Friday, February 3, 2017

Duck, Duck, Whisk: A Coffee Cake Recipe to Quack About

by Sarah Grimball, intern

I hosted Christmas at my house for the first time this year. My uncle came bearing an unexpected gift: duck eggs. I did some research; and it turns out that duck eggs are awesome not only for eating, but for baking. You can use them the exact same way that you use chicken eggs: scrambled, fried, poached or for baking. They have twice the nutritional value of a chicken egg and stay fresh longer due to their thicker shell. They’re also more rich, with higher levels of Albumen – also known as egg white -- which makes cakes and pastries fluffier and rich in flavor. Not wanting to waste my opportunity, I had to make a delicious coffee cake.

Fresh Duck Eggs
Fresh Duck Eggs

As previously stated, this was the first time that I had ever looked at a duck egg, much less cooked with one. The eggs have a different look than a regular ‘ole chicken egg. Off-white and sometimes speckled with brown spots, they are a lot larger than your typical egg. I noticed that the egg was a lot harder to crack because of its thick shell, and the yolk was an orange color that was totally unlike any chicken egg I’d ever seen. I’ve made plenty of cakes before, but the colors and textures here were so new and unlike anything else. 

A slice of Duck Egg and Brown Butter Coffee Cake with a cup of Jay D's Single Origin Coffee
A slice of Duck Egg and Brown Butter Coffee Cake with a cup of Jay D's Single Origin Coffee

If you are new to baking, it is important to note that you want to make sure that your ingredients are at room temperature. Using room temperature eggs means that the eggs will disperse more evenly into the batter and allow for even cooking and a lighter texture. To quickly bring your eggs to room temperature, soak them in a bowl of warm water for 10- 15 minutes.

Duck Egg and Brown Butter Coffee Cake

Yield: 12 Servings Time: 1 hour

For the Cake: 

½ cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1 ¼ cups sugar
2 large duck eggs at room temperature
1 ½ cups flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 ¼ cups sour cream
1 tsp vanilla

For the topping:

3/4 cup sugar
1 Tbs all-purpose flour
1 3/4 Tbs cinnamon
2/3 cups chopped walnuts
For the icing:

½ cup Powder sugar
2 Tbs milk
1/4 tsp vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350ºF and butter and flour a 9" circular baking pan. Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition.

In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Then, in another separate bowl, mix together the sour cream and vanilla. Turn the mixer on low and alternate between adding the flour mixture and sour cream mixture. Pour half of the batter into the prepared baking pan.

To make the topping you will need to simply combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and walnuts in a bowl and stir to mix well. Sprinkle half of the mixture on the batter and then pour in the rest of the batter into the pan. Finish by sprinkling the rest of the topping mixture onto the cake.
Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. While the cake is cooling mix together the powder sugar, milk, and vanilla. Drizzle the icing onto the cake and enjoy.

These types of cakes are typically accompanied by some type of beverage such as tea or coffee. We of course are biased towards Jay D’s Single Origin Coffee; so when it came down to tasting it, we paired it with that. Let us know if you are going to try out this recipe or try to get your hands on some duck eggs at your local farmer’s market. We’d love to see your creations on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!

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