Simple Provisions

Food does not need to be fancy to be celebrated

Soft-boiled egg with herbed soldiers and espresso glazed bacon

Australian coffee shops are having a moment in New York City. The laid-back approach to serious coffee, the casual yet efficient service and the fresh and light menu options have piqued the interest of New Yorkers, who are opting to try a flat white over a gallon of Starbucks.

Toby’s Estate, a Sydney-based coffee roasting company, opened a cafe in Williamsburg in 2012. I could see it from my apartment, and it would beckon to me, drawing me out the door and up the street to order a breakfast roll. I would sit at the sun-drenched communal table to enjoy softly scrambled eggs sitting on a small sourdough roll, with sharp, melted cheddar holding roasted tomatoes in place. The crowning glory was two strips of crispy bacon, glazed in an inspired blend of coffee, cardamom and maple syrup which resulted in a salty, sweet and bitter communion of flavours that I was unable to resist. So when I saw Sunday Suppers post a recipe for this bacon fantasy on their blog this week, I started plotting a new breakfast.

A “dip-in-egg” was a staple of my childhood. It was a breakfast treat, but also a dinner option for those not-very-hungry nights. Mum would use the egg cooker to produce perfectly boiled eggs and serve them in silver egg cups with white toast cut into soldiers on the side. A liberally buttered soldier would plunge into the yolk, causing an eruption of marigold that would pool on the plate for other soldiers to mop up. Bacon was usually cooked in the microwave, which resulted in a surprisingly crispy finish. With the Toby’s Estate bacon on my mind, I thought this comforting combination could do with an update.

Soft-boiled eggs with herbed soldiers and espresso glazed bacon

If my new version of dip-in-egg was to truly grow up, the soldiers also needed a makeover. Pre-sliced, white supermarket loaf with margarine was not an equal partner to espresso-glazed bacon. A couple of slices of dense sourdough was more like it, but it needed something more. Inspired by the cheese on the bacon roll at Toby’s, I grated some parmesan into softened butter, and added a sprinkle of rosemary, which is a good partner in any salty/sweet dance. Slathering thick-cut toast with this aromatic butter smelled amazing and when paired with the runny yolk, post dipping, tasted delicious.

Now, for the egg. There is much conjecture as to which method is best for cooking a soft-boiled egg. If you want to geek out, check out this video from America’s Test Kitchen. I’ve included the method that works for me, from How to Cook Everything.

The complexity of flavours and combination of textures in this breakfast make it a real treat for the taste buds. It’s only slightly more effort to glaze the bacon and make the herbed butter, and the result is worth it.
Soft-boiled eggs with herbed soldiers and espresso glazed bacon

Soft-Boiled Eggs With Herbed Soldiers and Espresso Glazed Bacon

Serves 2


  • 6 strips of bacon
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 shot of espresso
  • 1 cardamom pod, smashed
  • 2 slices of good sourdough bread
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon parmesan, finely grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon of rosemary
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature (if you’ve got cold eggs, add a minute to the cooking time)


Pre-heat oven to 200C/400f. Line a tray with baking paper and lay your bacon on it. Combine maple syrup, espresso and cardamom in a small bowl and paint the bacon, both sides, with the glaze using a pastry brush. Place in the oven for 10-15 minutes, until the bacon is crispy around the edges. Drain on a wire rack until you’re ready to serve.

In a small bowl, combine butter, parmesan and rosemary, ready to butter your toast.

Fill a saucepan to about two thirds full of water and bring to a gentle boil (not a jacuzzi boil). Use a spoon to lower the egg gently into the water. Adjust the heat so the water barely simmers, then cook for 4 minutes. This time will render the whites soft, but set.

Toast your bread and spread with the herbed butter. Cut into soldiers.

To serve

Serve the eggs in egg cups and the bacon and soldiers on a plate. Lay the table with a knife to crack the top off the egg and a spoon to scoop the whites out of the shell once the soldiers have mopped up all the yolk.

Bacon recipe adapted slightly from Sunday Suppers

36 thoughts on “Soft-Boiled Eggs With Herbed Soldiers and Espresso Glazed Bacon

  1. Colleen says:

    I think I’m going to have to have breakfast for dinner after seeing this post!

    1. Amelia says:

      Breakfast for dinner is the best decision to make in a day.

  2. ladyredspecs says:

    Coffee makes everything taste better, I’ll have to give this bacon glaze a whirl! not sure how it will pair with my vegemite soldiers though!

    1. Amelia says:

      Ah, I see you’re a traditionalist. I think vegemite goes with everything, no?

  3. Dana Fashina says:

    Love, love, love the presentation! Great post!

    1. Amelia says:

      Thanks! Thought I’d try a bit of a different style with this post. I’m digging it.

  4. Leah says:

    Yum, brings me back to my childhood with soldiers covered in Vegemite. :-) Love your grown up version though, it sounds fabulous.

    1. Amelia says:

      My mum never added vegemite to the mix, and I feel like I’ve missed out. Might have to boil an egg and give it a try tomorrow Leah.

      1. Leah says:

        oh do. If you like vegemite then the saltiness is perfect with your eggs :-)

  5. Chaya says:

    without a doubt, the ideal breakfast. looks delicious and love the pictures!

  6. laurasmess says:

    Amelia, this looks AMAZING. I’m also one who grew up eating toast soldiers with Marmite (I have English parents) and this updated version looks drool-worthy. Love the idea of the espresso glaze on the bacon. The perfectly cooked egg looks incredible, too. Glad that you have some decent coffee available in the land of Starbucks! xx

    1. Amelia says:

      Thanks Laura. I’m home in Australia now, and have many coffee options, but it was a relief to have one open a block from my house when I was in NYC.

  7. Soft boiled eggs with soldiers were the celebration breakfast of my youth too and I still adore them as comfort food in the mornings. That bacon glaze sounds positively delicious!

    1. Amelia says:

      The glaze is definitely worth trying Heike.

  8. hoytapeo says:

    Yummy Yummy :)

    So nice :)

  9. I love the way you write about food. Such beautiful imagery. This looks tasty yet simple and maple syrup and coffee is an interesting combo. I can’t wait to try it

    1. Amelia says:

      Thanks so much Jodi.

  10. Erin E. says:

    I had oatmeal for breakfast but I’m so wishing I had eaten this instead! This is reason for me to buy an egg cup!

    1. Amelia says:

      I’m very happy to inspire egg cup purchases. I’m coveting these, but can’t quite justify $80 on egg cups!

  11. this is so beautiful! i have been obsessed with this recipe for months now and just haven’t tried it. i just need to! i have eggs every day! gorgeous fotos!

    1. Amelia says:

      Thanks so much Audrey. Do it! Try the recipe. You won’t be sorry.

  12. Wonderful! Soft boiled eggs are my “soft” spot. :P

  13. I’ve been wondering when the Australian cafe mold would hit NY. I saw a couple in San Fran when I was there but really struggled to find a good brew in NY. But that is possibly because ny is so bloody big!
    Anyway, that bacon look incredible.
    X jade

    1. Amelia says:

      A friend of mine sends me photos of every Australian cafe that is cropping up in NYC lately – and he’s sending *a lot* of photos! Hopefully on your next trip you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to decent coffee.

  14. That bacon! Those soldiers! Ahh this is the perfect mix of nostalgia, comfort and genius contemporary food genius! Lucky you to have had the pleasure of eating this

    1. Amelia says:

      It was certainly a pleasure, and that bacon is genius. Bless those Toby’s Estate people.

  15. stretchnseal123 says:

    Fab post. This has made me really hungry!

  16. Reblogged this on morselsandscraps and commented:
    I love this blog: beautiful writing, stunning photos and simple recipes, always with a sophisticated twist.

  17. Using rich, fresh eggs makes any dish superb.

  18. Hello, Amelia. Honestly, how creative! I could just see this being offered on a ‘posh and trendy’ breakfast menu … and then myself sitting in the sun and eating it! Beautiful blog on the whole, by the way, and very happy to find you.

    1. Amelia says:

      Hi! and thank you Helen!

  19. tictoxic says:

    Oh. My. God. THIS! I must try.

    1. Amelia says:

      Ha! It’s definitely worth trying, the bacon is amazing.

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