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Existential eggs


  • 12 eggs, ideally brown + extras for safety
  • 3/4 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
  • 16 ounces white baker’s chocolate, chopped into teenie weenie bits, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups cold heavy cream, divided
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 12 passionfruits* or 1 1/2 cups frozen pure passionfruit puree, or apricot juice, or 3 ripe mangos, peeled, seeded and pureed.
  • 1 egg carton, for use in assembling eggs


  1. Using a sharp knife, carefully chop off the fatter bottom side of the eggs, in the same manner as you would cut the top off a soft-boiled egg. Reserve the eggs in a tightly sealed jar for your next breakfast. Run the eggshells under very hot water (be careful) to clean out any egg white residue. Use your finger to roll away the thin membrane that covers the interior of the shell. Reserve shells in egg carton.
  2. In a small bowl, add 3 tablespoons of water. Sprinkle gelatin over the top and let stand for five minutes. Reserve.
  3. In a large bowl, add 8 ounces chocolate.
  4. In a small pot, bring 1/2 cup of cream to a boil. Add dissolved gelatin and vanilla and stir for 30 seconds.
  5. Pour cream over chocolate and whisk until smooth.
  6. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, or until chocolate thickens, but still falls off a spoon.
  7. In a standing mixer or a large bowl, whip remaining cup of cream until it forms stiff peaks.
  8. Using a rubber spatula, gently but thoroughly fold whipped cream into chocolate mixture. Return to refrigerator for two hours, or until it has set.
  9. If making passionfruit puree, scoop out 12 passionfruits, then press fruit through a strainer to remove the seeds. Transfer juice (or any other juice or puree you may be starting with) to a plastic container or pan or ice cube mold that is small enough to allow juice to be ½-inch deep. Freeze. When juice is frozen solid, cut into ½-inch cubes. Reserve in freezer.

To assemble

  1. Transfer white chocolate mousse (that’s what it is now) to a pastry bag, or a large resealable plastic bag with its corner clipped. Set eggs in carton cut side up. Fill one third of each eggshell with mousse. Set a passionfruit yolk in the center of each shell and push it down slightly into mousse. Pipe more mousse over yolk, being careful not to leave any air pockets, and fill egg to ¼-inch below the lip of the shell. Reserve in refrigerator.  
  2. Melt 4 oz. white chocolate over a double boiler. Spoon a tablespoon over the open end of each egg to plug it up. Return to refrigerator for a minimum of one hour until the chocolate plug hardens and the yolks thaw (so that they run when cut into).
  3. Melt remaining white chocolate over a double boiler. Dip the edges of the cut side in melted chocolate, then place cut side down in the egg cup. Make sure that the melted chocolate comes in contact with the inside of the egg cup so that when the chocolate sets, it adheres the egg to the cup. Refrigerate until chocolate sets, or until you are ready to serve
  4. When it comes to what to say, you are on your own here. With that said, I like to pretend that I’m serving a soft boiled egg as some form of “renewal”, and I never mention that it’s a dessert. However you chose to set up the dessert, instruct your guests to cut the top off the egg as they would do with any soft-boiled egg.


Yield 12 servings. Once you are going to all this trouble, there is no sense in only making a few. (See Advance Work below for what to do with extras)

Uncommon goods gelatin; white baker's chocolate; passionfruits or frozen passionfruit puree

Level of difficulty Making this recipe is like learning an elaborate card trick. It seems tricky to pull off at the outset, but when decoded it’s actually quite simple.

Inactive prep 4 hours

Advance work Eggs can be made up to 3 days in advance. Refrigerate in an egg carton wrapped with plastic wrap. Extra eggs will last in the freezer for a month. If freezing, transfer to the fridge 4 hours before serving.

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