Fake Hard-Boiled Eggs

From the Kuenstlichs und Fuertrefflichs Kochbuch, another recipe for fake eggs.

Lenten “fried eggs” made from marzipan, served with fig “bratwurst”

63 Hard-Boiled Eggs with Almonds

Take blanched almond kernels, grind them small, and colour yellow as much as is required for the yolk. Take eggshells and pour out (thus… heraus) the egg by the broader end. The almond mass should be well ground before you put the yolk into the shell like an egg yolk. Put a small wooden skewer (höltzlein) into the eggshell with the almond mass (the yolk) and leave the skewer in it. Take thick almond milk and pour it into the shells with the almond mass that is on the skewers. Move the skewers with the almond yolk (mandel höltzlein) so the milk runs all around as though it was the egg white. Set it in a cool place (in ein kalter) with the tips of the shells (sampt der spitzen) and leave the skewer in it so it sets as though they were hard-boiled eggs. Then withdraw the skewers, peel off the shells and slice it on a plate like other hard-boiled eggs.

Emptying and then refilling eggshells seems to have been a popular trick in the repertoire of medieval cooks. By 1559, it was a time-honoured tradition, and in this case the shells only function as a mould to impart the correct shape. Here, the result is hard-boiled eggs made from almonds.

First, a yolk is formed from an almond mass that I assume would resemble what we call marzipan dyed with saffron. This is suspended in an eggshell on a skewer holding it in place. I assume this is stood on its end vertically, the ‘yolk’ inserted through the opening at the broad end. The rest of the eggshell is then refilled with almond milk described as thick. This may well have been enriched with some kind of gelling agent, though sufficiently rich almond milk was supposed to solidify on its own accord. The eggs were then stored in a cool place until they set, the skewers carefully removed, the whole peeled and sliced to serve on a plate. This dish could be served with some hearty cracklings or a bratwurst sausage – or rather, their Lenten versions.

The short Kuenstlichs und Fuertrefflichs Kochbuch was first printed in Augsburg in 1559 and reprinted in Nuremberg in 1560 and subsequently. Despite its brevity, it is interesting especially as it contains many recipes for küchlein, baked or deep-fried confections, that apparently played a significant role in displaying status. We do not know who the famous cook referenced in the title may have been or if he ever existed.

This entry was posted in Uncategorised and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *