Feb 13, 2011
Before I start talking about cake, let me apologize for not getting the mid-week blog done this week. By the time I got home from New Orleans, it was the end of the week, and too late. Of course, I read everyone's blogs when I got home. I was so surprised to learn that chocolate-pecan-caramel is not at the top of everyone's flavor combinations! When I was a little girl, there were two kinds of candy that made me happy: chocolate-covered cherries and pecan turtles. I think they were made by either Russell Stover or Fanny Farmer. At the time, those were considered (by me, anyway) high-class chocolates. Now, of course, I'm much more finicky.
So finicky that I must have quail eggs in my cakes! I thought I might end up just using chicken eggs since the first Asian grocery store I went to only had canned quail eggs, but I hit the jackpot on my second try. I had no idea they were going to be so goldarn adorable!
And produced locally on a quail farm, so I didn't have to worry about my quail egg cake decimating the wild quail population.
Yes, they are hard to crack open. It's not so much that the shell is hard; it's just that the inner membrane is tough and stubborn. If you whack the egg too hard, the yolk will break from the knife's force. If you tap it too gently, you may break the yolk with your fingernails when you're trying to pry open the shell. I think it took me seven eggs to get the requisite 28 grams. But I still have a kazillion eggs left. (A dozen or so anyway). I'm going to hard boil some tomorrow and use them as a garnish for a salad. Then maybe I'll have 3 or 4 for breakfast.
The yolks are actually bigger than I expected. I think that the yolk:white ratio may be a little different than with chicken eggs, with more yolk than white. But I'm just guessing about that.
Once the eggs are broken, the batter is easy to mix up. (It's not on the Quick &Easy list, although it would be if you didn't have to 1) drive all over town looking for quail eggs, and 2) spend a lot of time trying to break them.
The batter is thick and rich-looking, not surprising because of the butter/cream/egg yolk factor.
The crust promised a lot of crunch. It delivered on the promise, too.
I actually had more trouble finding a small heart-shaped cake pan than in finding quail eggs. Since I was in New Orleans, Jim volunteered to buy me the pan, so he set off on a cake-pan quest. He tried Williams-Sonoma, Kitchen Window, and several other likely places before giving up. When I got home, I made a quick, equally unsuccessful, trip to Cooks of Crocus Hill, but apparently no one bakes heart-shaped cakes any more (there are lots of heart-shaped cookie cutters available). So I bought a six-inch round pan, which I guess I should have anyway. And then I ended up stencilling a powdered-sugar heart shape on the round pan.
Since the cake only served two, I didn't have a tasting panel. Jim and I ate the whole thing. We decided we might as well eat it today, one day ahead of Valentine's Day, so that we'd taste it at its freshest.
My only complaint about the cake is that half of it was too much--not that I didn't eat every crumb of my half. We both liked it a lot, and agreed on the appropriate adjectives: rich, moist, tender, good.
It's just a plain cake--sort of in the way a simple Chanel suit is a plain outfit.
Posted by Marie at 6:24 PM