Scrambled: Editorial Slip and Delicious Irony

In Episode 46 in The French Chef Cookbook, Julia Child brings us “Elegance with Eggs”. She offers recipes for Oeufs en cocotte à la crème (eggs baked in ramekins), Oeufs mollets (molded [?] eggs), Oeufs sur le plat (shirred eggs), Omelette gratinée aux champignons (mushroom omelette gratinéed with cheese sauce).

I am a bit puzzled by her instructions for Oeufs mollets. She translated this as “molded eggs” and the procedure is similar to oeufs en cocotte in that the eggs are cracked and placed in ramekins. But I understood oeufs mollets to be cooked in the shell.

L’œuf mollet est un œuf cuit dans sa coquille plus longtemps qu’un œuf à la coque et moins longtemps qu’un œuf dur, de façon que le jaune soit mollet (coulant à souple) et le blanc coagulé ferme.Œuf_mollet

The Larousse Gastronomique solves the riddle. There is oeufs mollets which is soft-boiled eggs. And there is oeufs moulés which is “molded eggs” and is cooked according to the steps set out by Julia: in a ramekin set in a pan of simmering water and then when cooked they are lifted from the bain-marie and unmolded and used like poached eggs.

This confusion recorded in The French Chef Cookbook doesn’t appear elsewhere in her books. But she does report in My Life in France that oeufs mollets tripped her up when she first took the Cordon Bleu examination.

And so for day 2963

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