This is where I note my efforts as I try to recreate some old recipes. Most are taken from my small collection of handwritten recipe books which date from the late 1700's to around 1922. I also have a collection of old tatty old recipe books, well thumbed and heavily splashed from years of use. I love them all!

The old-fashioned very stylised handwriting writing is sometimes difficult to decipher, measurements and cooking instructions are minimal, no tin sizes given. Luckily I enjoy a challenge. Just to complicate things I cook and bake on my wood-fired Rayburn, which can be... unpredictable.

I suspect this blog is less about the food and more about my passion for these lovely old books and the wonderful women who wrote them.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Duck Egg Sponge Cake

I was given a dish of duck eggs and decided to take the opportunity to try them out in some baking.  I had heard that they make wonderful sponge cake.

My mother used to love duck eggs and would eagerly seek them out, although she preferred to eat hers fried.

The first surprise I got was when I cracked the shell open, though I shouldn't have been surprised really, had I given it more thought.   The shell was almost bouncy and felt exactly as I had always imagined a turtle egg, more tough parchment than shell.

The second surprise was the smell, completely unlike that of our own hens' eggs.   Obviously they were larger, too.    The yolk was the same colour as the rich yolks which our girls produce on their diet of free-range pecking, hen food, grain and spinach (which they adore).

I followed a very basic recipe for a Victoria Sponge cake but baked it for longer as the resulting batter was rather greater in volume.

Once cooled, I sandwiched it together with some strawberry conserve which I made last week.

The sponge was so different from a regular sponge.  Definitely fluffier, very moist, and something I cannot quite explain.  Max loves it.   It has become his new favourite cake, but then Max really likes cake.

So that is teatime sorted out.

Home grown strawberries made into strawberry conserve and freeby eggs made into a moist and delicious cake.   Simple, delicious, frugal, low food miles.  Shame about the calories!


  1. I have just been given some duck eggs and I also plan to make a BIG Victoria sponge with them, as I adore them in cakes! Your cake looks fabulous and so light and fluffy too, Karen

    1. Hello Karen, Enjoy those eggs.
      Max loves most cake but this particular one disappeared at a rate of knots. It was light and fluffy but it also had something different about it which made it extra special, I just wish i knew how to define it.