Egg threads

Egg threads

Fios de ovos

By
From
Lisbon
Serves
4 as a small dessert
Photographer
Steven Joyce

This is a very traditional dessert and cake topping, made by drizzling strands of egg yolk into hot syrup. The end result looks a little like yellow spaghetti and is great fun for kids to eat. The technique dates back to the 15th century or earlier, and similar desserts are found in Brazil, Japan and China, probably having arrived with Portuguese explorers or traders during the colonial era.

You can store the leftover egg whites in the fridge or freezer to use for another recipe, such as meringues or Molotov Pudding.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
8 egg yolks
300g caster sugar
200ml water

Method

  1. Place the yolks in a sieve as you separate them, to remove as much white as possible, then transfer them to a bowl. Beat the yolks together briefly, so the egg is smooth, but without introducing too much air as this can make the threads puffy. Pour the yolks into a piping bag with a narrow nozzle attached, or into a plastic sandwich bag. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, place the sugar and water in a wide frying pan and bring to the boil over a medium–high heat. Cook until slightly thickened but not yet turning brown or caramelising (you want a thin, clear syrup), then turn the heat down until barely simmering.
  3. Have ready a bowl of iced water.
  4. When ready to cook, if using a plastic sandwich bag, snip a 2 mm hole in the corner of the bag. Drizzle the yolk mixture into the syrup, working from one side of the pan to the other and using a smooth back-and-forth motion to make long, thin threads in the syrup. Cook for 30 seconds, then lift out gently, using a slotted spoon. Place the threads in the bowl of iced water, trying to avoid tangling them.
  5. Continue until all the yolks have been used up.
  6. Serve as they are, in small bowls, or use the threads to decorate cakes or confectionary.
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