Thursday, February 4, 2010

Traditional Madeleines

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Since I've been gearing up for the upcoming move next month, I've been taking inventory of my kitchen toys. Sadly, I have quite a few things I've maybe used once, if not at all. One of those kitchen toys would be my Madeleine pan. I knew I had to put it to use in order to justify keeping it and I'm so glad I did! After making the following recipe, I'm definitely holding on to the pan so I can make the recipe again in the future.

This is a Dorie Greenspan recipe, taken from her cookbook, Baking From My Home to Yours. The first recipe I tried came from Cook's Illustrated but sadly didn't come out. Not sure what happened since I followed it to a T... but I had much better luck with Dorie's recipe. Highly addicting, these had a delicate and buttery crumb with a touch of citrus notes. Why has it taken me this long to make Madeleines from scratch? I'm now in search of other Madeleine recipes just to try more flavors. This recipe is definitely a keeper!

Traditional Madeleines
recipe from Dorie Greenspan


2/3 cup all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
1/2 cup sugar
grated zest of 1 lemon
2 large eggs. at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3/4 stick (6 tbsp)unsalted butter, melted and cooled
confectioner sugar, for dusting


Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.

working in a mixer bowl, rub the sugar and lemon zest together with your fingertips until the sugar is moist and fragrant. Add the eggs to the bowl. Working with the whisk attachment, beat the sugar and eggs together on medium high speed until pale, thick and light, 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla. With a rubber spatula, very gently fold in the dry ingredients, followed by the melted butter. Press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the batter and refrigerate it for at least 3 hours, or for up to 2 days. (You can also spoon the batter into the greased and floured madeleine molds, cover and refrigerate, then bake the madeleines directly from the fridge.)

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400F. Butter and flour the madeleine mold and place the pan on a baking sheet.

Spoon the batter into the molds, filling each one almost to the top. Don't worry about spreading the batter evenly, the oven's heat will take care of that. Bake the madeleines for 11-13 mins, or until they are golden and the tops spring back when touched. Remove the pan from the oven and release the madeleines from the mold by rapping the edge of the pan using your fingers or a butter knife. Transfer the madeleines to a rack to cool to just warm or to room temperature.

If you are making minis and have more batter, bake the next batch, make certain that you cool, then properly prepare the pan before baking.

Just before serving, dust the madeleines with confectioners' sugar.

Makes 12 large or 36 mini madeleines

Note: although the batter can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, the madeleines should be eaten soon after they are made. You can keep them overnight in a sealed container, but they are better on day 1. If you must store them, wrap them airtight and freeze them; they will keep for 2 months.

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