "diamond of the kitchen".

Let's get cracking ...

First, the "muffin" - place a Portobello mushroom in the oven set to around 180C to soften up.

Next, the Hollandaise.

Collect three egg yolks in a glass mixing bowl.

Put a good block of butter in a pan and on a gentle heat. As the butter melts, the solids will drop out leaving clarified butter to pour off, discarding the solids and returning the clarified top to the gentle heat to keep warm. The shortcut here is to use ghee.

Whisk the eggs briskly with a balloon whisk and add a splash of lemon juice.

Over a baines marie (sitting the mixing bowl over a pan of boiling water without the base of the bowl touching the water) and whisking constantly, pour the clarified butter into the mix in a constant stream.

You may need to lift the bowl off the heat every so often to prevent it from turning to custard.

If the Hollandaise becomes too thick, add a teaspoon of water.

Set the Hollandaise to one side.

Crack a further egg into a ramekin taking care not to break the yolk.

Add a generous splash of white distilled vinegar to the water, get it up to a rolling boil and then drop the heat. Gently swirl the water and carefully pour the egg into the vortex to poach.

Poach the egg, retrieve and dry off by resting it on a folded kitchen paper towel.

Re-warm the Hollandaise over the water, adjusting consistency with a little water if necessary. No need to add salt, since the ham will provide all the saltiness the dish needs.

Build the dish ...

Place the mushroom in the centre of the plate and cover generously with good cooked ham.

Gently place the poached egg on the ham and smother with the Hollandaise.

Crown the dish with shaved or grated truffle!