Visit after visit to the nearby Your DeKalb Farmer's Market I've spotted the quail eggs and thought "here's where to buy them when the Quail Egg Cake comes along." Friday morning when I went to buy them after my exercise class....no quail eggs. They were out, and the not-good English of the African immigrant stock clerk wasn't up to communicating more than "we're out".
As it turned out, Friday wasn't a good day to bake the cake, anyway, so I had another chance at finding quail eggs. I went to my backup idea and called the Buford Highway Farmer's Market. Not as close to my house, but indeed BHFM had quail eggs. I picked up two backs of 10--I planned to double the recipe which called for 5 yolks, but after considering the difficulties of shelling and separating quail eggs, plus the common problem of the yolks not adding up to Rose's specified weights, the second carton seemed like a good idea. In the end I had 1 spare out of my 20. [Edited to add: quail egg costs seem to have varied a good bit, so I thought I'd add in that mine were an inexpensive $1.59 for 10 eggs. ]
Quail egg separation is a tough proposition--either it's just the tiny size, or those whites really do cling tighter to the yolk than chicken eggs do. Or maybe the quail eggs were fresher and that made a difference. However, once the eggs were separated, the cake came together quickly with the now-familiar butter cake mixing method. This cake uses heavy cream as the liquid, plus the butter...the 'indulgence' part is more than the effort of using quail eggs.
I had decided to make 6 cakelets to reduce the serving size somewhat. The base recipe called for a mini heart-shaped pan to make a cake for two. My Texas muffin pans looked to be about the right capacity at 7+ ounces, as the heart pan was supposed to be 3 cup capacity. That turned out to be almost right. My cakelets rose just above the edge of the muffin wells and formed a small lip of the lovely crusty top. When the cakelets cooled and shrank, those lovely crusts fell off in little semicircles. Had I been an unscrupulous baker I'd have scarfed them all down leaving the poor little cakes bereft of most of their crust, but I was good and served the crusts with each cakelet.
We ate these with raspberries and lightly sweetened whipped cream, and really felt that the little bit of cream was needed, even though the cake was lovely by itself.
Tasting results: only the nephew didn't think much of this one--he didn't finish his and said he'd rather have another cake than this one on some future occasion. The rest of us, though, loved the crispy crunchy crust (as advertised), the fine crumb, and the nice vanilla/butter flavor. I'll make this one again...though probably with chicken eggs next time.