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.
A 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!!!Print
Croque Madame Muffins
- Prep Time: 20 mins
- Cook Time: 30 mins
- Total Time: 50 mins
- Yield: 6 muffins
Recipe adapted from The Little Paris Kitchen by Rachel Khoo
- 6 large slices of white bread
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- 6 rashers of bacon, lightly fried
- 6 small eggs
- For the cheese sauce
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon plain flour
- 200 ml (7 fl oz) full cream milk
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 30 g (1 oz) Gruyère cheese (or other hard cheese), grated
- salt and pepper
- Make the cheese sauce by melting the butter in a small saucepan.
- Add the flour and mix with a wooden spoon until it forms a paste.
- Slowly whisk in the milk, Dijon mustard and nutmeg, and continue stirring the mixture over a medium heat until the sauce thickens.
- Remove the pan from the heat and let it cool slightly.
- Add most of the cheese (reserving some for sprinkling later) and taste for seasoning.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
- Remove the crusts from the bread and use a rolling pin to flatten each slice.
- Brush both sides of each slice of bread with melted butter and place them in a muffin tin, tucking in the corners as you do.
- Place the bacon inside the bread.
- Crack an egg into the centre of each piece of bread, being careful not to break the yolk. If you have large eggs, pour out some of the egg white first.
- Place 1-2 tablespoons of cheese sauce on top of each egg and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
- Bake for 15 minutes if you like runny eggs, or for 17-20 minutes if you want a more cooked egg.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve immediately.
All recipes on this website state temperatures for a regular oven (i.e. a conventional oven without fan). If you have a convection oven with a fan, please consult the manufacturer’s handbook on how to adjust the temperature and baking time accordingly.
To convert from cups to grams, and vice-versa, please see this handy Conversion Chart for Basic Ingredients.
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.
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.
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..
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!
These look WOW!!!
I have to check out this cookbook…
B/W I just love the platter… It is gorgeous!!!
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!
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
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!
These look yummy! I love your pics are always so beautiful…
Have a nice week end
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 🙂
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 !
LOL!! They’re not traditional muffins in that sense of the word … more like “cups” perhaps. Whatever you call them, they are really tasty 🙂
Yum yum yum. I can’t wait to try these perfect Croque Madame Muffins. Maybe you should consider opening a little French cafe. 🙂
Ha ha!! Actually, that’s a pretty good idea … maybe I should 😉 I could see myself doing that …
Oh. My. God. I. Want. These. Now.
I absolutely love croque madame! What a fab idea!
Aren’t they a great idea? If you love Croque Madame, you should try this, Amber 🙂
These are sooo good! I want more! (Too bad I’m currently on a diet *sigh* ).
I have to admit that these little muffins are probably loaded with calories, but they are quite small … 😉
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??
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 🙂
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!
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.
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 🙂
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 🙂
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!
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!
Stunning photography, I particularly love how you laid out all the ingredients!
Thank you! 🙂
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 🙂
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.
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!
I’m happy to hear that you made these for dinner … they are certainly too good to just eat at breakfast!
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.
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 🙂
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.
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).
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
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!
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 🙂
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!
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!
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!
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.
Hello I am Russian chef Rachel food look absolute amazing thanks so much darling for your recipe
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.
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!
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!!
I have made these twice since i saw Rachel make them teh other week, they are great and so easy to make… Love it.
Love your recipe. So simple n yummy! But just wondering whether the extra sauce can be frozen ? Tnx
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.
Glad you enjoyed this recipe! Lardons in salad sounds like a winner too.
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What a fantastic idea! This looks really good. Very exquisite and delicious! I definitely want to try this! Thank you for sharing this great recipe!