• To make brioche soldiers, toast brioche slices on both sides until golden. Trim off crusts and discard. Cut toast into fingers.
• To make pancetta soldiers, preheat oven to 200°C. Line an oven tray with baking paper. Arrange pancetta on prepared tray. Top with a second sheet of baking paper and a second slightly smaller oven tray to weigh down. Bake for 5 minutes or until golden and crisp.
• To make asparagus soldiers, bring a medium saucepan of salted water to the boil. Add asparagus and cook for 30 seconds or until just tender. Transfer asparagus to a bowl of iced water and set aside for 2 minutes or until cooled.
Cook's tip: It’s best if you can remove eggs from the fridge for at least an hour before boiling. This will help prevent shells from cracking during cooking. Try wrapping brioche soldiers in prosciutto or smoked salmon.
Sea-salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper, to season
4 thick-cut slices brioche bread (optional)
2 thin slices pancetta, cut into strips (optional)
8 small asparagus spears, trimmed, peeled (optional)
Cook eggs following Perfect Boiled Eggs recipe, until cooked to soft yolk stage. Do not peel, then place in eggcups.
Lightly tap top third (from pointy end) of egg with a knife to crack through shell and cut off top. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with soldiers of your choice.