This blog is named after the cake that my grandmother used to have ready and waiting when my dad and I went up to visit when I was younger. We’d arrive on a Friday evening and Grandma would go to the cupboard under the stairs, brimming with treats, and bring out a tin filled with a rich, golden duck egg sponge, simply sprinkled with sugar. We would catch up over a slice of this glorious cake and a glass of warm milk, and then finish it over the next few days with cups of tea.
Unfortunately this is one of the few recipes of my Grandma’s that I haven’t got written down, so I’m using the measurements for a basic sponge, with equal measurements of eggs, flour, sugar and butter. I’ve gone for a smaller sponge (15cm round tin) as I like the proportions, although the cake does rise…a lot, and the cake doesn’t have a filling, but you can scale it up for any tin you like, and turn it into a Victoria Sandwich if that takes your fancy. Mine is simple but delicious, just as my Grandma used to make it.
Living in London, it’s pretty easy to get duck eggs in the local supermarket but I understand they could be a little harder to find elsewhere. Other eggs can be used; just remember to weigh the eggs first to work out the weights of the remaining ingredients.
Duck Egg Sponge
130g unsalted butter
130g caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
2 eggs, beaten (weight 130g in shells)
130g self-raising flour
Preheat the oven to 180°C/160° fan/gas mark 4. Grease a 15cm round baking tin and line the base with baking parchment.
Beat the butter first to soften, then add the caster sugar. Beat the two ingredients until light and fluffy, then gradually add the eggs (I find it easier to use an electric whisk so that it doesn’t curdle). Sift in the flour and fold into the mixture.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 50 minutes until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Cool for a few minutes in the tin, then transfer to a cooling rack. Once cooled, sprinkle some caster sugar on the top and serve. Best with a cup of tea in the afternoon, or a glass of warm milk before bed…or as I later discovered after ending up with far too many of these cakes to eat by myself, with a glass of wine while catching up with friends in the local pub! They will be very grateful!