December 29, 2010


I love little tastes of goes along with my obsession with the country and their food.  Madeleines are little cakes that are meant to be eaten like a cookie, and they should be light and fluffy with a hump on the back.  Who knows why, but a madeleine always has a little bump and apparently it can be very difficult to replicate.  They are baked in special pans with scalloped edges so they look like little sea shells, and few years ago, I gave my mom madeleine pans so she could make me some little tastes of France.  By the way - the aluminum pans result in the best madeleines.  Brush the molds with melted butter and flour and they pop out no problem.  Since everyone claims to have the best, fluffiest madeleine recipe, my mom and I browsed a few cookbooks and settled on the recipe from Cooks Illustrated, who tested several recipe combinations to settle on the best.  Once I saw how ridiculously easy these little cakes/cookies were, I stole her pans and made them for myself!

1/4 c. all purpose flour
1/4 c. cake flour
Pinch of kosher salt
2 egg yolks
1 whole egg
1/4 c. granulated sugar
1 1/2 t. vanilla extract
4 T. unsalted butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 375 and brush the molds with 2t. of melted butter mixed with 1t. of flour.  Sift together the flours and salt and set aside.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the yolks with the egg for about five minutes, until they are light and fluffy.  Add the sugar and vanilla and beat until a ribbon drops from the paddle, about another five minutes.  Gently fold in the flour mixture, then the melted butter.  Spoon the batter into the molds until it is just flush with the rim of the mold.  Bake for 10 minutes until the tops are golden and the cakes spring back when pressed.  To avoid getting lines from a cooling rack on the madeleines, dump onto a kitchen towel to cool.

I told you.  Crazy easy.  I barely had time to get everything cleaned up before they were finished baking.  And with this recipe, they all had the little humps!  In the past, I have added 1 t. of very finely minced fresh rosemary for rosemary madeleines and you can also add 1/4 mini chocolate chips to the madeleines.  I just went for the classic this time.  They are the best right out of the oven, so chow down while they are cooling.  Then you can eat them with coffee, tea, as a midday snack.....

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