Croque Madame Muffins

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Here is another fabulous recipe from Rachel Khoo with her take on the French classic, a Croque Madame. Most people would be familiar with a Croque Monsieur which is a toasted cheese and ham sandwich, commonly served in most French bistros for lunch or as a light snack. For a more decadent treat, the Croque Monsieur is also sometimes coated with a béchamel sauce and baked in the oven until the sauce is golden and bubbling.

Croque Madame, on the other hand, has the addition of an egg.

Rachel Khoo’s version is to make them in a muffin tin, producing gorgeous little snack-sized savoury treats which would be perfect at breakfast, brunch or lunch.

What makes these croque madam muffins so incredibly luscious is the addition of béchamel sauce, or rather a mornay sauce (a béchamel sauce with cheese). Sounds like a bit of effort for a snack, but the sauce hardly takes any time to make for the quantity required for these muffins, not to mention that you are most likely to have these ingredients to hand in the fridge and pantry.

On the show, you don’t see Rachel Khoo adding any cheese to her béchamel sauce, but her book suggests adding a small amount of grated cheese to the sauce and later for sprinkling, which I did for extra flavour.

The only special purchase I had to make was the sliced white bread, something which I have never bought upon moving to Switzerland given the amazing variety of bread on offer. But I was thankful to see that the supermarkets offered sliced bread in small packages of about 10 slices – perfect for the infrequent consumer of pappy white bread. Though, now that I have tried these Croque Madame Muffins, I have found myself buying this type of bread more often …

Although a Croque Madame traditionally has the inclusion of ham, you could certainly leave it out for a vegetarian option. I didn’t have any ham at home but we always have a constant supply of bacon in the fridge. So I fried the bacon in a pan until it just about to crisp and was still pliable so that I could easily wrap it inside the slices of bread which form a cup to hold all of the other ingredients.

Depending on the size of your muffin tin, you might find that once you have lined each compartment with bread and ham or bacon, you won’t have enough space to contain a whole egg (plus the sauce which goes on top of the egg). One tip is to gently crack the egg near the top and to pour out some of the egg white into a bowl, before placing the rest of the egg into the muffin tin. It sounds like a bit of a waste but if you have smallish eggs, they should be fine. Otherwise, if you can find super-large white sliced bread where you are to form larger “muffins”, these should accommodate a whole large egg.

While these Croque Madame Muffins might sound a bit fiddly, they are packed with flavour and I think they are a nice change to your usual eggs on toast. My only disappointment was that my bread did not crisp up very much, despite having been liberally brushed with melted butter. If I had left them in the oven for longer, the eggs would have over-cooked. But otherwise, as a fan of anything smothered in béchamel sauce, I found these little egg and bacon cups to be quite delicious and have already recreated them a few times :-)

I should also confess that I recently spread Vegemite on the bread before placing it in the muffin tin … heaven on a plate!!!

CROQUE MADAME MUFFINS
 
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Recipe adapted from The Little Paris Kitchen by Rachel Khoo
Serves: 12 muffins
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54 Comments

  1. Kristin 19 April 2012

    These look gorgeous! Can’t wait to flip through that cookbook the next time I’m in the bookstore. I love the twist of making them in a muffin tin.

    Reply
    • eat, little bird 20 April 2012

      Ooh definitely check out the cookbook if you can – there are so many wonderful recipes in there. I’ve seen a lot of breakfast ideas for baked eggs which are baked in a muffin tin, but I never thought to coat it in a béchamel sauce! This was really delicious.

      Reply
  2. Caroline 19 April 2012

    Oooh I saw this on her programme on YouTube and loved the idea of it immediately. My jeans are pinching me at the moment, after reading this haha! Gorgeous piccies as ever Thanh :-) Love the blue trimmed platter..

    Reply
    • eat, little bird 20 April 2012

      Oh yes, look away if you are on a diet! 😉 But if it is true that French women don’t get fat, it might be because they would only eat one of these yummy Croque Madame Muffins, and not two or three!

      Reply
  3. Reem | Simply Reem 20 April 2012

    These look WOW!!!
    I have to check out this cookbook…
    B/W I just love the platter… It is gorgeous!!!

    Reply
    • eat, little bird 20 April 2012

      I have really enjoyed cooking from this book so far, so it is definitely worth a look. There have been two recipes so far which didn’t turn out to my liking, but that hasn’t stopped my enthusiasm, thank goodness!

      Reply
  4. Anita Menon 20 April 2012

    Just drop dead gorgeous. Too good to eat and disturb the beauty of it. I feel so good after coming to your space and looking at the elegant pictures you click

    Reply
    • eat, little bird 20 April 2012

      Oh, that’s so nice of you, Anita! I’m glad you enjoy looking at my photos :-) These muffins certainly look better before they are eaten … I took an after shot and, while it was delicious to eat with all of that runny yolk, it was not very pretty to look at!

      Reply
  5. manu 20 April 2012

    These look yummy! I love your pics are always so beautiful…
    Have a nice week end

    Reply
    • eat, little bird 20 April 2012

      Thanks, Manu! I’m glad you like my photos … off to visit your blog now to see what delicious treats you have been making lately :-)

      Reply
  6. Liz Headon 20 April 2012

    What a fascinating recipe – I was expecting muffins as in… well, muffins… and wondering how she was going to get the requisite egg into them !

    Reply
    • eat, little bird 20 April 2012

      LOL!! They’re not traditional muffins in that sense of the word … more like “cups” perhaps. Whatever you call them, they are really tasty :-)

      Reply
  7. Rushi 20 April 2012

    Yum yum yum. I can’t wait to try these perfect Croque Madame Muffins. Maybe you should consider opening a little French cafe. :)

    Reply
    • eat, little bird 20 April 2012

      Ha ha!! Actually, that’s a pretty good idea … maybe I should 😉 I could see myself doing that …

      Reply
  8. Amber 21 April 2012

    Oh. My. God. I. Want. These. Now.

    I absolutely love croque madame! What a fab idea!

    Reply
    • eat, little bird 21 April 2012

      Aren’t they a great idea? If you love Croque Madame, you should try this, Amber :-)

      Reply
  9. Mrs. Murphy 21 April 2012

    These are sooo good! I want more! (Too bad I’m currently on a diet *sigh* ).

    Reply
    • eat, little bird 22 April 2012

      I have to admit that these little muffins are probably loaded with calories, but they are quite small … 😉

      Reply
  10. These look fantastic! Perfect for brunch or lunch with a salad. Also, the method of using a muffin tin and soft white bread is really clever. I wonder what else I could do with a muffin tin and white bread?? Brush the bread with garlic butter and fill the middle with a meatball??

    Reply
    • eat, little bird 22 April 2012

      Ooh I love the sound of garlic butter!! And to fill it with a meatball and some béchamel sauce … sounds delicious!! You would probably have to lightly cook the meatballs first, but that would be the same effort as cooking some bacon like I did for this recipe. I will keep this combination in mind the next time we have meatballs :-)

      Reply
  11. Love, love, LOVE these muffinized versions of croque madame. I am a muffin fanatic so I am SUPER excited to give this a try. Thanks for sharing such an awesome recipe. You rock!

    Reply
    • eat, little bird 22 April 2012

      I love sharing good recipes which I come across, so I can only hope others will enjoy these recipes too :-) These Croque Madame Muffins are pretty ingenious … I would love to get the bread more crispy but I love them just as they are.

      Reply
  12. M 28 April 2012

    I made these babies for a Sunday brunch on a weekend break with friends and it was an absolute hit with children and adults alike, I made some with bacon and some with ham – equally delish! I shouldn’t eat runny eggs as Im pregnant but I couldn’t resist! Thanks Rachel for your wonderful recipes :)

    Reply
    • eat, little bird 28 April 2012

      Many thanks to Rachel indeed for her wonderful recipes! I agree that these Croque Madame Muffins would be perfect at brunch, and a fairly stressfree way of cooking eggs for several people.

      All the best for your pregnancy! I did overbake one batch the other day (I was only making two) in an attempt to crisp up the bread more but all it did was fully cook the egg. So my egg turned out like the texture of a hard-boiled egg, so no oozy egg yolk. Strangely, I didn’t mind it so much and still enjoyed eating it. The béchamel sauce helps to keep everything moist. So if you want to make these again and don’t mind a fully cooked egg, you can leave yours in the oven for a few minutes longer :-)

      Reply
  13. […] pour celles qui veulent poursuivre l’exploration du croque-madame, voyez cette version Muffins de l’excellent blog Eat, little […]

    Reply
  14. Sarah Maria 6 May 2012

    Lovely photos! I’m also a big fan of Rachel and this recipe but (as I mention in the post at the link) can’t rival you for imagery!

    Reply
    • eat, little bird 6 May 2012

      Your Croque Madame muffin looks delicious!! Great to see that Rachel Khoo has also inspired you in the kitchen :-) I hope you will try more delicious recipes from her wonderful book!

      Reply
  15. Mondomulia 15 May 2012

    Stunning photography, I particularly love how you laid out all the ingredients!

    Reply
  16. […] Rachel Khoo’s croque madame muffins: […]

    Reply
  17. Clara 8 September 2012

    Just made these croque madame’s with my friend as a late lunch- they were absolutely delicious! We used medium sized bread and put them in smaller muffin dishes so it made 8 instead of 6, making a delicious snack for tomorrow! Thank you for uploading this blog :)

    Reply
    • eat, little bird 10 September 2012

      Great to hear that you enjoyed these Croque Madame Muffins! I think this is such a wonderful recipe and couldn’t wait to share it on my blog. I’m glad to hear that the recipe also worked for your smaller muffin tin.

      Reply
  18. Nicola 13 September 2012

    This is the second time I have made these and they are so lovely, left the cheese out for a lighter option tonight 😉
    Lovely and scrumy with feet up watching TV Dramas after work, comforting to the best!

    Reply
    • eat, little bird 15 September 2012

      I’m happy to hear that you made these for dinner … they are certainly too good to just eat at breakfast!

      Reply
  19. Amanda 2 December 2012

    Just saw these on Rachel’s show on Cooking network then stumbled upon your version searching Pinterest for the recipe.

    Made these for brunch this morning for my husband and I. They were fabulous!!! I used wheat bread, turkey bacon, and sharp cheddar as that was what I had at home already.

    You have a great blog! Look forward to making more of your delicious recipes.

    Reply
    • eat, little bird 8 December 2012

      I’m so glad that you enjoyed this recipe too. As you’ve pointed out, it’s quite a versatile recipe, something which I really like. Thanks for visiting my blog and I hope you will find more recipes here to inspire you :-)

      Reply
  20. MrsNumbles 6 January 2013

    I remember when I saw this episode, I furiously wrote down as much of the recipe I could remember and I’ve made these for myself and the hubby ever since – nice to see it in a blog since I decided not to buy the cookbook! This is probably my favorite of Rachel’s recipes.

    Reply
    • eat, little bird 8 January 2013

      Oh the cookbook is well worth owning! :-) I have had quite some success with some of Rachel’s recipes, others not so, but I guess that is normal with any cookbook. I hope to upload a post within the next few days with a review of some of Rachel’s other recipes. But these Croque Madame Muffins remain a favourite. I’m hoping to make these again soon, especially now that I can eat runny eggs again (it was something I missed desperately when pregnant).

      Reply
  21. GaleRobin Montgomery 23 January 2013

    These Breakfast “Cups” have been such fun to serve to our B&B guests here at Thyme on the River, B&B…they are always ooooh & ahhhh over before being consumed…Such Fun to see our guests smile so big, and take pictures of the plates they were served. I always look for new and interesting dishes to prepare/serve….I’ll be looking through/trying out many of the recipes in your cookbook….Please plan an Escape w/us yourself when you need to Relax & Rejuvenate. We’d LOVE to have you visit/stay with us….Enjoy a pleasant day. Gale Montgomery

    Reply
  22. Tracey Mckenna 3 February 2013

    I have been in bed all week with flu, and today was the first time I had felt vaguely human and needed to get up.
    Imagine my delight and surprise when my lovely husband had decided to surprise me and treat me to the fabulous Croque Madame for my first proper breakfast all week!
    They were absolutely delicious and a real pick me up.
    He had done them to perfection and they really cheered me up too!
    Thanks for inspiring Paul!

    Reply
    • eat, little bird 4 February 2013

      What a wonderful husband you have! Eating these Croque Madame Muffins for breakfast is a real treat, especially if you have been under the weather lately. But they are even more wonderful when made by someone else! This is one of my favourite recipes for breakfast or brunch and I’m happy to hear that you enjoyed it so much. I hope you are feeling better :-)

      Reply
  23. Jenine 25 February 2013

    Would you be able to put the bread into the muffin tins and then blind bake like pastry to give them a bit more crunch before you put the filling in? I’m doing nibbles this weekend for friends over at lunch and I saw Rachel make these last week on Food TV so I hunted out the recipe and found your website, as these would be perfect!

    Reply
    • eat, little bird 27 February 2013

      I think “blind-baking” the bread first sounds like a great idea. I would suggest lining the muffin tin with the bread slices and then popping the tin into the oven for about 1-2 mins, keeping a careful eye on them. I think this would help the bread to crisp up without overcooking the egg. The crispness of the bread might also depend on how thin you can flatten them. Perhaps you could experiment with one or two before making the whole batch? Good luck for this weekend and happy cooking!

      Reply
  24. […] had followed some advice on Eat, Little Bird and baked my bread for 10 minutes before I added the filling but this only resulted in crisp […]

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  25. Cathy 26 March 2013

    Hi. I’ve just found your blog page. I was looking for a chicken curry puff recipe and stumbled across yours. You seem to be trying out the Little Paris Kitchen book, which I have, so I thought I’d add my tuppence worth. I’ve tried a few recipes with great success but not the Croque Madame recipe – yet. That will be next on my list. I must admit I hesitated to buy the book as I’m more a fan of Asian dishes, but I’m really glad I did. Having tried some of the recipes I say go for it!

    Reply
    • eat, little bird 26 March 2013

      That’s great to hear that you have also enjoyed cooking from The Little Paris Kitchen! Most of the recipes which I have tried have been wonderful and I still have many more to try … hopefully I will blog about a few more recipes soon.

      Reply
  26. Aliona 15 October 2013

    Hello I am Russian chef Rachel food look absolute amazing thanks so much darling for your recipe

    Reply
  27. Anna 7 January 2014

    Hi! I just found your blog, and I love the way your egg cups look! I never thought of adding bacon and mornay sauce to an egg cup, but it sounds delicious. I usually add garlic, tomatoes or sauteed spinach, and melt a bit of cheese on top.

    Egg cups are quite popular here in America. I’ve never seen them at a brunch, but my friends and I used to eat them as kids after sleepovers and such all the time. I have found that brushing the bread with a bit of beaten egg white and blind baking the slices for a minute or two helps a lot with the crispness of the bread.

    Reply
    • eat, little bird 7 January 2014

      Thanks for your tips on crisping the bread! I think blind-baking the bread would definitely help a lot.

      In Australia, it’s somewhat common to make something similar to these Croque Madame Muffins but without the bechamel sauce. They sound a bit similar to what you’ve described in America, typically filled with bacon, tomatoes and egg, but served at breakfast or brunch.

      I find the bechamel sauce here goes really well against the toasted bread, as well as adding lots of flavour to the dish. It’s definitely a favourite of ours at home!

      Reply
  28. Virginia 6 June 2014

    Hi! You have the same pot that Rachel used!!! Where did you get it? From which brand is it? . Love your website, pictures and recipes!!

    Reply
  29. Priya Chauhan 17 September 2014

    I have made these twice since i saw Rachel make them teh other week, they are great and so easy to make… Love it.

    Reply
  30. Jenny 22 October 2014

    Love your recipe. So simple n yummy! But just wondering whether the extra sauce can be frozen ? Tnx

    Reply
  31. Colin Simnett 15 June 2015

    Love these. The first time I made these I cooked too many lardons so I mixed the excess in with the salad. Now I deliberately cook too many lardons. A first class dish.

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 16 June 2015

      Glad you enjoyed this recipe! Lardons in salad sounds like a winner too.

      Reply

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