Thank you to Tara of Smells like Home for choosing this recipe for this weeks Tuesdays With Dorie Baking Challenge.
On the trip a few weeks ago that Matthew brought back Baking From My Home To Yours, he also brought back a couple of silicone madelaine moulds (the Lueke ones if anyone is brand obsessed). Now, I believe (this is the kitchen junky speaking) that an item is not extravegant if it is used. So the very first recipe I made from the cookbook was the traditional madelaines and I christened my new pans.
Matthew really likes madelianes so it is a recipe I have made a few times now.
From this experience I have come to some rather firm conclusions.
Brown the butter, it seems to emulsify better into the batter (when I skipped this step I got rice size chunks of butter in the chilled batter they left little dents in the cake like the butter dots on the polenta and ricotta cake), gives a depth of flavour and I achieved the hump when I browned the butter. I added 10g more butter to allow for evaporation. The picture below shows the big bubbles that start just as the solids on the bottom of the pan start to brown.
This batch went very dark brown but was not burnt (I tasted it to make sure)
Microplane the lemon zest. The first time I made this I used my zester. It was nice but the mini ribbons of zest were a bit over the top for even me. (Especially in the mini size).
Whip it good. The more I bake, the deeper my appriciation has grown of the importance of a decent beating! It makes such a difference for so many baked goods. Now that I am lucky enough to have a powerful stand mixer I have no excuse.
Don’t underbake. My hump started to appear after 12 minutes of baking. After 16 minutes they were golden and had a polite little bump that survived cooling.
I have a bit of a love affair going with silicone. There are a few reasons for this (humidity rusts pans over night, good heat conduction, funky shapes but the real reason I love silicone comes down to the fact I stack things very badly. When you stack metal badly it falls on you and has the potential to hurt. Silicone can be rolled up and left in a plastic container waiting for you (then you just have to worry about the plastic container attacking you).
Now back to the advise part of this post always grease your pans. Spray oil is quick (yes it leaves a residue over time but I prefer that to leaving part of my baked good in the pan). Even with all the butter in this recipe some of them stuck when I didn’t give it a little bit of prep.
Only bake what you want to eat. These are so good fresh with crispy edges. Keeping the batter in the fridge means fresh ones are only a preheat away. I have stretched batter storage out to 4 days, but after that the egg content may not be safe.
Now to be fair my madelaines didn’t have the kind of hump that would get them confused with Quasimodo. However, they certainly out-bumped the picture in the book!
From Baking from My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan.
2/3 cup (85g) all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
½ cup (75g) sugar
Grated zest of 1 lemon
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
¾ stick (6 tablespoons) (85g)(95g if you plan on browning the butter) 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. (my silicone needed the prep) 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.