I was very pleased to be gifted a dozen duck eggs recently. Duck eggs are bigger than chicken eggs and have slightly different cooking properties. I'm also wondering if they have a slightly different taste. They are very beautiful, some tinged with pastel blue, others the palest pink.
Duck eggs are supposed to be wonderful in baking, creating light as air sponges and beautifully risen cakes. There is some debate as to how favorably they compare with chicken eggs when poached or fried.
My first experiment was duck egg pasta. I mixed up some tipo 00 flour, duck eggs and saffron essence to christen my new pasta maker. I had to add about 20 grams of flour more per egg. I had the impression that the eggs had more yolk than chicken eggs. The pasta was delicious, a rich pale yellow. The Sweetheart took over pasta producing responsibilities, eagerly cranking the machine and we ate it with homemade pancetta, broad beans, peas, pinenuts and basil. So yummy.
I next tried the creme brulee I mentioned a couple of posts ago. It wasn't a successful batch of creme brulee for a number of reasons, but I did wonder if the custard had a slightly different taste. I made up a batch of meringues and they came out tasting different from chicken-egg meringues; I can't quantify the difference. A little gamey perhaps? I wondered if it was all in my head but some quick internet research confirms a slight taste difference. I also learnt from the same link that if you soak an uncooked egg in vinegar you can remove the shell!!! Look at the photo!
I did have a go with the duck egg in pancakes. We make pancakes so frequently around here I figured it was a good test of the duck egg properties. The pancakes were similar to the times when I have made them with buttermilk - better air in them and noticeably lighter.
My internet researches also led me to preserved duck eggs. These are a Chinese delicacy - you can often find them in Chinese Rice Porridge soup (I'm not ever going to do a recipe for this soup). I bought one from the local People's market and gave it to my husband for taste testing. He actually wasn't that keen, but he had eaten them previously in restaurants. I may have explained the preservation technique in too much detail; he didn't finish his.
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