The recipe below is the result of cooking 23 variations on the basic scrambled eggs recipe and the taste tested them on five volunteers. The results were surprising and didn't reflect the recipes offered by the top internet sites.
Most startling, but never mentioned in other recipes we have seen, was the effect that butter had on the end result. Most recipes include butter in their scrambled eggs but the amount varies considerably. The more butter is in the scrambled eggs the more silky is the texture and richer the taste. But at a very early stage the flavour of the butter overpowers the dish leaves it feeling greasy. We believe our recipe contains just the right amount of butter.
The next key element for scrambled eggs is the seasoning. One surprising fact became clear very early on. Grinding sea salt from a salt grinder results in far less salt being added compared to adding it from a salt cellar. The difference was by an average factor of four. The cooks thought they were all adding a fair amount of salt but those using a grinder in fact added about a quarter of the salt compared to those who added salt via a salt cellar.
We decided to measure the salt a bit more accurately after that discovery and our recipe below reflects those findings.
The final element, as far as ingredients are concerned, which affected the taste of scrambled eggs was the type and amount of milk or cream added. One fact quickly became clear, the more milk / cream which was added, the more anaemic the scrambled eggs looked. Within reasonable amounts, the effect on the taste was minimal, certainly nowhere near the effect of the butter or seasoning.
We did use a variety of eggs, very fresh, less fresh, free range and battery farmed, but none had any noticeable effect.
As far as cooking is concerned, we tested out three elements. First the length of cooking time was tested. Not surprisingly, the longer the scrambled eggs were cooked, the firmer they became. It was a matter of taste how firm people preferred their scrambled eggs. But one fact became clear from our taste tests. The sloppy, part liquid so recommended by many cooking web sites and cookery books came out the clear loser. Some tasters were unable to eat any more than one spoonful of these sloppy scrambled eggs.
Next we tested out how the eggs were mixed when in the pan. We tried two different methods. First the traditional method of continually stirring the eggs when they were cooked. Second we tested out the method of simply folding the eggs in over about 50% of the cooking time, letting them intermittently rest in between. The results were clear cut, the traditional method was significantly more preferred. The folding and resting method raised the same comment each time - they tasted OK but they were not scrambled eggs. They were something like a cross between an omelette and scrambled eggs.
Taking all those comments into account we have devised below the recipe for perfect scrambled eggs. Just to make sure we have covered all points of view we have included the second most preferred recipe (only a slight variation on the first). We also give our method for cooking scrambled eggs in the microwave which never came out top but was enjoyed by all but one of our tasters.
Recipe by David Marks.
|Two Large eggs|
|10 grams / third ounce of butter|
|Sea salt, enough to just cover 50% of the base of a teaspoon|
|1 tablespoon of milk (we used semi-skimmed)|
Cook this way for 3 minutes 30 seconds. Serve on pre-cooked toast and eat immediately. The above recipe results in reasonably firm scrambled eggs which still remain moist and have a fine texture.