Monday, February 14, 2011

Quail Egg Indulgence Cake

Yes my friends, quail eggs. How unique! A quick spin around the internet will laud the amazing properties of the quail egg--healthier than a chicken egg, more rich in flavor, and with pretty little brown speckled shells. Awww...adorable.

quail egg indulgence cake

I once saw a little family of quail dart across the street and scurry under the bushes. They were all in a line, just as you think they would be, and they were really cute. It was also quite a treat as the fairly thick suburban neighborhood I grew up in didn't have many quail sightings. Here's a link to a nice website about the California Quail, which if I ever came across another one, and I could get away with it (which I couldn't), I would hug the little bird. They are just so dang cute! Look!

My good side
Originally uploaded to flickr by pendeho

Anyways, these cakes are made with quail eggs, and as the eggs were imported from California, I say thank you California quail, for giving up 10 of your eggs so I could make a cake. (No, the eggs weren't foraged from the wild, but it never hurts to be thankful.)

quail egg indulgence cake

February 13, 2011
Name of cake: Quails!
Occasion: HCB
Constituents: a pound cakey cake made with quail's eggs

Although the recipe calls for 5 quail egg yolks, it took 9 of my quail yolks to get the proper weight. Does the egg yolk conspiracy reach all the way to the little quail?

I didn't have the requisite two-person heart shaped pan, so I decided to make little cakelettes. The heart shaped pan had a three-cup capacity and my cakelettes have a one cup capacity, so I figured I'd make three little cakes and call it good. Especially after using pretty much all my quail eggs to make one batch of batter.

quail egg indulgence cake

As I assembled my ingredients I noticed that the weights of flour, sugar, and butter were equal, and the cream just a little less, and the yolks about half the weight of the flour, etc. It kind of reminded me of the pound cake, which traditionally has equal weights of flour, butter, sugar, and eggs. Still, the ratio of butter in this cake is greater than it would be for a regular butter cake, making this little cake dense, rich, and soft with a crispy buttery crust.

quail egg indulgence cake

Separating the eggs takes a bit more work than it does for a chicken egg, which if at room temperature separates so fast it is a little hair raising. Quail egg shells are tougher than the chicken's, so the top needs to be pierced with a sharp knife and sawed open a tad before you can use your fingers. With the first egg I made the mistake of doing this at the fat end of the egg, which meant I stabbed the yolk and the whole thing oozed out in a big unseparable blob. So take heed: stab the shell at the smaller end, please. The white is thicker and more mucousy than a chicken egg, and requires what Mendy called manhandling to separate. I would try to pin down the white with one of my stubby fingers while passing the yolk into my other hand; after about five or six passes usually the white would fully separate. It felt like trying to put pants on a squirrely toddler. There's kicking, there's screaming, there's running away, but eventually them pants are on them kid. Or in this case, them whites are off them yolk.

The rest of the cake making was completely ordinary. Two stage method, bake at 350, done just before the cakes pull away from the sides of the pan.

quail egg indulgence cake
I was hoping for a nice golden top, but my little cakelettes remained fairly white, and bummer--the top crust stuck in the pan. Lame.

So you only see two of the three cakelettes as I had to sacrifice one tonight for tasting so I could write this post, but I'm saving final photos for Monday morning when I have some natural light in this place. Don't be sad, I'm eating the ugliest one, just for you.

quail egg indulgence cake

The cakelette is very soft and moist, and rich. Although it is dense like an egg yolk cake would be, it isn't dense like a sour cream butter cake would be. Let's say it is somewhere between a butter cake and a sour cream butter cake in the density scale, but rich like one of those sour cream cakes. There is a little something different in the flavor of this cake that could almost be pinned as yolky...maybe...but is that because I am looking for a yolky difference?

quail egg indulgence cake

I had a good ol' time getting these quail eggs because it meant an excuse to check out the local Asian supermarket called Fubonn. As soon as I walked in I felt like I was back in the Philippines, and after finding the quail eggs--next to a bunch of Balut, that feeling intensified. I love the strangeness of foreign markets. Anyways I wandered around and found some other foods I needed to take home besides quail eggs--not the balut--some lumpia wrappers, some shanghai-style lumpia made in Seattle, and a frozen package of lau lau. I know they won't be as good as real lau lau in Hawaii, but one makes do.

Anyway, I have wandered far off topic, and so will circle back to the Quail Egg Indulgence Cake. In summation, it was good, it was rich, it was fairly easy to make, and really easy to eat. I don't know how often I will make these, as a sour cream bundt still has my heart when it comes to rich, good, easy cakes, but I'm glad I'm made them at least this once.

quail egg indulgence cake

14 comments:

  1. Jennifer,
    I just love the colours of the eggs and the quail is just too cute. There is a Portugese Market that I go to that sells quails and quail eggs so if I ever decided to make this cake I know where I can get the eggs.
    Your cakelets look very nice and I would have been very happy trying the one that got stuck.

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  2. I also noticed the similarity between the ratio of ingredients of this cake and a pound cake, but "75-Gram Cake" just doesn't have the same ring to it. I love your little cakelettes. I pondered making a few of these in the mini-Rose pans, but finally decided on the six-inch round because I'd just bought it and didn't want it to go to waste.
    Love your quail picture! (A friend of mine accused me of being a "birdist" because I told her I liked chickadees and hated starlings. She told me piously that all birds were equal. But they're really not.)

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  3. The eggs look like little jewels! Your cakelettes turned out very pretty.

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  4. ב''ה

    great write up! Sorry about your top crust.

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  5. your little rose cakelettes look so pretty! are you sure quail eggs are healthy? I thought it was suppose to have the highest cholesterol ever..so we were told not to eat them back then.. so means now change and we can eat them again? LOL! So confusing...LOL!

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  6. When I was growing up our neighbors had quails. (I grew up on a farm deep in the Minnesota countryside.) They are super cute! Just like your cakes!

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  7. Oriana, I would be happy to share my last cakelette with you--come over for tea!

    Marie, haha, a 75 gram cake doesn't sound as fancy as quail egg indulgence cake! I must be a birdist too, as I don't consider all birds to be equal either.

    Vicki, thanks!

    Thanks Mendy!

    Faithy, I think the cholesterol in quail eggs is like the cholesterol in chicken eggs--not as bad as once originally thought. It is confusing, isn't it? But I say, quail eggs are safe to eat in moderation!

    Ronda, thanks! I thought my cakes were cute, but I still think the quails win the cute contest.

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  8. Love the cakelets, so pretty! I usually eat the ugliest one too and the pretty one (the one in the picture) is eaten a couple of days later :).

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  9. Funny thing, our normal supermarkets stock quails eggs routinely. I always think how sweet they look next to all the big normal eggs on sale. It's like the petite size section for eggs!
    When I lived in Oregon, I had lots of wild quail running around my garden. And they were so amusing to see them run together single file, just as you said!
    Your little cakelets look very moist and such have a nice crumb.

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  10. Jenn, the things we do in the name of blogging! You have been doing some great styling lately, btw.

    Melinda, they are so sweet looking! I haven't the heart to throw away the shells; they're still sitting on my counter in a little glass bowl looking so cute. I love that quail run along in an orderly queue.

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  11. Very exotic! My parents lives in Bend, and they have quail who hang out in the yard. Mom doesn't like them because they are "nervous" birds. No, I don't understand. I think they're cute!

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  12. Amanda, aw, I would think the little skitty quail would be even cuter!

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  13. Love the cakes, but love your toddler analogy more!! you are such a clever girl!!

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  14. thanks jdog! obviously the Hz was on the brain when i came up with it.

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