The following tips are provided by Delia Smith, the best-selling British cookery writer and television presenter, who is never afraid of reiterating the basics of cookery.
For more adventurous egg suggestions, we suggest you refer to Bataille's Story of the Eye…
1. Don't ever boil eggs that have come straight from the refrigerator, because very cold eggs plunged straight into hot water are likely to crack.
2. Always use a kitchen timer. Trying to guess the timing or even remembering to look at your watch can be hazardous.
3. Remember the air pocket? During the boiling, pressure can build up and cause cracking. A simple way to deal with this is to make a pinprick in the rounded end of the shell, as left, which will allow
the steam to escape.
4. Always use a small saucepan. Eggs with too much space to career around in and crash into one another while they cook are, again, likely to crack.
5. Never have the water fast-boiling: a gentle simmer is all they need.
6. Never overboil eggs (you won't if you have a timer). This is the cardinal sin because the yolks will turn black and the texture will be like rubber.
7. If the eggs are very fresh (less than four days old), allow an extra 30 seconds on each timing.
Shocking and sacreligious, "Story of the Eye" is the fullest expression of Bataille's obsession with the closeness of sex, violence and death. Yet it is also hallucinogenic in its power, and is one of the erotic classics of the twentieth century.