EGGS BENEDICT - Daring Cook's Challenge - Dec/2010


Jenn and Jill have challenged The Daring Cooks to learn to perfect the technique of poaching an egg. They chose Eggs Benedict recipe from Alton Brown, Oeufs en Meurette from Cooking with Wine by Anne Willan, and Homemade Sundried Tomato & Pine Nut Seitan Sausages (poached) courtesy of Trudy of Veggie num num.

This is my first official participation on the Daring Cooks Challenge. I am much more of a baker than a cook, so being part of this group will be a double challenge for me. I really want to improve my cooking skills and I think there's no better place to do that. Seems like I had a great start since this month's challenge was to use the technique of POACHING. There were delicious recipes to choose from and I decided to try "Eggs Benedict". It may be well known to many of you but it was totally new to me. I also learned about the "English Muffins" and made my own. Delicious!

Well, if you are like me and know nothing about "Eggs Benedict", it is a breakfast or brunch dish where you top freshly toasted English Muffins with Canadian bacon, a poached egg and Hollandaise sauce. I had no idea  this could be SO GOOD! Each part, by itself, is nothing compared to the deliciousness of all the parts together. I was surprised on the first bite!

You can choose how you like the yolks, I prefer mine soft and creamy, rather than runny (I poached the egg for about 4 minutes)

(Adapted from the recipe provided for the challenge. My alterations in red. Serves 4)

4 eggs (size is your choice)
2 English muffins (I made my own)
4 slices of Canadian bacon/back bacon (or plain bacon if you prefer)
Chives, for garnish (I used hot paprika)
Splash of vinegar (for poaching)

For the hollandaise (makes 1.5 cups) (I made 1/3 of the recipe)
3 large egg yolks
1 tsp. (5 ml) water
¼ tsp. (1 ¼ ml/1½ g) sugar
12 Tbl. (170 g/6 oz.) unsalted butter, chilled and cut in small pieces 
½ tsp. (2 ½ ml/3 g) kosher salt
2 tsp. (10 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
Pinch cayenne pepper (optional) (I used hot paprika)


1. Fill a medium saucepan halfway with water and bring to a simmer.

2. Cut the chilled butter into small pieces and set aside.

3. Whisk egg yolks and 1 tsp. (5 ml) water in a mixing bowl large enough to sit on the saucepan without touching the water (or in top portion of a double boiler). Whisk for 1–2 minutes, until egg yolks lighten. Add the sugar and whisk 30 seconds more.

4. Place bowl on saucepan over simmering water and whisk steadily 3–5 minutes (it only took about 3 for me) until the yolks thicken to coat the back of a spoon.

5. Remove from heat (but let the water continue to simmer) and whisk in the butter, 1 piece at a time. Move the bowl to the pan again as needed to melt the butter, making sure to whisk constantly.

6. Once all the butter is incorporated, remove from heat and whisk in the salt, lemon juice, and cayenne pepper (if using).

7. Keep the hollandaise warm while you poach your eggs in a thermos, carafe, or bowl that you've preheated with warm water.

8. If the water simmering in your pan has gotten too low, add enough so that you have 2–3 inches of water and bring back to a simmer.

9. Add salt and a splash of vinegar (any kind will do). I added about a tablespoon of vinegar to my small saucepan (about 3 cups of water/720 ml of water), but you may need more if you’re using a larger pan with more water.

10. Crack eggs directly into the very gently simmering water (or crack first into a bowl and gently drop into the water), making sure they’re separated. Cook for 3 minutes for a viscous but still runny yolk.

11. While waiting for the eggs, quickly fry the Canadian/back bacon and toast your English muffin.

12. Top each half of English muffin with a piece of bacon. Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon, draining well, and place on top of the bacon. Top with hollandaise and chopped chives, and enjoy!

Homemade English Muffins. I learned that English Muffins should never be cut with a knife. It should be pricked with a fork all around it and then split in half... interesting...

For homemade ENGLISH MUFFINS, and for the technique of  POACHING EGGS, I followed the instructions from the videos of The Culinary Institute of America.

If you would like to see the delicious creations of the other Daring Cooks, please visit THE DARING KITCHEN where you will also find the original recipes for this challenge.

A huge THANK YOU to Jenn and Jill for hosting such a wonderful challenge!


  1. Best looking eggs benedict ever! The hot paprika really brightens up the beautiful dish. Wow, this is a luxury breakfast I can afford! Have a nice week!

  2. Your English muffins look beautiful! And those eggs... they look perfect! I am so glad you are now a Darig Cook, too. You are such a joy to "work" with, and I can't wait to see what you do next!

  3. Congrats on your first challenge, it looks like it was a complete success!! Lovely homemade English muffins as well!! :)

  4. Hurray! Great to have you in the Daring Cooks! Your Eggs Benedict looks stunning - what a perfect yolk on that egg & the muffins look so soft and fluffy.

    I totally agree about the dish being more than the sum of its parts. Yum!

  5. The poached eggs look perfect, and I love how you did your own English muffins. Yes I agree the sum of the parts make a super delicious whole.

    Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

  6. Renata, welcome to the Daring Cooks!! It is so wonderful to have you on both sides now! :) And what a beautiful job on this challenge - your muffins look so light and fluffy and delicious, and your finished dish? Man, it looks fantastic. I agree - these dishes are SO much more than just the sum of the individual parts! Great, great job.

  7. Wonderful job!!! Your eggs benedict look delicious. Your english muffins, however, look absolutely perfect!!! Wonderful job!

  8. Renata, you are amazing..homemade English muffins and I absolutely LOVE the addition of hot paprika! So glad you're a Daring Cook now! Get to see your awesome creations both sweet and savory! :)

  9. Welcome to the Daring Cooks!! Great job on the challenge - your eggs benedict look perfect!

  10. Glad you've joined us in the Daring Cooks! Great job on your first challenge. Eggs benedict are pretty amazing, aren't they?

  11. Great job on the English muffins! Welcome to Daring Cooks - great first challenge. Beautiful.

  12. You do realize that now that you have had Eggs Benedict, there is no turning back, don't you? Yours look wonderful!

  13. A great job on your first challenge :) They look amazing, well done!

  14. You did great on your first Daring Cooks challenge. Everything looks perfect and delicious.

  15. Great job! I'll have to make my own English Muffins sometime, too!

  16. Aren't Eggs Benedict the best? I love them! Your version looks beautiful! Plus that's so cool that you made your own English muffins. Great job with this challenge! :)

  17. It was nice meeting you in the forums. Welcome to DC. Re-creating this dish having no experience with it shows you are a truly talented cook. I look forward to seeing more challenges from you in the future.

  18. Great stuff, Renata. Eggs Benedict is a great dish that takes plain ingredients and turns them into something special.

    I like Daring Cooks better than Daring Bakers because I know that what I learn I will use again. Sometimes the DB is just too outlandish for my normal life. :)

  19. Looks lovely. I'm soooo impressed with the home made muffins!

  20. Wow! You look to have had great success with your Eggs Benedict. Well done!

    Stay JOLLY!

  21. What a fabulous job you've done! And even made your own English Muffins! I've always thought about making my own....but then it's just so easy to go buy them....and of course I am lazy:) I love eggs benedict (although I feel guilty for the calories) and your challenge turned out just perfectly!

  22. Very, very good job!! Especially if you feel like more of a baker than a cook. What a great group of cooks you have joined. This is my second Daring Cook challenge and it's so much fun!

  23. Congrats on your first challenge (it becomes addictive) and you did a really great job. Love that you made your own muffins!

  24. My apologies. I was reading the Portuguese version and just assumed you were from Portugal rather than Brazil.

  25. You did a fabulous job in making awesome eggs bendict.

  26. wow Renata, you've joined the Daring Cooks now as well.. Congratulations for your eggs benedict! it made me want to have one for breakfast! :)


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