Friday, February 24, 2012
84/99: Quail Egg Cake
Out of all of the crazy things that I have done for this little baking adventure of mine, I think quail eggs makes the top ten. Usually its just me annoying the grocery store workers with some crazy request or complaining to the manager that they don't carry castor sugar, muscovado sugar, etc.
But honestly, who orders quail eggs? But then I guess another fair question is who decides to bake 99 cakes in a year? Oh yeah, that's me.
The quail eggs came in today so I decided to put of studying for an hour and make the cake. It only has eight ingredients: quail egg yolks, heavy cream, vanilla extract, flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and butter.
But as soon as I started cracking eggs, Elizabeth burst in the front door and exclaims, "guess what!??!? I found a dog!!!"
My other roommate Elise's response was, "I'm sorry.. what?"
Liz said she was just driving up our street and found this beautiful dog trotting along with the leash still attached to the collar. She went to all of the surrounding streets to ask if anyone knew the dog. No luck.
So cake making interrupted, we both hopped in the car to go knock on doors. No luck. I think I scared one lady at the park- she didn't seem too pleased to be spoken to by a stranger.
So with the dog tied up in our yard (we are planning on making signs) I continued with the baking.
I start with the quail eggs. Rose said that the shells are really hard so if you use them a lot you need to buy a quail egg decapitator from France. After reading that I was really intimidated by this whole egg cracking ordeal. I envisioned it to be like cracking a coconut since you need a whole decapitator. She said to get a sharp knife and make a crack in the shell.
So I got my knife and put some pressure on the shell:
Apparently I misunderstood what she meant by this warning because I ended up with a mess and egg white all over my shirt. What she really meant is that underneath the shell is a thick sticky membrane. I think that you are supposed to delicately cut the membrane once peeling off the shell. Oops. I ended up just tearing it open with my hands after the knife thing went wrong. It was an absolute mess.
Meanwhile, I started to hear some barking and lots of screaming. I began to imagine that the dog bit Elizabeth and that she is bleeding to death outside or that the dog itself was dying of some horrible attack. I threw the eggs down and ran outside to the rescue.
What's actually going on is that the dog got loose from its leash and Liz was outside in a towel, wet from being straight out of the shower, running around trying to catch the thing. It was hilarious. I really have no idea how he untied himself because this is what we used to tie the leash up:
But back to the cake.
Its just a typical process of combining the wet ingredients and them mixing them into the dry ones.
When I finished I realized that I didn't have the right pan. It seemed to be really important too because it didn't make very much batter... I think it would have made a cookie if I used an 8" pan. She said to use a heart shaped pan or a 6x2 round. I didn't have either of those but I did have the spherical pan that was 6 inches wide that I used for the booty cake. I decided that would have to work.
When I finally got it out of the oven it smelled really great. It stood for 10 minutes and then I carefully put it on the greased cooling rack.
I was in a hurry because I was trying to get back to studying since the whole dog thing pushed my day back a little bit. Here's my fatal mistake: I wasn't careful when I moved the cooling rack.... Can you guess what happened?
I looked at it in disbelief. Not only did I actually order quail eggs for this cake but it took up valuable study time. And then it ended up in a lump on the stove.
I found a part of it that was salvageable, cut a slice, and stuck it on a plate. Viola. One piece is still good.
I ate that piece and, confession, I ate most of the rest too.
Rose said, "this cake is melt in your mouth moist and buttery with an exceptionally velvety-fine crumb and crispy crunchy top crust." I think I have to agree with her description. But at the same time, that description might give it a little too much praise. It was great but it wasn't that much better than a normal cake.
Liz said she liked it but it really freaked her out that it had quail eggs in it. Love it.