Sunday, 25 January 2015

Madeleines

We've been eating a bit more healthily here recently and I haven't done any baking (apart from B's birthday cake, of course).  This weekend I thought it was time I made a little something, and I knew just what it would be. B gave me this sweet little book as a present when she visited France a few years ago, and I'm very fond of it.


 The illustrations are so good, it's one of those cook books which are lovely just to look at, and I also enjoy trying out my A level French on it. This is my favourite page - so pretty!


The madeleines in particular caught my attention; light little buttery sponge cakes. After a bit of investigation I discovered that they come from northern France and are traditionally made in the shape of little scallop shells. They use a genoise batter and can be flavoured in different ways, and are even mentioned by Proust in 'Remembrance of Things Past'. 


I knew I could make them in my usual bun tray and they would taste the same, but I really wanted them to be shell-shaped. So I saved my pennies and bought a lovely madeleine baking tray last year. Here it is. A thing of beauty in its own right.


I used this recipe which is very easy to follow, but have made some from this one as well which were very good. First of all I zested and juiced a lemon.


Then melted the butter.


I whisked together the eggs and sugar until they were frothy.



Then I brushed some melted butter into the shell shapes and dusted them with flour to prevent sticking.


It was time to mix all of the ingredients together now and whisk them lightly.


After that I covered the mixture and left it to stand for 20 minutes.



I carefully poured the mixture into the tin, making sure not to go over the edges.


After 10 minutes they were done, although perhaps slightly overdone - maybe 8 minutes next time?


Once cooled I eased them out of their tin and dusted them with icing suger, sweet little lemony sponge shells.



The recipe says that they are best eaten within an hour of baking and who am I to argue? I ate one with a cup of tea, and it was very yummy. I'm just deciding what flavour to make next time ... lavender maybe, or almond, earl grey, rose and honey, lemon verbena, gingerbread? The possibilities are endless.


Have a good weekend x

20 comments:

  1. These look absolutely divine! I never knew that they should be in the shape of scallop shells so will have to save up my pennies too. Have a wonderful Sunday xx (ps, thank you for your lovely visit to my blog, I tried to answer via email but you are coming up as a 'no reply blogger'. I'm having to keep away from the mini eggs now!!).

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    1. Sorry Chel - I had no idea I am a 'no replies blogger'! I shall have to investigate, but bear with me as I've been on a learning curve with the technical side of blogging this year, but will get there in the end!

      Cathy x

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  2. These looks soooo good. I'm hungry now!

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    1. I did manage to limit myself to one a day, and let the others eat the rest - they went quite quickly!
      Cathy x

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  3. OH des madeleines !!! There's a place in the East of France called "Commercy" where the madeleines are sooooo goood and famous in France ! Well, In the traditional way, they're only with lemon flavour and without ice sugar. You should try with a thin topping of chocolate on the upper side (when they're still in the tin)... tell me if you need help for translation .... Have a nice evening !

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    1. Merci, Geraldine! Chocolate on one side sounds delicious - I shall have to try it, and many thanks for the offer to help with translation. I'll let you know if I try one of those recipes :)
      Cathy x

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  4. Hello Cathy, my mouth is watering just reading your post ! they look scrummy.

    luv
    irene
    xxxx

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    1. Thank you, Irene - they didn't last long!
      Cathy x

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  5. Oh yum! They look so delicate and yes that madeleine tray is a thing of beauty x

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    1. I agree, it's a pretty kitchen object in its own right - I'll have to find somewhere to display it! :)
      Cathy x

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  6. I now have madeleine tray envy! I am very impressed that you managed to translate the recipe and you obviously did a good job because they look delicious. It sounds like it's just the beginning of a beautiful madeleine journey - enjoy! x

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    1. Yes, those trays are very appealing, but I must admit that I didn't translate the recipe. I used the BBC one that I linked to in the post, although I'll have to try one of those French ones, I think :)
      Cathy x

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  7. Hmmm, your madeleines look mouthwatering good. I have just discovered your blog and looking forward to reading more of your posts.

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    1. Lovely to meet you, Jan - thank you for dropping by :)
      Cathy x

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  8. Mmmm, very tempting. You've inspired me to try making some. I should have been inspired years ago, as I wrote my PhD thesis on Proust. But Proust himself wasn't really into baking...

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    1. No, I think he was more concerned with eating the madeleines! Hope you enjoy them :)
      Cathy x

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  9. I have madeleine pans I bought in France ages ago and still haven't use them. I think it's the part about having to 'rest' the batter before baking. I suppose 20 minutes isn't so bad; not like the several hours I have seen in some recipes. You have inspired me to give it a go though, but it will have to wait until later because I made Welsh Cakes today!

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  10. Hi Jenn, thank you for visiting :) I found the 20 minutes went by quickly as I did most of the washing up while I was waiting. Hope you enjoy making your madeleines :)
    Cathy x

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  11. Hummmm! Parece delicioso! Obrigada pela partilha, Manuela

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    1. Hello Manuela - it's nice to meet you.Thank you for dropping by :)
      Cathy x

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