Thursday, August 13, 2009

French Madeleines

French Madeleines

I am so excited! I just got my new madeleine pan delivered to my door from Amazon. I felt just like a little kid opening a package on Christmas morning. I don't know how many of you have enjoyed these tasty little cakes, but they are wonderful when served fresh from the oven. You can buy them at La Madeleines or Starbucks even, but they are not cheap. They taste great with coffee or hot tea and I have wanted to make my own for some time now. I perused several recipes, but never could find the special madeleine pan when shopping around town.

I finally decided to just buy online and in just a couple of magic it was sitting at my door. So, today I will share a recipe with you for Madeleines. I actually read over several recipes and tried a few of them, but the key factor that gives them their nutty flavor, seems to be in melting and browning the butter. Not all recipes call for this, but it is worth the extra time.

Speaking of time, it really doesn't take much time at all. It takes about the same time as homemade chocolate chip cookies, but oh so good! Only problem is that they don't last. This is now the sad fact...I wish that I would have bought 2 pans, so that I could have double batches cooking at the same time. Oh, birthday is coming up so I'll file that "gift idea" for later. Technically you could make these little cakes in a mini muffin pan, but they do look beautiful in their classic shell pattern. So, think about the small a madeleine crumbles in my mouth, I decide it is worth it!

French Madeleines Recipe

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter 4 large eggs
2/3 cup sugar 1 teaspoon good vanilla extract
1 cup flour 1/2 teaspoon salt
zest of one large lemon powered sugar

First, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a small pan, melt the butter over medium heat until it's brown and gives off a deliciously nutty aroma. The butter will need to cook around 20 minutes, to achieve the beautiful golden brown color. Remove butter from heat and strain it over a small bowl using a paper towel over a mesh strainer. You want to remove the fat solids and leave the clarified butter.

While the butter is cooling, spray cooking oil evenly into each shell of the madeleine pan making sure you get into all the ridges. Dust with flour and invert the pan, tapping out the excess flour.

Crack the four eggs into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. You can use a hand held mixer if you want, just be sure to use a spatula when folding in the flour. Add salt and whip on high speed until thick and the eggs double to triple in volume, approximately 3 minutes. Continue to mix on high speed, slowly adding the sugar in a steady stream. Whip for another couple minutes unitl the mixture is thick.

Fold in the lemon zest and vanilla with a spatula. Next, fold in the flour and butter mixture, alternating each and stirring just until incoporated. Sppon battter into the molds of the pan, filling each one 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until the edges of the Madeleines are golden brown. Remove from oven and unmold immediately. Cool on racks and dust with powdered sugar.

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