It’s funny how you can be intrigued by something as soon as you see it and madeleines, that small cake like cookie (or is it a cookielike cake??) were just the thing I was dying to make. I can’t even remember where I first saw it to be honest. It had been simmering in the back of my mind for a while but I was missing the correct shape of baking tin. And while I am sure you could bake it in another form, it just wouldn’t be right without that tell tale shell like shape, now would it?
So I had to have the tin. I asked one for christmas and I got one, but with tiny, tiny shapes, more suitable for making chocolates then proper madeleines (which are not big to begin with) So only this week did I manage to score the proper baking ‘tin’. It’s not really a tin as I could only find a silicon mold. I did understand from various people that I should be baking these in metal forms rather then the silicon ones, but I had to do with what I could find right? I had already more then spend my budget on kitchen supplies this week so finding another mold was just a no-go… 🙂 (truth be told, had I found one, I would probably have bought it, regardless of budget!)
I love buying kitchen supplies! I bought a new frying pan plus we wanted to buying new cooking pans as well. The stuff we have does the job, but it’s old and rather bad quality and starts to slowly fall apart, so it was really time for getting some proper pans. It’s the thing we do use most, so a worthy investment… 🙂 Anyway, I am straying from the story of the madeleines…
So I got the silicon mold, terribly orange in color… Why do they make these things in orange? I mean; seriously… there are much better colors out there!! I do think that metal will probably brown them a little bit better then the silicon did, but overall I do think they look pretty. I got the recipe from 101 cookbooks and you can find the original here
I was told that the secret to real madeleines was to make sure that the recipe included ‘burnt butter’ and so I found one that had. It does give the cakes a distinct flavor so I would definitely keep that in. I wanted to try a base recipe for my first madeleines but I can already see how good they would be with a lovely glaze of lemon or chocolate and I saw this great recipe for chocolate madeleines on Martha Stewarts website that I will definitely be trying out next!
In the meantime; here is the recipe that I used! (original from 101 cookbooks)
- 170 gr unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons softened unsalted butter for greasing pan
- 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 4 large eggs
- a pinch fine-grain sea salt
- 2/3 cups sugar
- zest of one large lemon
- seeds of one vanilla pod
- powdered sugar
- a bit of extra flour for dusting baking pan
- Special equipment: A madeleine baking pan
Preheat oven to 175 C
Melt the butter in a small sauce pan on medium heat until it's brown and starts to smell rather nutty. Do make sure that you don't let it get burned as that.... is something you do not want! Once brown, strain the butter (you can use a paper towel over a mesh strainer) so that the solids are left behind. Cool the butter to room temperature. By doing the butter first you can complete the rest of the steps while it is cooling.
While the melted butter is cooling, use the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to grease the madeleine molds - get in there and make sure you get in all the ridges. Dust with flour and invert the pan tapping out any excess flour. Mine came out of the pan very easily.
Put the eggs with the salt in the bowl of an electric mixer with a whisk attachment. Whip on high speed until thick - you are looking for the eggs to roughly double or triple in volume - approximately 3 minutes. Continuing to mix on high speed, slowly add the sugar in a steady stream. Whip for 2 minutes or until mixture is thick and ribbony. Now with a spatula fold in the lemon zest and vanilla (just until mixed).
Sprinkle the flour on top of the egg batter, and gently fold in. Now fold in the butter mixture. Only stirring enough to bring everything together. You don't want the butter to be too hot or it will work on your eggs.
Spoon the batter into the molds, filling each mold 2/3 -3/4 full. I found that the batter becomes thick quite quickly. I had to bake in several batches as the mold only holds 9 madeleines. And this recipe makes much more then that.
Bake the madeleines for about 15 minutes depending on your oven. Make sure to check them from time to time. Once the edges turn golden remove from the oven and turn out onto a cooling rack immediately. Dust with icing sugar and serve. The madeleines are best eaten the day they are made.
Makes 2 -3 dozen regular madeleines.