DUCK EGG + ROSEMARY CAKE


I GO THROUGH OBSESSIVE PHASES IN MY KITCHEN.

Obsessed with Brussels Sprouts.

Obsessed with fried eggs on top of ALL THE THINGS.

Obsessed with Bourbon poured in EVERYthing.

Right now? I’m obsessed with DUCK EGGS and it took me by surprise. Duck eggs were not really on my radar. I mean, they aren’t easily accessible at your corner Piggly Wiggly. You can’t grab a dozen when you make a quick trip out for milk and bread. Occasionally I have spied them on a shelf at the Asian market. But that weirded me the hell out. They weren’t in the coolers… they were just randomly on the shelf and I DIDN’T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH THAT.

I like refrigerator rules, people.

Well, it just so happens that my long-time friend, Sherry, is the grounds manager at Poplar Grove Plantation right up the road. She basically gets to love on farm animals all day and feed about 1032 stray cats in her spare time. She also cares for the most adorable little flock of ducks. {flock? is that the word? gaggle? family? herd? I’m not up on my duck terminology}

Sherry sent me a text one day to ask if I had any use for fresh duck eggs. HECK YES was my instant reaction. Of course I knew exactly what I was going to do with them! {LIE} Of course I had a ton of experience cooking with them! {NOPE}

Anyway… here are some iPhone pictures of our little excursion to see Sherry and pick up the eggs!


This big guy followed us around the entire time. He let us pet his head but it definitely felt like brains.


Pigs + Babes!


Here are the lovelies that so generously donated their eggs to my baking cause. Thanks, ladies!

I do hope you’ll try this. Look for duck eggs at farmers markets, an earthy friend’s back yard or I’ve heard tales of duck eggs at Whole Foods! And if you don’t want the hassle of tracking them down, you can substitute chicken eggs and not tell anyone. And the addition of duck fat + olive oil just puts this cake right over the edge. You can find duck fat at Whole Foods or Fresh Market or ask an uppity restaurant in your neighborhood if you can buy a little from them.


Aren’t they gorgeous?


So here’s what I do when I’m faced with an ingredient I don’t know what to do with.

GOOGLE DUH.

I knew I wanted to bake with them. And I wanted something only slightly sweet and a little savory, too. So I found a few recipes for reference, made a tweak or two and got to work. The end result was this super easy to throw together cake that was decadent and earthy… and versatile!! This recipe is for a simple dessert but I also used the cake as part of fantastic main dish that I’ll share with you in a few days. (My starting point recipe inspiration was found over at epicurious.com)


Here’s what you do.

First, melt 7 tablespoons of duck fat in a sauce pan over low heat with 3 tablespoons of olive oil.


Crack 4 duck eggs in a medium bowl. (or 6 extra large chicken eggs).



Add 1/2 cup of sugar and whisk it up.

Sometimes I over-compensate for my RBF tendencies. My photographer, Matthew, is constantly calling me out on it so this is what he gets instead. You’re welcome, Matthew.


Next, slowly pour in the melted duck fat and olive oil and whisk well. {if you don’t want to use duck fat, just sub all olive oil – but you absolutely SHOULD use duck fat.. so let’s pretend this conversation never happened}


Chop 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary and add to the egg+sugar mixture.


Add 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, 3/4 cup semolina flour and 1 tablespoon baking powder. Stir until just combined.


Pour the batter into a greased 9-inch loaf pan. {I used the duck fat to grease the pan but you could use butter or non-stick spray if you prefer. But I suggest just going all out}

Bake in a 325 degree oven for 50 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.


Dear Lord this cake smells divine!


Slice the cake and then top with homemade whipped cream, fresh berries, a generous drizzle of honey and some raw sugar for crunch.

This lovely little ensemble is light and yet decadent… a little savory and a little sweet… and GORGEOUS.

Next up I’m going to show you another use for this cake (besides just eating it straight up because that is an option, too you know) Seared duck breast with bacon, grapes and wine served over a slice of this duck egg + rosemary cake. Holy Moly my eyes definitely rolled back into my head with that one. So stay tuned for that coming up in the next day or two!

In the mean time, talk to me! Let me know what you’re cooking lately!

 

All photos except iPhone shots by Matthew Ray.