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imageA traditional French dish, oeufs en cocotte (or coddled eggs) makes for an elegant and nourishing breakfast, brunch, lunch or starter. Oeuf cocotte is made by cooking an egg in a ramekin, along with other ingredients — usually ham and crème fraîche or heavy cream, with an optional topping of grated cheese. But where does the name originate? “Cocotte” is a cute word for a hen, and is also an old-fashioned endearing – or condescending, depending on the tone – term for a girl. However another explanation: You probably know that in French, a cocotte is an oval or round casserole with a lid and two hand grips on each side used for stewing or boiling. The reason why we call this egg dish an “oeuf en cocotte” is because the eggs — gently broken in the cup — are cooked in a small cocotte; nowadays a glass or ceramic ramekin is more often used. But I generally use glass because I like the idea of seeing the food.

Serves 4


4 eggs
200 ml / 3/4 cup cream
150 g / 5 oz wild mushrooms, cleaned and cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon butter
1 shallot, finely diced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Fresh chives and parsley, cut finely


Preheat the oven to 180 c / 360 F
Prepare a bain-marie and place in the oven with boiling water
Melt the butter in a skillet over medium high heat
Add the shallots and the mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes
Place the mushroom and shallot mixture evenly in the 4 ramekins
Heat the cream
Add salt and pepper
Pour the cream evenly into the ramekins
Gently break an egg into each
Place in the bain-marie and cook about 15 minutes, until the white of the egg is cooked but the yolk still runny
Sprinkle on the fresh herbs and serve immediately