TWD: Traditional Madeleines
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. :)
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
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
- Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
- 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.