Madeleines

I’ve made madeleines a few years ago, and back then I had no idea what I was getting into…you see, I have a love-hate relationship with baking, but for the most part, I really don’t mind it.  Really.

Recently I purchased Buvette the pleasure of good food Cookbook, and this afternoon, I dove right into it.  I found Jody Williams recipe for madeleines the most pleasurable to follow.  And, if you don’t mind me saying so, they turned out quite good (proudly blushing now).

Ingredients:

(Make a dozen madeleines (or 3 dozen miniature ones)

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for pan (I used a stick of butter; and an organic oil spray for the pan)
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour, sifted, plus more for the pan
  • Pinch coarse salt (I used kosher salt)
  • Zest of 1/2 lemon
  • Powdered sugar, for serving

Directions:

  1. In a small skillet set it over medium-high heat cook the butter until it froths, then gets quiet and turns a dark brown color and smells wonderfully nutty (about 3 minutes).  Be sure to keep an eye on the butter as it’s cooking so it doesn’t burn and turn black.  Once it’s browned, set it aside to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, put the eggs and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment and beat on high-speed until the mixture thickens and turns pale in color.  Alternatively, you could use and electric handheld mixer, which is what I did.
  3. Thoroughly whisk the flour and the salt into the egg mixture.  Whisk in the lemon zest, the reserved browned butter, and the vanilla extract.
  4. Transfer the batter to a container, or simply cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days before baking.  I couldn’t wait 2 days, so I just chilled it for 2 hours.  Resting the batter reassure puffy madeleines in the oven.
  5. Once the batter has chilled, preheat the oven to 350°F.  Generously butter and flour a madeleine tray (even if it’s nonstick).  Divide the batter evenly amongst the molds, filling each one three-quarters of the way up.  Tap the tray on the countertop to deflate any air bubbles, then transfer tray in the oven.
  6. Bake madeleines until they are just firm to the touch and ever so lightly golden brown, about 12 minutes.  While still warm, remove the madeleines from the oven tray, and dust generously with powered sugar.  Serve them warm in a basket lined with a napkin…and of course, delicious with tea (or coffee, if you prefer).  Bon Appetit!