Poor Knight aka Royal French Toast

Poor Knight aka Royal French Toast
photo provided

Royal French Toast - Poor Knight

Star chef Heiko Nieder shares his version of French Toast with Michelle Tchea.

Michelle Tchea
Some call it Poor Knight (Armer Ritter). Others call it French Toast. No matter where you are in the world, the allure of a slightly toasted buttery brioche dipped in a creamy eggy batter for breakfast is utterly unreal. For Michelin star chef Heiko Nieder of Dolder Grand, Switzerland, fine dining doesn’t stop at dinner … it lingers well into the night and into breakfast and definitely brunch for those who push the snooze button one too many times. Michelle Tchea sat down with Sous Chef à la Carte, Stephan Arnold running what many consider the 'best breakfast in Switzerland'  and scribbled down chef Heiko's famous Amer Ritter recipe a.k.a “Poor Knight” recipe which the fine-dining chef highly recommends with Krug Champagne. “It goes very well with the creaminess of cheese and the truffle,” says Chef Heiko Neider. Needless to say, it´s Michelle´s breakfast favourite – fit for royalty.

Royal Custard

1 l milk
300 g eggs
300 g egg yolks
salt, pepper

Combine everything together and set aside - this is the batter for the French Toast.

Truffle Mayonnaise

100 g egg yolks
40 g Dijon mustard
15 ml lemon juice
5 g salt flakes
20 g grated truffle
1 g black pepper
400 ml sunflower oil
50 ml truffle oil

Put egg yolks, mustard, lemon juice, salt flakes and the grated truffle in a blender and blend with sunflower oil to make the mayonnaise. Add in the truffle oil and set aside.

Luxurious egg yolk sauce

200 ml egg yolks
Himalayan salt, fine

Season egg yolk with Himalayan salt and vacuum it if you have the tools to do it. Poach the egg yolk mixture in a water bath at 65° Celsius for 6 hours and then pass through a fine sieve.


clarified butter
shallots brunoise
leaf spinach
ground white pepper
grated nutmeg

Lightly brown shallots in clarified butter in a pan, add spinach and sauté until soft. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.


No measurements here, just grab a handful of the spinach and season according to taste.

Assembling the Poor Knight

Brioche Toast
Royal custard
Truffle mayonnaise
Truffle ham
Egg yolk gel
Truffle curd from the jar
Garden cress

Dip the brioche toast in “Royal” Custard and then fry in a preheated pan on all 4 sides until golden brown. Place fried brioche on a clean baking sheet. Top brioche with spinach, then truffle mayonnaise and truffle ham. Place truffle mayonnaise decoratively over ham and do the same with the egg yolk. Decorate with garden cress and serve to your guests.


Michelle Tchea
Michelle Tchea