Did you know that duck eggs are really good for baking? I use them in my cakes whenever I’m lucky enough to get hold of some. Read on to find out why they perform better than chicken eggs. And if you’re interested in baking with goose eggs or turkey eggs, I’ve got some information about those too.
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Why Use Duck Eggs for Baking?
People keep asking me why I use duck eggs for baking. Well, when it came down to it, I knew that duck eggs were meant to be much better than chicken eggs, but didn’t exactly know why. Where did I pick this up? I couldn’t exactly say, it’s just something I seem to have always known.
As I was asked the question, however, I’ve had to think about it. Is it because the duck yolks seem to be much bigger in proportion to the egg whites? Cakes do seem to be a little richer, a little lighter. Am I imagining this? I think some investigation is called for.
It turns out I wasn’t far wrong, the yolks are larger and richer with a higher fat and nutrient content. To boot, duck eggs also have more protein in the white, which gives cakes a bit more structure and a higher rise. They have the added bonus of a longer shelf life as the shells are much thicker. For a complete nutritional comparison take a look at duck eggs vs chicken eggs.
Duck eggs come in various sizes. But as a general rule in recipes, you can swap one duck egg for a large hen’s egg. Likewise if a recipe calls for duck eggs and you can’t access any, just substitute large hens eggs instead.
Free Range Eggs
I’m very fussy about eggs and will only use eggs from poultry that are truly free ranging. And for preference I go for those that are raised organically (see Ingredients are the Key). I’m lucky enough to have several outlets for local organic eggs where I live and I’ve seen the birds scratching about more than happily on the farm where most of the ones I buy come from.
Bright yellow or orange yolks are what you need to look for. These are usually a sign that poultry have access to fresh grass. For further information about the benefits of eating products from grass-fed animals try reading Jo Robinson’s Pasture Perfect*.
If you find the concept of duck eggs novel and challenging, how about trying goose eggs? I’m sure I’m not alone in not realising for many years that you could even eat goose eggs. But you can and jolly delicious they are too. A fried or scrambled goose egg is the crème de la crème.
Goose eggs are the real business when it comes to baking too. The reason for this is much the same as for duck eggs, only more so. I bake with them whenever I can find them. But the goose egg season is short, so make the most of it whilst you can. Here in the UK it runs from March to June.
One goose egg roughly equates to three hens eggs.
Goose Egg Victoria Sandwich Cake
One of the best bakes you can make with them is a classic sponge or Victoria sandwich cake. For this you first weigh the egg, before cracking it. Then weigh equal amounts of flour, sugar and butter.
Other Goose Egg Bakes You Might Like
- Asparagus tarts with a pesto surprise
- Caramelised banana cake with peanut butter icing
- Chocolate Victoria sandwich with lime curd buttercream
- Lavender chocolate goose egg cake
- Nigella’s dense chocolate cake
- Passionfruit curd cake
- Simnel cake
- Willie’s cloud forest chocolate cake
I haven’t managed to get hold of turkey eggs very often, but when I do I use them to bake cakes. Just like duck and goose eggs, they work splendidly in baking.
One Turkey egg roughly equates to two hens eggs.
So far, I only have one recipe on Tin and Thyme where I’ve used turkey eggs. I think! It’s this recipe for roasted strawberry chocolate cupcakes.
Keep in Touch
Thanks for visiting Tin and Thyme. If you use duck eggs, goose eggs or turkey eggs in your baking, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. Have you any top tips? Do share photos on social media too and use the hashtag #tinandthyme, so I can spot them.
If you’re after more information about ingredients, I have some useful posts in my Ingredients category.
Credit: The top picture on this post comes courtesy of Walter Jeffries of Sugar Mountain Farm in Vermont.