Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Remembrance of Things Past

"She sent for one of those squat, plump little cakes called "petites madeleines," which look as though they had been moulded in the fluted valve of a scallop shell. 
I raised to my lips a spoonful of the tea in which I had soaked a morsel of the cake.... a shudder ran through me and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary thing that was happening to me"

If there is something France has got me mad about it is Madeleines and Macarons.
While I have written and made Macarons earlier, it’s time for Madeleines. These small shell-shaped traditional cakes from France are a speciality from the town of Commercy, in the North of the Lorraine region of France. 

Famous for its shape, smooth texture, and super softness the Madeleine de Commercy cookie has become a classic as an in between munch or with a cup of tea or coffee. It is certainly not a food for the weak hearts. 

Yes, because dollops of butter goes into making these buttery and soft melting in the mouth cookies.

These delightful cookies are believed to have been made first by a maid named Madeleine who worked for the Duke of Laorraine – Stanislas Leczinski in the late 1700s so the people of Lorraine believed. She made them for the first time for a Royal Banquet in the town of Commercy. When the cookies were appreciated and loved by all the Duke decided to thank Madeleine and name these cookies ‘Madeleine’

Made with very simple ingredients such as eggs, sugar, butter and flour. Orange blossom or lemon rind is added while baking to enhance the aroma and flavour. Those irresistible little cookies have been baked in scallop-shape moulds since their creation, the moulds are special with specific striped indentations on them giving the Madeleine a crisp exterior and extremely moist inside because of the egg whites and butter.

I baked the classic madeleine as well as a dark chocolate chip madeleine. My other favourite also includes orange flavoured Madeleine with a soft chocolate center. This recipe is an adaptation from Julia Child's Kitchen  by Julia Child. 
2 eggs
2/3 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1 cup Flour 
120 gms Butter
1/2 Vanilla Essence
Grated zest of half a lemon
3 drops of lemon juice (optional as I avoid this )

Extra butter and flour for greasing and dusting the Madeleine moulds. This recipe makes 24 Madeleines. 

Pre-heat Oven at 190 degrees centigrade. Combine flour and sugar in a mixing bowl and add three quarters of the eggs.  Beat vigorously with a wooden spoon to form a pale and ribbony consistency.  Set aside for 10 minutes.  Meanwhile, bring all of the butter to a boil until it begins to brown very lightly.  Combine 1 1/2 tablespoons of the butter and tablespoon of flour in a small bowl and set aside.

Stir the rest of the butter over cold water until cool but still liquid.  Beat the remaining bit of egg into the batter and stir in the cool butter.  Stir in the salt, vanilla, grated lemon zest, lemon juice (and bergamot if using).  Cover the batter, and set aside in the refrigerator for at least one hour.  Meanwhile, paint the Madeleine cups with a light coating of the browned butter and flour mixture, wiping up any pools that form in the bottom. 
Set aside or refrigerate if the  kitchen is  .
Using a spoon or a cookie scoop drop batter into each Madeleine cup.  Do not spread the batter to fill the mold.  Repeat with remaining batter and mold.  Set pans on the middle rack and bake for about 15 minutes.  The batter will spread on its own to fill the cups and a hump will gradually form in the middle.Unmold onto a rack, humped side up.
Dust madeleines with Icing Sugar.


  1. This looks amazing. You have got super talent. You are a super women

  2. Wow ... It looks so delicious, I could gobble all these delicious cookies, give me a whole day, come back and the it wil be all gone gone! :). Loved it!