Saturday, February 23, 2013

Sweet Little Madeleines

The madeleine (French pronunciation: [mad.lɛn], English /ˈmædln/ or /ˌmædlˈn/[1]) or petite madeleine ([pə.tit mad.lɛn]) is a traditional small cake from Commercy and Liverdun, two communes of the Lorraine region in northeastern France.

Madeleines are very small sponge cakes with a distinctive shell-like shape acquired from being baked in pans with shell-shaped depressions. Aside from the traditional moulded pan, commonly found in stores specialising in kitchen equipment and even hardware stores, no special tools are required to make madeleines.
A génoise cake batter is used. The flavour is similar to, but somewhat lighter than, sponge cake. Traditional recipes include very finely ground nuts, usually almonds. A variation uses lemon zest, for a pronounced lemony taste.

Vintage Madeleine Pans

"Madeleines" are a famous bunch of french cookies, that have spread their magic around the world. The French are known for their love of food, exquisite desserts, their romanticism, and their perfumes. They tend to be exotic in whatever they do, and so there's no doubt you'll see a similar touch in their cuisine too! 

So here's to the famous French Madeleine Cookies, and my recipe.
Brown Butter Madeleines Recipe

Cuisine: French / Yields: 2 to 3 dozen / Prep time: 20 min / Cook time: 12 min



3/4 cup (6 ounces) unsalted butter
2 tablespoons soft sweet butter (this is for spreading in the pan)
4 large eggs (room tempature)

Pinch salt
2/3 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon chopped/grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cups all-purpose flour

Powdered (confectioners) sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Position a rack in the center of the oven.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Continue to cook until the butter is very light golden brown and fragrant, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature; set aside.
Generously butter two Madeleine molds and dust with a little flour. Invert pan and tap out any excess flour. NOTE: If you don't have teflon-lined Madeleine pans, be sure and butter the pan carefully, getting butter into all the cracks and crannys).
Into the bowl of an electric mixer, place the eggs and a pinch of salt. Whip on high speed until thick, approximately 3 minutes. Continuing to mix on high speed, slowly add the sugar in a steady stream and whip for 2 minutes until mixture is thick and ribbony. Decrease to low speed and add the lemon zest and vanilla extract (just until mixed).

By hand, fold 1/3 of the flour into batter, followed by 1/3 of melted butter. Continue folding the remaining flour and butter, 1/2 at a time, into the batter.
Spoon the batter into the prepared Madeleine molds, filling them 2/3 to 3/4 full.

Bake the Madeleine for about 10 to 12 minutes, until the edges are golden brown and the centers spring back when lightly touched. Do not over bake these cookies or they will be dry. Remove from oven and unmold immediately (rap each pan sharply against a countertop to release the Madeleine). Transfer warm Madeleine to wire racks, smooth sides down, to cool.
When ready to serve, dust with powdered sugar.

The Madeleines are best served the same day but can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 to 3 days or frozen, well wrapped, for up to 1 month.

Makes 2 to 3 dozen regular-size Madeleines.

Chocolate-covered Madeleines, and beleive me, they are so great you are sure to get addicted to them. Enjoy these as simple desserts, but they are great with tea or coffee or tea too!


Chocolate Dipped 

Lemon Glazed

While the cakes are baking, make a glaze in a small mixing bowl by stirring together the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and water until smooth.  Remove from the oven and tilt the madeleines out onto a cooling rack. The moment they’re cool enough to handle, dip each cake in the glaze, turning them over to make sure both sides are coated and scrape off any excess with a dull knife. After dipping, rest each one back on the cooking rack, scalloped side up, until the cakes are cool and the glaze has firmed up. 

3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon freshly-squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons water

Storage: Glazed madeleines are best left uncovered, or not tightly-wrapped; they’re best eaten the day they’re made. They can be kept in a container for up to three days after baking, if necessary. I don’t recommend freezing them since the glaze will melt. 

Here is some madeleines with a twist below!
Pumpkin Pecan Madeleines
Zucchini Madeleines

Apple Madeleines
I hope you have enjoyed my findings and the diversity of Madeleine's.  I think that all we need now is some Strawberries Romanoff and whip cream to top it off!

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