The Spectrum Retreat | The Penrose’s Salmon Benedict

The Penrose's Salmon Benedict inspired by The Spectrum Retreat. Recipe by The Gluttonous Geek.

With color returning to the world, I thought it a good time for a breakfast/brunch recipe based on a game that’s full of them. Full of colors, that is! I’m talking about The Spectrum Retreat, a short but beautiful puzzle game featuring Portal-like mechanics, lovely visuals, and poignant storytelling. It’s a great play if you’re looking for something mind-bending and heart-breaking. It will also make you crave smoked salmon and hollandaise sauce. That’s why I developed this recipe for The Penrose’s Salmon Benedict.

Click here to skip to the recipe for The Penrose’s Salmon Benedict.

The Spectrum Retreat

In The Spectrum Retreat, you play Alex, a man unknowingly trapped in a simulation of an art deco-style hotel called The Penrose. You are just sitting down to your umpteenth breakfast of Smoked Salmon Benedict (served by a faceless android) when you receive a phone call from a woman named Cooper. She tells you she doesn’t know why, but you are here against your will. It occurs to you that you also have no memory of anything before you woke up. Cooper says she will help you escape, but to do so, you must unlock multiple floors of authentication puzzles in a very Portal-like fashion, capturing and projecting colors

Each puzzle unlocks more than just the simulation. The simulation starts blending and manifesting with memories of why Alex “checked in” to the Penrose. As its story unfolds, The Spectrum Retreat beckons you to experience the grieving mind while commenting on its feelings of isolation and lack of support and highlighting the tragic flaws of the healthcare system in a society ruled by toxic capitalism.

The Penrose’s Famous Breakfast

Eggs Benedict is a pretty standard recipe: poached eggs, hollandaise sauce, English muffin, and usually Canadian bacon. If all I did for this variation were to swap out the bacon for smoked salmon, you wouldn’t need my recipe.

That’s why I went the extra step and made homemade English muffins with sage and rosemary blended into the batter. Sage is an herb used for spiritual cleansing and grounding, helpful in clearing grief’s heaviness. Rosemary symbolizes remembrance, the kind needed for growth in the grieving process.

While standard, Eggs Benedict does have a reputation for being difficult for two reasons: poaching eggs and making hollandaise. It’s 2022, though, quite some time since the dish’s alleged invention in 1860! We have the technology and over a century of trial and error. You will need three pieces of equipment outside of the standard issue for perfectly poached eggs and emulsified hollandaise: a fine-mesh sieve, a microwave, and an immersion blender.

For the most part, egg yolks and whites tend to be pretty self-contained. It’s all of those pesky wispy bits of egg white that make your poaching pot a mess. The solution? Strain off the excess before adding to the hot water. Seriously, no extra fancy kitchen gadgets or silicone cups that take up your drawer space. That little strainer also works wonders for cocktails and tea steeping.

As for the hollandaise, constant motion and gentle heat produce the best results — for the traditional method, that is. As for my method, you need that butter bubbling hot because it’s the only thing cooking your yolks as your immersion blender whirs it to perfection. Me? I like using two microwave-safe measuring cups for easy pouring before and after. 

Sing for your Supper!

If you plan to cook the recipe off the site, keep scrolling. However, while access to recipes on the blog will always be free, I also have printable PDF recipe cards and thematic cook-along Spotify playlists as rewards for those who choose to support the blog.

The printable recipe card and playlist for The Penrose’s Salmon Benedict inspired by The Spectrum Retreat will be available as a $2 donor reward on my Ko-Fi page until the next post goes up.


You can instead join my Patreon community at the “Sing for your Supper” level ($1/month) for access to the playlists or the “It’s All in the Cards” level ($5/month) or higher for access to ALL of my blog recipe cards and playlists. To get you started, patrons of all reward tiers receive a welcome gift of my Lord of the Rings recipe cards and playlists from January 2019.

A Somewhat Personal Touch

The Penrose's Salmon Benedict inspired by The Spectrum Retreat. Recipe by The Gluttonous Geek.

The Penrose's Salmon Benedict

Serves 8.

Equipment: Stovetop, microwave, 2 measuring cups, stick blender, rolling pun, 3-inch biscuit cutter, saucepan, slotted spoon, wire whisk, toaster, baking sheet, parchment paper, skillet with a lid, cling wrap, and a mesh sieve.


Herbed English Muffins:
  • 2 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp yeast
  • 2/3 cup milk powder
  • 9 fl oz water
  • 1 Tb butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup chopped sage
  • 1/8 cup chopped rosemary
  • pinch kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
Per 2 servings:
  • 2 herbed English muffins
  • 2-4 slices of smoked salmon
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 Tb lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • pinch kosher salt


Make the muffins (day before):
  1. Blend the flour, herbs, milk powder, and salt in a mixing bowl with a whisk.
  2. Heat the water with a microwave or tea kettle to 105°-107°F in a measuring cup. Then stir in the yeast and melted butter. Let proof for 5 minutes.
  3. Slowly stir the wet ingredients into the bowl of flour with a spatula until it forms a uniform dough. Scrape down the sides and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let rise at room temperature for 12 to 18 hours.
  4. Dust your work surface with flour and turn out the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 10 minutes.
  5. Roll the dough to an inch thickness and cut eight rounds. Transfer the rounds to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and cover with wrap again. Let rise 45 minutes.
  6. Preheat your skillet over medium heat for 2 minutes while adding the cornmeal to a bowl. Flip the rounds to coat in cornmeal.
  7. Add 2-4 muffin rounds to the pan and cover with the lid. Let cook for two and a half minutes. Flip and cook another minute before transferring to a plate to cool. Repeat with the other muffins.
Make breakfast:
  1. Make the hollandaise sauce by adding the egg yolks, half of the lemon juice, and a pinch of kosher salt to one of the measuring cups. Pulverize with the blender until smooth.
  2. Add the butter to the other measuring cup and microwave on HIGH in 12-second increments until melted, hot, and bubbling. 
  3. Turn the stick blender on in the egg yolks and gradually pour the butter in. Stop blending once doubled. Set aside and keep at room temperature until serving.
  4. Heat two inches of water in the saucepan on the stovetop over medium-low heat and add the remaining lemon juice. 
  5. Crack an egg into the strainer over a bowl to catch excess whites. Once the water is lightly simmering, slide the egg into the pot. Cook for 2 minutes before using a slotted spoon to transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat with the other eggs.
  6. Slice two muffins in half and lightly toast before placing them on your serving plates.  Arrange pieces of smoked salmon over the muffins before topping with a poached egg on each slice. Generously pour hollandaise sauce on top and serve.

The Gluttonous Geek