The fourth and final madeleine recipe from the book…you can tell Dorie lives in Paris! The original recipe calls for an Earl Grey tea infusion to give these cookie/cakes flavor, but I usually only have one or two types of tea kicking around my cupboard at a time, and the Earl wasn’t one of them. So I used chai (from a teabag actually…I tore the bag open and sprinkled the bits into my hot butter to infuse; then I put it through a very fine strainer to remove any sediment). I thought the chai spices would be nice with the honey that was already in the ingredient list. I could really taste the tea in here. They were delicious, and I amped up the spicing even more by tossing them in a cardamom sugar while they were still warm. I made big, full-sized madelines…I didn’t really get the pronounced madeleine bump with these, but they had rounded backsides and great texture and taste, so I guess I don’t mind so much.
For the recipe, see Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan or read Bakeologie. And see Grandma’s Kitchen Table for Honey-Almond Fig Tart, this week’s other recipe (which I unfortunately didn’t get a chance to make this week). Don’t forget to check out the TWD Blogroll!
Tags: baking, cookies
OK, Tuesday has come and gone (happy 11/11/11, by the way), but I did bake both of this week’s TWD recipes, so I wanted to show you my Mini Madeleines as well. Better late than never, right? I like madeleines…so much that I got a little greedy and swiped one from my photo session…oops.
Good reasons to make madeleines include:
*Little cakes that disguise themselves as shell-shaped cookies– how cute!
*A batter that’s hand-whisked and allowed to rest for as long as a couple of days– how easy!
*A soft crumb that you can flavor a zillion different ways– how tasty!
*Less than ten minutes of baking time– how energy efficient! (alright, that’s a stretch)
If you’ve avoided making them because you don’t have the traditional madeleine baking pan, I’m pretty sure a mini muffin tin would make a fine substitute. I browned my butter for these and used lots of lemon zest. They had great flavor and were nice with chamomile tea.
Whenever I start a new food job, my new coworkers always seem to ask me where I’m from. I’m going through this phase at my job right now, and sometimes the question makes me scratch my head…like, what was the last place I worked for, or where did I grow up? I’ve come to realize that, more often than not, the person asking has recently moved to NYC from someplace else, and is wondering about my hometown. While I think a lot about the places and people I grew up with, the day I left for college in the early ’90s was the last time I was ever in my childhood home…my parents packed up and moved cross-country a few weeks later. And, apart from the two years I spent in Sydney, I’ve been in New York since 1996. Sometimes I think that I’m more Brooklyn than NoVA now, but I don’t, and wouldn’t ever want to, forget where I’m from.
If you asked a Fluff-Filled Chocolate Madeleine where it’s from, it would probably tell you, that while it was born in France, it has spent the last couple decades living in Texas. A plate of these guys would likely not make Proust remember anything, but one taste would probably shoot most American grown-ups right back to childhood! Apart from their scalloped shape and cakey texture, they are pretty far removed from their French origins, but with ganache and marshie Fluff, they are instantly recognizable to me. A couple of tips if you want to make these yummies at home: if you nuke your Fluff jar for 5-10 seconds, it will be much easier to get the sticky stuff out of the jar and into a piping bag; also, madeleines stale quickly, so if you like them soft, eat them soon after they’re put together.
For the recipe, see Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan (it’s also here on Serious Eats) or read Effort to Deliciousness, as it was Margot’s pick this week. Don’t forget to check out the TWD Blogroll!
I’d been crossing my fingers that Tara of Smells Like Home would choose a cookie for this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie recipe. Then Tara picked Dorie’s Traditional Madeleines–score! I know that a madeleine is really cake in cookie’s clothing, but after all the hard-core desserting I’ve been doing (and still have left to do this month), I was happy to have something that’s just a sweet bite.
I have fond voluntary (as opposed to Proustian-ha!) memories of these little scalloped-shaped cuties. Actually my memories are quite recent, as we made madeleines as part of the petits fours plate at the restaurant I last worked for. That recipe uses browned butter and almond flour, and we made a variety of flavors, from lavender to lemon-thyme, depending on what we felt like or what we had available.
Dorie’s recipe is flavored with lemon zest, and even though she doesn’t instruct you to brown the melted butter, I went ahead and did it anyway. Browned butter just has such a beautiful flavor, I used my non-stick mini madeleine pan (which is the only one I have, and trust me, you still need to grease it well) to bake them off, and made half of Dorie’s recipe. Rather than sprinkling them with powdered sugar before serving, I tossed the still-warm madeleines in some finely ground vanilla sugar.
I will say that these make very good little lemony tea cakes. They are soft and light and tasty (do bake them right when you are ready to eat them though, as they stale quickly). But I have one gripe. If we are talking about “tradition” here, then madeleines are supposed to have a bump on their backsides. We learned in culinary school that the bump is desirable, and our instructor said that madeleines are often presented with their bums in the air (rather than scalloped side up) to show them off. Dorie calls for chilling the batter for at least three hours to help form this bump. The same day I made the batter, I baked up half of it after letting it chill for several hours. No bump. The next day, I baked up the remaining batter (it had now been chilling overnight). Two madeleines had the bump…the rest didn’t. Ah well…after conferring with other TWDers, this seemed to happen to most everyone. And as Ulrike pointed out, even the Traditional Madeleines pictured in Dorie’s book don’t have bumps!
If you’d like to try your hand at baking madeleines (and see if you get the coveted golden bump!), you can find the recipe here on Smells Like Home or in Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan. Don’t forget to check out the TWD Blogroll!