Years ago, I was watching an episode of the original Japanese Iron Chef and was amazed to see one of the chefs cut the top of an eggshell off, cleanly, with a knife and then use the eggshell as a serving cup. I had seen eggshells used as serving cups on occasion before then, but the ease with which he sliced it off made a big impact – and made me want to do it myself. I’ve had some success in this department, but it seems safer and easier to use an egg topper.
An egg topper is a little gadget that is designed to cut the top off of an egg. They’re generally used to cut the tops off of soft-boiled eggs, cutting through the shell of the egg and removing the top piece of the egg white within to reveal the soft-cooked center. Simply place the ring around the narrowest part of the egg and squeeze the scissor-like handle to have a series of sharp, knife-like “teeth” poke through the eggshell. It works much more easily than trying to remove the top of the egg with a knife, and it is much more effective than carefully cracking the egg and peeling back the “lid” by hand.
I use a topper to make egg cups for dishes like my White Chocolate Easter Egg Panna Cotta. The gadget is small and inexpensive, and you get a big reaction when you serve a dessert this way. That said, you’ll definitely get a bit more use out of it if you are a fan of soft-boiled eggs.
LindaApril 21, 2011
You mentioned cleaning the egg shells to use them for containers. What’s the safest and best method for cleaning the shells? I’ve seen these gadgets but I’ve never used one. Didn’t know of a need in my kitchen but these containers are intriguing. 🙂
NicoleApril 21, 2011
Linda – I peel out the membrane inside of the egg, then just wash the shell very thoroughly with hot water and dish soap and that seems to do the trick for me.