Like many of us, I’m much more of an “eater” than a baker, but there’s one cookie worth baking: the Madeleine.
The only problem is that I have no idea where I put the recipe my teacher’s wife gave me, but I kind of still have the gist — I just need a good baseline.
So off I went to the Internets, in search of a good baseline to adapt for my preferences… and potentially changes in altitude (Denver is significantly more elevated than Paris!).
I finally found one that looked just about right, except that this chef clearly has way too much time on her hands! Who has time to read – let alone WRITE – paragraphs of instruction??
Considering that my baking “tools” really only consist of a “one cup” cup, an actual teaspoon for “teaspoon” measurements, and a hand whisk instead of a mixer, I tend to wing these things anyway. Here’s the recipe modified with my… uh… adjustments:
Classic Madeleines [Madeleines Classiques]
“adapted” from smitten kitchen
3/4 cup (95 grams) all-purpose flour a little less than a cup of flour
1/2 teaspoon double-acting baking powder
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup (100 grams) sugar
Grated zest of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
5 tablespoons (2 1/2 ounces; 70 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Sift together the flour and baking powder and keep close at hand. Working in a mixer fit with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs and sugar together on medium-high speed until they thicken and lighten in color, 2 to 4 minutes. Beat in the lemon zest and vanilla. Switch to a large rubber spatula and gently fold in the dry ingredients, followed by the melted butter.
Mix the dry things together, then add the wet things and mix those, too.
Cover the batter with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap against the surface to create an airtight seal, and chill for at least 3 hours, perhaps longer–chilling helps the batter develop its characteristic crown, known as the hump or the bump. (The batter can be kept tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.)
Leave the mix in the fridge while you eat some gelato, talk to your boyfriend, or read some Proust.
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). If your Madeleine pan is not nonstick, generously butter it, dust the insides with flour and tap out the excess. If the pan is nonstick, you still might want to give it an insurance coating of butter and flour. If it is silicone, do nothing. No matter what kind of pan you have, place it on a baking sheet for easy transportability.
Butter your pan and set oven to 400°
Divide the batter among the molds, filling them almost to the top. Don’t worry about smoothing the batter, it will even out as it bakes.
WTF do not even fill your molds anywhere near to the top. These things explode like pillow creatures!
Bake large madeleines for 11 to 13 minutes, small ones for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the cookies are puffed and golden and spring back when touched. Pull the pan from the oven and remove the cookies by either rapping the pan against the counter (the madeleines should drop out) or gently running a butte knife around the edges of the cookies. Allow the madeleines to cool on a cooling rack. They can be served ever so slightly warm or at room temperature.
Bake for 10 minutes or until the edges are brown and the top is fluffy.
And there you have it. Beautiful madeleines in 6 sentences – perfect for morning tea or late night snacks.
You can make these in cupcake trays if you don’t have a madeleine pan (but obviously I recommend that you get one).
How do you make your madeleines? Let me know below!