Boiled eggs are a very versatile item. They may be served hot in their shells; hot out of their shells with additional commodities; hard boiled, shelled, covered with an outer coating and deep fried, and served with a range of accompaniments as a hot dish; included in cold pies and served with a range of salad items; or served with a light sauce.
Boiled eggs may be categorized as follows:
Soft boiled in their shells — Oeufs à la Coque — 2-4 mins
Soft boiled out of their sheils — Oeufs Mollets — 5 mins
Hard boiled — Oeufs Durs — 10 mins
Note that these times are for Size 2 eggs; smaller eggs will not require as long cooking time.
In order to prepare soft boiled eggs out of their shell, the eggs, when cooked, should be plunged into cold water for a few seconds and the shell carefully removed. They then need to be reheated in hot water for a few seconds to replace the lost heat. They may be served with the same garnishes and sauces as poached eggs, e.g. Oeufs Mollets Florentine. The points of description listed for Oeufs Pochés Florentine also apply to soft boiled eggs with the exception of the shape of the egg. The egg should be whole, and when slight pressure is placed on it, it will easily yield to signify that it is soft boiled.
Hard boiled eggs, once cooked, should also be immediately plunged into cold water and kept under a running cold tap. When cold right through, remove the shell and retain the egg in a basin of cold water until required. If they are to be served hot, plunge them into cold water and quickly remove the shells, then re-dip into hot water to replace the lost heat. Hard boiled eggs served hot are usually presented in a shallow white porcelain dish on an underdish with a dish paper.