- Nit-pickin’ good.
Tuesday was going to be duck-egg-cake-making-day. I was excited to use the duck eggs I picked up Saturday. Duck eggs are superior nutritionally to chicken eggs in almost every category, but that’s not the reason they are sought out by bakers. They are in a word richer…in color, in fat, and in protein. All this is supposed to result in exceptional cakes.
Exceptional cakes in my house, however, have the caveat of being gluten-free. I have been gluten-free for so long that I hardly remember what a wheat cake tastes like, but I do remember the texture, and nothing gluten-free I have tried comes close. That is not to say I don’t enjoy cake anymore. I do. But I was hoping the duck egg would work magic on a basic gluten-free flour mix.
Alas, Tuesday was not duck-egg-cake-baking day after all. It turned out to be rid-your-daughter-and-your-house-of-lice day instead. The mixer stood alone and empty.
Wednesday was to be another day of nit-picking drudgery. The panic of a lice infestation was subsiding however, especially after reading that lice can’t jump and don’t live long off of a host. We were starting to relax a bit, but there was still a sense of dis-ease that any personal creepy-crawly infestation is sure to cause. If ever there was a moment for a mood boosting cake, this was it. I didn’t have time for a GF scratch cake, so I grabbed a mix and cracked my two beautiful duck eggs into the mixer and soon a cake was in the oven. None of us like frosting too much, so we often opt for a powder sugar dusting instead. This time I was rummaging through fall-themed cookie cutters for a contrast decoration for the top, when I yelled, “Who wants to have a louse cake? Make me a template!” Unbelievably, three children were racing to draw and cut their versions for the cake. The winner didn’t look much like a louse, but cuteness won over accuracy. The nits were my oldest’s touch.
You know, sometimes you just gotta laugh.
As for the cake, I should have used just one egg. One duck egg = 2 chicken eggs. I knew this but I wanted to see if the extra eggs would counteract the often grainy texture of gluten-free cakes. The cake rose to fantastical heights in the oven, but when I tested the cake with a knife, it deflated like air let out of a tire. The cake was still rich, but it was very, very dense. Restraint, it seems, is key when using duck eggs.