Monday, June 1, 2009

Madeleines

Madeleines stacked

It seems like the blog world has gone madeleine crazy lately. I have read all the recipes. I have looked at all the beautiful photos, lusting after those golden morsels dusted in powdered sugar. I have pictured myself dunking them in bittersweet chocolate. I can see myself curling up with my blankie, a cuppa tea and a plate full of those perfect little seashell confections. So why haven't I made them until now? What was stopping me? Oh yeah.....THE PAN!

Madeleines in pan

I didn't have a madeleine pan and without a madeleine pan there will be no madeleines. So a few weeks ago I bought one. Then the outdoor work began and my madeleine pan sat in the cupboard, waiting to be filled with luscious golden batter.

Yesterday was the day that I finally got to break out the pan, brown the butter, grate the lemon zest, whisk the batter and pour that beautiful, beautiful batter into the pan and make madeleines that made people groan with delight after one bite.


Madeleines dusted



I used a recipe from 101 Cookbooks. This is the first of many that I will try. I am going to experiment with many more recipes so I can eventually declare one the best madeleine on earth.
I think that's only fair, don't you?

My first attempt was a success, with one little problem. I burnt the butter on the first try. It was black and charcoaled and really not something you would want to fold gently into the batter. Blech. So the second try was a success. The 20 minutes time posted in the original recipe was too long for my stove. I turned away for a few seconds and my butter was burnt. I started again and in 10 minutes I had brown and nutty butter.

This batch made 32 cookies. If you have leftovers (Ha!) don't store them in a covered container. I loosely covered the few I had left in parchment and tied it with a string. No one wants a mushy madeleine.

Making them with one pan took a bit too long for my likings. I really should have ordered two. I also have my eye on those mini pans too, decisions, decisions.

Thanks again to 101 Cookbooks for the delectable recipe. Total success on the first attempt makes me very happy indeed.

Madeleines
recipe from 101 Cookbooks
Printable recipe
1 ½ sticks unsalted butter (6 ounces)
2 tablespoons softened unsalted butter for greasing
(or you can use Bakers Joy like I did)
¾ cup unbleached all purpose flour
4 large eggs
Pinch sea salt
2/3 cup sugar
zest of one large lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Melt 1 ½ sticks of butter in a small pot over medium heat until it’s brown and gives off a deliciously nutty aroma, roughly 20 minutes. Strain using a paper towel over a mesh strainer. You want to leave the solids behind. Cool the butter to room temp. By making the browned butter first you can complete the rest of the step while it’s cooling.

Use the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to grease the Madeleine mold, get in there are make sure you get in all the ridges. Dust with flour and invert the pan tapping out any excess flour, or you can use Bakers Joy with flour in it to simply this part like I did. I re-sprayed in between each batch and my madeleines just about fell out of the pan.

Put the eggs and 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). Continue to mix on high speed, slowly adding 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 until just mixed.

Sprinkle the flour mixture on top of the egg batter and gently fold. Now fold in the butter mixture, only stirring enough to bring everything together. Spoon the batter into the molds, filling each mold 2/3 to 3.4 full. You can use a small cup filled with batter or a pasty bag for this part to keep things cleaner. I used a 2 cup measuring cup and just poured it in slowly. Worked perfectly.

Bake for 12 to 14 minutes (7 to 10 if you are using a mini Madeleine pan) or until the edges are golden brown. (Mine took approximately 11 minutes, so keep an eye on them). Remove from the oven and unmold immediately. Cook on racks and dust with powdered sugar. You could even dip the ends in some melted chocolate. Be still my heart.

Madeleines CU
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