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Posts Tagged ‘Duck egg Victoria sponge cake’

DuckeggVicSponge MDDuck egg blue is a beautiful colour, one of my favourites.  I think it stems from years ago when on the May Bank holiday my elder brother would take me to the Surrey County Show.  It was always a fantastic day out and there would be something for everyone.  We particular liked seeing the agricultural side of the event, especially the different show tents that featured poultry, rabbits, flowers, crafts and cooking and we would work our way around all of them.

We gave the poultry section special attention.  Looking back I can’t imagine why he would have had any interest in poultry but it was always on the top of our list.  Inside the canvas tent would sit row upon row of uniformly stacked cages in which sat their feathered occupants showing off their beautiful plumage.  We would walk past silently glancing in and choosing our own winner.  What will always stick in my mind was that one year a small boy was allowed to trouble the birds by tapping their cages and shouting at them. When he got no reaction from a large cockerel he stuck his nose right between the bars of the cage and for his troubles he got a sharp peck.  The last we saw of him was fleeing from the tent.  ‘Just desserts’ come to mind.

At the end of the feathered section would be a stretch of tables filled with plates of exhibition eggs.  They were all arranged beautifully with a small accompanying card describing the breed of bird that had laid the eggs. Their different colours and speckly marks fascinated me.  The ones that really sang to me were the Indian Runner duck eggs.  Their size and shade of blue fed my imagination and I would wonder how they would taste, and longed for one to be soft boiled and served with buttered soldiers.  I then silently vowed to myself that when I grew up I would own my own team of Indian Runner ducks.

I am now all grown up and to date have yet to own a single Indian Runner duck but the desire to own one is still very much there.

This week when I went off to the little small-holding where I buy my chicken eggs I noticed a single box marked ‘duck eggs’.  When I opened the box there sat six beautiful blue eggs.  The chap who looks after the animals came over to me, keen to tell me about the ducks; Indian Runners and that the eggs in my hand where ones no one wanted because they were all odd sizes.  I happily handed over my money, I knew exactly what I was going to use them for.

Duck eggs make beautiful cakes; the sponge is lighter and richer in taste.  Using the duck eggs in a Victoria sponge couldn’t be easier either.  The weight of the butter, flour and sugar is determined by the total weight of the combined eggs.  So you could make a one-egg sponge mixture or a four-egg mixture.  Once the total of the egg (weighed in their shells) is determined then you have the mathematical formula.

Duck Egg Victoria Sponge Cake with Vanilla Butter icing

Ingredients

3 duck eggs weighed with their shells 180g

180g butter softened

180g self raising flour

180g caster sugar

Method

Turn oven to Gas mark 4/180C/350F

In a bowl whip the butter and sugar until pale and light and fluffy.

This is an important step.  This is where you will get the air into the sponge.

Lightly beat the eggs with a fork or similar.

Add the eggs a little at a time to the butter and sugar mixing in between.

You want to make sure you have beaten in all the egg mixture before adding more.

At this stage you also don’t want to over beat the eggs or you will be taking out the air you put in with the previous stage.

If the mixture begins to curdle add a couple of tablespoons of the measured flour and beat until smooth.

When the eggs have all been used up fold in the flour carefully.

Divide into two cake tins.  I used 18cm loose based sandwich tin.

Place in the middle top of the oven not touching the sides or each other and bake for 30 minutes.

N.B.  The baking time is completely determined by your oven.  My way of testing if the sponges are nearly done is smell.   When I can smell the sweet aroma of sponge cake I know they are nearly done.  After 30 minutes I check to see if they are done by pressing with my finger the top of the sponge if it bounces back its done.

Leave to cool in the tins for a few minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack.

While they are cooling make the butter icing.

Vanilla butter cream

Ingredients

225g icing sugar

115g softened butter

2 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a bowl beat the butter until pale and fluffy add the icing sugar a bit at a time beating on low with an electric mixer.

Add the milk and vanilla extract and beat for a couple of minutes until smooth and cream like.

Spread onto one layer of the cake and then sandwich together with the other layer.

To finish off sprinkle some icing sugar over the top.

N.B.  It is always best to sieve your icing sugar, as little lumps don’t always break up leaving a rather gritty texture to the butter cream.

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