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9 May 2009

Madeleine's, sweet sweet Madeleines!

One day in winter, my mother offered me some tea ... She sent out for one of those short, plump little cakes called petites madeleines, which look as though they had been moulded in the fluted scallop of a pilgrim’s shell ... I raised to my lips a spoonful of the tea in which I had soaked a morsel of the cake. No sooner had the warm liquid, and the crumbs with it, touched my palate than a shudder ran through my whole body, and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary changes that were taking place. An exquisite pleasure had invaded my senses ...”
Marcel Proust, In Search of Lost Time.


Say's it all really. I recently bought a vintage Madeleine tin in future preparation for a SMS recipe which, much to my dismay, hasn't been picked yet. I simply could not wait however many weeks it may take for the object of my desires to make it onto the upcoming list so I shlomped upon the sofa, laptop in tow, to find a yummy recipe. The one that caught my eye is that of the wonderful Heston Blumenthal, he claimed that he used this recipe to woo his wife. Well, that's good enough for me!

Makes 10 (I got 12)

125g unsalted butter, plus a little for the mould
100g icing sugar
40g ground almonds
40g plain flour, plus a little for the mould
3 large egg whites
2 tsp best-quality honey
Finely grated zest of ½ lemon
Salt

Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas Mark 3. Melt the butter over a medium heat for a few minutes until it starts to sizzle and has a nice nutty scent — beurre noisette. Strain and set aside.

Sieve the icing sugar, ground almonds and flour into a bowl. Using a fork, whisk the egg whites into the dry mix. Next, add the honey and continue to whisk. Incorporate the warm — but not hot — beurre noisette and lemon zest and mix until homogenous. Add a little salt to taste.

Leave the madeleine mixture to rest in the fridge (covered with clingfilm pressed onto the surface) for at least an hour. Resting the dough is important, as the gluten relaxes and produces a lighter result.

Butter a madeleine mould and lightly dust with flour. (This double coating really works as a nonstick surface — you don’t want to be struggling with removing the madeleines while the tea is stewing.) Fill the moulds with the madeleine mixture and return to the fridge for half an hour to rest again (please be patient).

Bake for 10-15 minutes or until set and lightly golden brown. Remove from the oven, turn out from the tin and leave to cool on a cake rack for 5 minutes before serving.

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14 comments:

Jules said...

Good to see you used you madeline pan afterall. These look delicious.

Rose said...

Everything youve baked looks lovely. I like the look of those little fruit cakes, i love love love mazipan!

Maria♥ said...

I love Madelines and yours look perfect!!

Maria
x

Andrea said...

Your madelienes look absolutely perfect! I also can't wait until we do the chestnut honey madelienes with SMS, they sounds so delicious :)

pinkstripes said...

Your madelienes look wonderful. Perfect!

Natashya said...

Good for you for using your pan!
I have had one for a while but not used it..
They look great!

Katie said...

Wooing madelienes - look delicious

Margaret said...

Lovely Madeleine's - great recipe too!

Ingrid said...

I have a madeleine pan that hasn't been used yet. I need to fix that. Yours look good. I want one!
~ingrid

margot said...

I've never seen a Madeline recipe with honey and almonds, it sounds like a delightful combination.

The Bahens said...

I've never made madeleines, but I've always wanted to! They are so pretty, and they seem so refined!

Tracey said...

Those look marvelous! I've only made madeleines once but they were delicious.

Mermaid Sweets said...

Vintage pan, that sounds lovely. These look great, never made them before!

♥Rosie♥ said...

Your Madelines are beautiful Katie!