Thursday, April 21, 2011
I can't believe I actually did this! What ever possessed me?! "I can do that!"...Famous Last Words (actually, it worked fairly as expected, but was A LOT more work than anticipated)...I actually made these little cakes in real egg shells! However, I hadn't thought far enough into the future to realize that...More......
...one by-product of the process was a mind-boggling quantity of raw egg just waiting for a destiny. A couple went right into an omelette (eventually delicious, if I do say so, myself); the rest went into the freezer in little individually wrapped containers. I hope they'll be O.K. for cooking, later, but that's another story.
The eggs had to be washed, then a small opening at the top had to be created (I sterilized a big sewing needle, poked tiny holes, and carefully connected the dots...it almost always worked to create an even round hole about half an inch across) out of which the egg had to be coaxed into the little individual containers, one by one. The empty shells had to be rinsed, then soaked in a room temperature brine for a half an hour, rinsed again, then turned upside down to drain and dry.
I hadn't realized that the drying would take so long, either, but chance came to the "rescue." Warming up my oven and using the stove top to fix dinner at the same time blew out their wall socket, and plunged me into almost complete blackness (thankfully, there was a feeeeeble bit of sunset waning rapidly, but not so rapidly that I couldn't get to the flashlight, shut off and unplug the offending appliances, leave their blown fuse untouched, and switch the general current back on). Once the light was back on (Thank the Cosmos), and I was no longer able to bake the little cakes, or cook my dinner, I upended the rinsed egg shells on a towel, and let them drain dry over night, put the eggs for the cake batter and the omelette into the fridge, then foraged.
The socket was replaced the next morning by the ever efficient and trusty construction and handy man suggested by a friend in the business, and that evening I finished mixing the batter, shook a bit of sunflower seed oil around in the shells, cut a small hole in the bottom of a little baggie then tried to fill the baggie while keeping the hole upturned (another unplanned moment), then filled an unsnipped baggie, snipped it, easily filled the little shells steadied in a muffin tin with little bits of tin foil carefully placed in advance (the suggestion of the recipe writer, see below for links), then baked them in the perfectly running oven (with no other major appliance in the apartment even allowed to THINK about turning on).
The shells overflowed a bit because I filled them to 2/3 (or a tad more...hey, waste not, want not!), but that was solved by trimming off the baked overflow (a yummy treat for the baker!), all just as the recipe source says: http://www.deliciousdays.com/archives/2007/04/08/last-minute-easter-eggs/ (discovered thanks to the marvelous blog, "Not Martha": http://www.notmartha.org).
I confess, I had been a little laissez-faire about the oiling phase, so parts of the shell peeled away easily (the smoother, darker area),...
...others less so (lighter and a bit rough, where a teentsy thin layer of the surface peeled away with the shell), but who's in a hurry, anyway? Once cleaned of their shells (if tidy, they'd be fun to give away in the shell), they were yummy little perfectly egg-shaped cakes to break open and dip into milk (or coffee, or tea, as you prefer).
I still can't believe I did this, it was so labor-intensive.
But also fun.