Friday, January 21, 2011
Testing out 2 different 'Madeleines' recipes...
one from a new recipe book I recently picked up from Borders called tea & crumpets by Margaret M. Johnson and another recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks Baking: From my home to yours by Dorie Greenspan.
Jenny and her son Ethan inspired this baking experiment. Ethan has been asking his mom, Jenny to make madeleines for a while. Jenny and I both love to bake, she had some baking questions and issues with making these little cakes. She was finding her madeleines we're baking up with a big crack and a hump on top. After testing both recipes, and allowing both batters to rest overnight in the refrigerator, our madeleines baked up beautifully with no big crack or a hump on top. The resting time in the refrigerator allow the batter to rest and for the melted butter to firm back up.
The recipes tested are very similar in ingredients and techniques. Dorie Greenspan describes madeleines as a plain cookie made from a sponge cake batter, "What distinguishes it, is its lightness, its textures-the tiny-bubbled crumb is très raffiné; its flavor, a delicate mix of lemon, vanilla and butter." The baked up madeleines from both recipes tasted delicious, if you are looking for a more moist and bolder flavors of lemon and orange; make Margaret's recipe. Dorie's recipe is more on the lighter sponge cake texture with subtle hints of lemon and vanilla. I decided to share both recipes on my blog so you can have the opportunity to try both. Margaret's recipe is adapted from 'Madeleines de Proust' served during afternoon tea at the Bar Vendôme at the Ritz Hôtel in Paris, France.
Adapted from Baking: From my home to yours by Dorie Greenspan
2/3 c. all purpose flour
3/4 tsp. double-acting baking powder
Pinch of salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 c. sugar
Grated zest of 1 lemon
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Confectioners sugar, for dusting
Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
Working in a mixer bowl, rub the sugar and lemon zest together with your fingertips until the sugar is moist and fragrant. Add in the eggs.
In a mixer with a whisk attachment, beat the eggs and sugar together at medium-high speed until they thicken and lighten in color, about 2-4 minutes.
Beat in the vanilla. With a large rubber spatula, gently fold in the dry ingredients, followed by the melted butter. Cover the batter with plastic wrap, pressing it against the surface to create an airtight seal. Chill for at least 3 hours or for up to 2 days. **Tip: Instead of covering the batter with plastic, scrape the batter into a ziploc bag and refrigerate over night. When you're ready to bake them up, cut the corner of the bag and pipe onto your pan, makes filling those pans quickly and cleanly.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. If your madeleine pan is not nonstick, generously butter it and dust with flour. Set the pan on a baking sheet for easy transportability. Spoon the batter into the molds, filling them almost to the top.** Don’t worry about smoothing the batter. It will even out as it bakes.
In the center rack of the oven, bake large madeleines for 11-13 minutes, and small ones for 8-10 minutes, or until they are puffed and golden and spring back when touched.
Remove the cookies by either rapping the pan against the counter or gently running a butter knife around the edges of the cookies. Cool on a cooling rack.
**Note-do not overfill the pans, a little batter goes a long way. The cookies will rise while baking.
Madeleines de Proust served at Bar Vendôme
Adapted from the cookbook Tea & Crumpets by Margaret M. Johnson.
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
3 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup ground blanched almonds (optional)
Pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup honey
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting
In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Stir in the flour, almonds if using, salt, and baking powder and beat for 3 to 5 minutes, or until well blended. Stir in the honey, melted butter, and lemon and orange zests. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap and refrigerate the batter for 3 to 4 hours or up to 1 day. **See tip from above recipe.
Preheat the oven to 325° F. Generously butter two 12-well madeleine pans. Dust with flour, tapping out the excess.
Spoon a rounded tablespoon of the batter into each well (they will be about two-thirds full). Bake in the upper and lower thirds of the oven, switching the position of the pans halfway through baking, for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden around the edges. Remove the pans from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Invert the pans to remove the cookies and dust with confectioners’ sugar.
Chocolate Madeleines: Substitute 3 tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa powder and 1 ounce (1 square) bittersweet (not unsweetened) chocolate, melted and cooled, for the almonds and lemon and orange zests. Proceed with the recipe as directed.
As time allows, make both recipes and invite some friends over to enjoy your madeleines with some tea and conversation.