"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. And soon, mechanically, weary after a dull day with the prospect of a depressing morrow, 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…at once the vicissitudes of life had become indifferent to me, its disasters innocuous, its brevity illusory…"
- Except taken from Marcel Proust's "In Search Of Lost Time" -
Although I have never been a big fan of industrially produced Madeleines which are very popular here in Switzerland (especially with the kids when I was at primary school in the 80's), that French little cookie-sized cake has always made me fantasize...
There is definitely something magical to that lovely and elegant treat. Whether it has something to do with it's cute shell shape or it's size, Madeleines will not leave you indifferent. They definitely have an attractive aspect and a winning pedigree!
The origin of those tiny sponge cakes is not clear. Some think that they may have been named for a 19th century pastry cook, Madeleine Paulmier, but others believe that Madeleine Paulmier was a cook in the 18th century for Stanislaw Leszczynski, whose son-in-law, Louis XV of France, named them for her. In any case, Madeleines are most famous outside France for their association with Marcel Proust's novel "À La Recherche du Temps Perdu (In Search of Lost Time)", in which the narrator experiences an awakening upon tasting a madeleine dipped in tea...
Well, after having finaly bought a Madeleine pan, I thought that it was about time for me to stop dreaming about them and start experimenting with them. So, on Monday, I made the Génoise-style batter and waited for the next day to bravely get out my mould in order to bake my first batch of close to perfect Madeleines.
After some researching on the net, I decided to make Claudia Flemming's recipe which I freely adapted according to my cravings for spring-like flavors. Originally, her Madeleines are made with chestnut honey, but since I had none I used a normal type of runny honey. And as I wanted to add an extra dimension to them, I ground a few dried rosebuds that I added to the pastry.
Those "Rose & Honey Madeleines" are very easy to make and taste so good. Texture-wise they are very moist, tender on the inside and slighty crispy on the outside. Taste-wise they have an extremely exhalirating and delicate flowery fragrance as well as a divinely sweet and pungent honey flavor. To die for and a perfect addition to your Easter table!
~ Rose & Honey Madeleines ~
Recipe taken from Claudia Fleming's "The Last Course" and adapted by Rosa @ Rosa's Yummy Yums 2010.
Yields 2 dozen madeleines.
12 Tbsp (180g/1.5 sticks) Unsalted butter, plus additional softened butter for the moulds
4 Large eggs
1/2 Cup Granulated sugar
2 Tbsp Firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/4 Cup Runny honey (strong flavored)
1 Cup All purpose flour
1/2 Cup Cake flour
2 Tsp Baking powder
1/4 Tsp Sea salt
2 Dried rosebuds, ground
Confectioners' sugar for dusting
1. In a small skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Continue to let the butter cook until some of the white milk solids fall to the bottom of the skillet and turn a rich hazelnut brown, about 5 minutes. Strain the browned butter through a fine sieve into a small bowl.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs, both sugars, and honey until pale and foamy, 2-3 minutes.
3. Sift both flours, the baking powder, ground rosebuds and salt over the egg mixture and use a rubber spatula to gently fold in. Fold in the browned butter. Cover the batter and refrigerate for at least 8 hours, or overnight.
4. Preheat the oven to 200° c (400° F). Liberally butter the madeleine molds. Spoon or pipe the batter evenly into the molds. Bake for 5-7 minutes, until golden brown.
5. Transfer the pans to a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes then unmold the cakes and let them cool completely on the rack. Dust with confectioners' sugar before serving.
I recommend that you butter the pans, then dust them with flour and put them in the freezer for a short while before you pipe the batter in the moulds.
Eat those Madeleines whenever you feel like it and don't forget to accompany them with a good cup of tea.
~ Madeleines Au Miel Et A La Rose ~
Recette tirée du livre "The Last Course" de Claudia Fleming et adaptée par Rosa @ Rosa's Yummy Yums 2010.
Pour 2 douzaines de madeleines.
180g de Beurre non-salé, plus un peu de beurre ramolli pour beurrer les moules
4 Gros oeufs
105g de Sucre cristallisé
2 CS de Sucre brun clair
60g de Miel (au goût prononcé)
127.5g de Farine blanche
64g de Farine à gâteau
2 CC de Poudre à lever
1/4 CC de Sel de mer
2 Boutons de roses séchées, réduits en poudre
Sucre en poudre pour saupoudrer
1. Dans une petite poêle faire fondre le beurre à température moyenne. Continuer à cuire le beurre pendant 5 minutes jusqu'à ce que le lactose se teinte (couleur noisette) et tombe au fond de la poêle. Filtrer le beurre et réserver.
2. Dans le bol d'un robot, battre (avec le fouet pendant 2-3 minutes) les oeufs, les sucres et le miel jusqu'à obtention d'une mousse pâle.
3. Tamiser les farines avec la poudre à lever, la poudre de boutons de roses et le sel et ajouter à la mixture aux oeufs. Incorporer délicatement avec une spatule et laisser reposer au frigo pendant tout une nuit (ou 8 heures au moins).
4. Péchauffer le four à 200° C. Beurrer généreusement les moules à madeleines. Les remplir avec la pâte à l'aide d'une cuillèere ou d'une poche à douille. Cuire 5-7 minutes, jusqu'à ce que les madeleines soient dorées.
5. Transférer le moule sur une grille et laisser refroidir pendant 5 minutes avant de les démouler et de les faire refroidir complètement. Saupoudrer avec du sucre glace.
Je vous recommande de bien beurrer les moules et de les saupoudrer avec de la farine, puis de les mettre un petit moment au congélateur avant de les remplir.
Idées de présentation:
Mangez-les à toutes heures de la journée et n'oubliez pas de les accompagner d'une bonne tasse de thé.