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TWD: Traditional Madeleines

May 20, 2008

Ya know how there are some days where you feel like you should never have gotten out of bed? I think today is turning out to be one of those days. Albeit, as I sit here and write this post, it is only 6:50am ET, however, I’ve already had a traumatic experience.

It was supposed to be a good morning. I would finally get to accomplish two baking milestones I have been anxiously waiting for what seems like forever: 1) Bake my very own TWD choice, and 2) Bake madeleines…The first of which I’ve been looking forward to for nearly 3 months, and the second of which I’ve been putting off for over a year since I received my first madeleine pan as a gift from a dear friend.

I prepped the dough last night. Easy peasy. Used a mini ice cream scoop to evenly divide the dough into 12 large madeleine molds, covered them with a layer of parchment paper, wrapped the pan in Saran Wrap, and stuck them in the fridge to set up over night (all after having to tear myself away from eating the batter). And let me tell you. I was excited to get out of bed this morning! With the oven pre-heated and the pan warmed up from fridge chill, I took a deep breath and in went the madeleines. This is what I’ve been waiting for. Perfect little pound-cake-like seashell-shaped (say that 3 times fast!) French perfection.

Ugh. French perfection did not come out of the oven. My long-awaited madeleines were over cooked. I was crushed. Or maybe a better term would be PISSED OFF because all that came out of my mouth for the next 5 minutes was F this and F that. F-ing 11 minutes my ass!! They were COLD when I put them in…how could they overcook in 11 minutes??? As the rational side of me emerged, I concluded that I should have lowered the temp to at most 375F to account for the dark non-stick madeleine pan. Stupid dark non-stick pan. As you all are my witnesses, I’m going to start purging (i.e. tag sale them) all of my non-stick bakeware. I won’t deal with this mess again.

Ranting aside, these really were great tasting French [pseudo] perfection. The delightful lemony flavor emerged regardless of them being a little overcooked. The centers were still soft and since the outside was a bit on the crisp side, the textures complemented each other well. AND I GOT THEM TO BUMP!!! If for nothing else, these madedelines were a success for me because I got the traditional little bump on the backside and I really couldn’t be happier about that, considering the madeleines in the photo of Baking didn’t have bumps.

OK, so I’m done talking [for now]. Thanks again to Laurie of quirky cupcake for putting together this incredible group!

P.S…In case you’re wondering, I WILL make these again and will eventually end up with little French perfections. :)

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My last TWD recipe: Fluted Polenta and Ricotta Cake

Next week’s TWD recipe: Pecan Honey Sticky Buns as chosen by Madam Chow’s Kitchen

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Traditional Madeleines

Source: Dorie Greenspan, Baking: From My Home to Yours

  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • ½ cup sugar
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ¾ stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
  1. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  2. Working in a mixer bowl, or in a large bowl, rub the sugar and lemon zest together with your fingertips until the sugar is moist and fragrant. Add the eggs to the bowl. Working with the whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer, beat the eggs and sugar together on medium-high speed until pale, thick and light, 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla. With a rubber spatula, very gently fold in the dry ingredients, followed by the melted butter. Press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the batter and refrigerate it for at least 3 hours, or for up to 2 days. This long chill period will help the batter form the hump that is characteristic of madeleines. (For convenience, you can spoon the batter into the madeleine molds, cover and refrigerate, then bake the cookies directly from the fridge; see below for instructions on prepping the pans.)

GETTING READY TO BAKE:

  1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter 12 full-size madeleine molds, or up to 36 mini madeleine molds, dust the insides with flour and tap out the excess. Or, if you have a nonstick pan (or pans), give it a light coating of vegetable cooking spray. If you have a silicone pan, no prep is needed. Place the pan(s) on a baking sheet.
  2. Spoon the batter into the molds, filling each one almost to the top. Don’t worry about spreading the batter evenly, the oven’s heat will take care of that. Bake large madeleines for 11 to 13 minutes, and minis for 8 to 10 minutes, or until they are golden and the tops spring back when touched. Remove the pan(s) from the oven and release the madeleines from the molds by rapping the edge of the pan against the counter. Gently pry any recalcitrant madeleines from the pan using your fingers or a butter knife. Transfer the cookies to a rack to cool to just warm or to room temperature.
  3. If you are making minis and have more batter, bake the next batch(es), making certain that you cool, then properly prepare the pan(s) before baking.
  4. Just before serving, dust the madeleines with confectioners’ sugar.

Makes 12 large or 36 mini cookies

Serving: Serve the cookies when they are only slightly warm or when they reach room temperature, with tea or espresso.

Storing: Although the batter can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, the madeleines should be eaten soon after they are made. You can keep them overnight in a sealed container, but they really are better on day 1. If you must store them, wrap them airtight and freeze them; they’ll keep for up to 2 months.

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42 Comments leave one →
  1. May 20, 2008 7:08 am

    I’m sorry they ended up overcooking, but they still look yummy! :)

  2. May 20, 2008 7:14 am

    That does sound like a traumatic morning! Great pick, and good job with the bump. Hopefully the next batch turns out better!

  3. May 20, 2008 7:16 am

    Oh! So sorry they did not come out as you wanted! Great pick, this was something I had never tasted before!

  4. May 20, 2008 7:20 am

    Sorry you didn’t get the perfection you were going for. :( I think they still look great.
    Good choice.

  5. May 20, 2008 7:38 am

    How frustrating! I hate when I am really excited about something an it just doesn’t turn out the way I want or expect it to. The nice thing about this recipe is that it’s pretty easy to just whip up another batch. I made these twice last week because I wasn’t happy with how the first batch turned out (mine were under-done, rather than over). Plus it’s fun to play around with the flavor. Thanks for picking a great recipe this week!

  6. May 20, 2008 7:44 am

    great choice this week! They were delicious! Sorry about your pan issues. They still look great!

  7. May 20, 2008 8:05 am

    Your choice made me buy a second madeleine pan. In Germany we call it bear’s claws if one end is covered with chocolate. And we work on French perfection with green tea!

  8. May 20, 2008 8:33 am

    Oh no! I’m sorry your madelines didn’t come out as you wished and that they even got the F Bomb!

    Thanks for the choice–seeing all these creations is making me truly covet a Madeline pan (although NOT a non stick one!)

  9. May 20, 2008 8:48 am

    Too bad you overcooked them, but you can always make them again and again and……
    Thanks for picking this recipe! I loved them!!

  10. May 20, 2008 9:00 am

    Good Lord I hear ya on the dark non-stick bakeware. It is the devil. I wish I had known better before I registered for a crapload of it for our wedding. Then for the first year of married life I couldn’t figure out why everything I baked was overcooked. Even turning down the oven 25 degrees doesn’t always work. I am slowly purging it now and replacing it with the good stuff! Your madeleines still look yummy though!

  11. May 20, 2008 9:26 am

    What a disappointing way to start a day. Hopefully it improves! You did make a wonderful choice though–thanks for that!

  12. May 20, 2008 10:14 am

    yours look just like my first batch! i have a dark pan too. definitely lower the temp to 375… also mine were done in 10 min. hope you have better success next time! :)

  13. May 20, 2008 10:43 am

    Delicious madeleines – thank you for such a great choice!

  14. May 20, 2008 12:25 pm

    I dunno, they’re pretty golden beautiful! Besides, better to be overdone than underdone!

  15. May 20, 2008 12:37 pm

    Hope the day gets better!

  16. May 20, 2008 2:34 pm

    thanks for a great selection! sorry to hear about the non-stick over cooking problem, that is one of a hundred reasons i won’t buy that stuff! but glad it still came out tasty and i bet the next time you will be hit on the mark to french perfection!

  17. May 20, 2008 2:53 pm

    I think you did a great job, considering that it is your first try…I personally prefer a more browned cookie, so you pics look delicious to me!

  18. smellslikehome permalink*
    May 20, 2008 3:56 pm

    thanks everyone! so glad you enjoyed my pick this week!

    Kate (Katorade) – i know you’re not a TWD baker but i know you’re one of my most frequent readers and i just wanted to thank you for your continued support!

  19. May 20, 2008 4:40 pm

    Wow…It sounds like you had an adventure this morning. Sorry they didn’t turn out how you had hoped, but they do look good!

  20. kdgreen permalink
    May 20, 2008 4:52 pm

    I am sorry that your recipe turned out to be a little frustrating for you. Frankly, I think the deep golden brown looks very yummy!

  21. May 20, 2008 5:06 pm

    I think mind were overdone too! You’re right. I should have compensated for the dark non-stick pan.

  22. May 20, 2008 6:31 pm

    I am sorry they ended up overcooked but I am sure they were delicious! Thank you for picking this recipe we enjoyed making it and the batter was delicious to eat!

  23. May 20, 2008 7:11 pm

    Another dark non-stick pan user here, and I drop the oven temp to 375 as well, but I also use convetion bake which helps them brown more evenly. I think I only baked them for 9 minutes. Be happy that you got them out of the pan! Even with the non-stick mine will stick if I don’t butter and flour the mold, which of course I forgot about with my first batch. Thanks for the selection, I am happy to have redsicovered madeleines.

  24. May 20, 2008 7:22 pm

    Hey, they still look really good!

  25. May 20, 2008 7:34 pm

    Awww, bummer! Sorry about the overbaking, but they still look tasty.

  26. May 20, 2008 8:35 pm

    Still look VERY edible to me! This was such a great pick for this week, I’m glad you chose this recipe. I had the same problem with my first batch getting burnt, also having put them in straight from the fridge. Now I know a bit better, and I’ll avoid dark nonstick pans whenever I can! So in a way, you helped me avoid future problems as well, I’m sure =)

  27. May 20, 2008 8:57 pm

    I still think they look kinda pretty! I like the two-toned effect. It’s unique! Besides, taste is the most important thing. Well done! Thanks for a great choice!

  28. amanda permalink
    May 20, 2008 9:44 pm

    I think they look great with the darker color! I think I’d actually enjoy them a little overcooked.

  29. May 21, 2008 4:22 am

    Thank you for picking such a good recipe – I don’t think I have read a more positive response up until now – Sorry you were not that happy with yours. Your pics are fab! Hx

  30. carrie permalink
    May 21, 2008 8:05 am

    Grrrrroar! Dark non-stick pans may be a baker’s nemesis! I bought one a while back and it’s certainly taken some getting used to! I’ve found it definitely helps to use a silicone mat, lowed temp. possible & shortest baking time allowed.

  31. May 21, 2008 8:45 am

    They look cute, even if a little over cooked.
    Chocolate glaze can hide a multitude of sins. ;o)

  32. May 21, 2008 9:40 am

    F this and F that usually comes out of my mouth at least once with every recipe! Glad to “hear” I am not the only one. haha. That aside I think your maddies look lovely in the pictures. Thanks for hosting!
    Clara @ I♥food4thought

  33. May 21, 2008 1:35 pm

    Even over cooked they still look very pretty. Thanks for hosting, it was a great pick;)

  34. May 21, 2008 7:52 pm

    I had the same experience with the first batch of madeleines I made in my new non stick pan. Saved them just before they turned into ‘chocolate looking’ madeleines. I know now to either lower the temperature or baking time.

    Your madeleines came out great and look delicious!

    Thanks for choosing one of my favourite recipes.

  35. May 21, 2008 11:43 pm

    sorry you did not have the perfect madeleines that you wanted. i really wanted to make these this week but could not justify getting the pan. i hope one day to make them though! even though they are not perfect, they still look great :)

  36. May 22, 2008 1:28 am

    i think they look good! and nice work on the bump! thanks for the pick.

  37. May 22, 2008 9:04 am

    I can totally commiserates with your experience, but as long as they tasted good, that’s all that matters! Down with non-stick, I say!

  38. May 22, 2008 12:55 pm

    Oh dear, those dark pans are a pain! Hope your next batch turns out perfect! I loved your choice this week! :)

  39. May 25, 2008 3:13 pm

    They look so yummy! You bake and learn

  40. May 27, 2008 9:30 pm

    Well, at least they tasted good! I think I’d love that textural contrast (so many food loves have to do with textures for me..) Be gone with those dark pans…I am craving another batch, I do believe..

    b

Trackbacks

  1. TWD: Pecan Honey Sticky Buns « Smells Like Home
  2. Kona Coffee Chocolate Chip Ice Cream «

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