Friday, February 17, 2012
I love that the madeleines sit in their pan in two straight lines.
Isn't that how they're supposed to do everything?
Twelve of them. In two straight lines. Just like in Madeline.
That's a book that has stuck with me for a long time. I think I'll always remember Miss Clavel sitting up suddenly in the middle of the night because something was not right. I particularly channeled her when I flipped my first ever batch of madeleines out of their pan.
Something was not right. They had little bumps in the center. Their backsides were far past the pale golden color I had anticipated, even though I had left them in for the minimum amount of time suggested. They were a little dry when I bit into them. They left a lot to be desired.
I flew into action. I started over, this time measuring out the dough for each madeleine mold carefully with a teaspoon, trying to approximate even amounts across the pan. I lowered the oven temperature 15 degrees (perhaps not necessary for you as my oven tends to run high). I lowered the baking time by two minutes, and I didn't leave the oven until they were done.
Then came the moment of truth. Martha requests that you remove the madeleines from the pan and then almost immediately flip them out.
There they were. The madeleines I had dreamed of. Soft and pillowy. A light golden brown on both sides. Moist. Pretty delightful.
To save the others, I dipped them in Schaeffer Berger bittersweet chocolate. Yes. I do think chocolate fixes most problems. A few minutes in the fridge to let the chocolate harden up, and I almost forgot how sub-par they were compared to the second batch.
recipe adapted from Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook
This recipe yields 24 madeleines. I recommend making just 1 or 2 first before making a whole pan, since they go from perfect to overdone very, very quickly.
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the pans
3/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for the pans
1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 cup plus two tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
In a small saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Transfer to a small bowl, and set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, whisk together flours and sugar. Set aside.
Add the vanilla extract to the cooled butter. Stir to combine. In a large bowl, combine the eggs with the salt and whisk until frothy. Whisk in the reserved flour mixture. With whisk, fold in the butter mixture.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 12-mold madeline pans (or use one like I did and use bake the madeleines in two batches). Flour the pan and tap off the excess flour. Transfer the batter to the pan using a teaspoon, filling each mold about 1/2 way. Tap the pan gently on the counter to allow the batter to spread a little throughout the mold.
Bake the madeleines for 10 to 14 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through, until the edges of the cake are golden brown.
Immediately invert the madeleines on a wire rack to cool. Madeleines should be served the same day they are baked.
Optional: To dress up the madeleines, melt a high-end bittersweet chocolate and dip the madeleines into it. Transfer them to a baking tray covered in parchment paper to harden, or place them in the refrigerator to speed up the process.