Written by Rae
I hadn’t really baked much since the cookie sale, and I think I was actually relieved not to. Come to think about about, I hadn’t even been doing much snacking on sweet things, besides a chocolate croissant from the bakery here and there. However, I was starting to get the itch to bake again. Maybe it’s because I’d been less busy, but I normally feel a little bored and purpose-less if I haven’t baked something in a few days. I decided I wanted to make some madeleines after watching David Lebovitz on french TV talk about how they’re the perfect cake when you feel like a little something because they’re not too sweet or heavy. I agree. So, I set out to make some madeleines.
I used the recipe from Lenotre, which I found on this French blog and which we have used before. I didn’t have any orange or lemon zest on hand, so I made vanilla madeleines with a vanilla bean. They turned out great, and though I’ve heard that madeleines are best eaten the day of, in my opinion they were even better the next day because the vanilla flavor had a chance to develop. They were light and springy, and very satisfying to eat dunked in a cup of earl grey tea – which combined with the vanilla was a like a little sponge from the gods.
I used the same batter to make both regular and mini madeleines. However, I preferred the mini madeleines because they were better colored and more evenly golden on the outside, not to mention they are so cute! They also formed more dramatic bumps, which is the signature of a madeleine. I’m not sure if most Americans know that, and I never did growing up because none of the madeleines we made at home ever had bumps. But in France, a good madeleine has a dramatic bump which is made from chilling the batter and then initially baking them at a higher temperature until a depression forms in the middle, and then turning the heat down for the rest of the cooking. There are different methods for achieving the bumps, but essentially that’s how it is made . . . and boy are they beautiful. I think part of the reason why I appreciate them is because they are quaint, and if you have read our blog before, you will know that I enjoy making simple and delicious cakes.
Next time I think I will made the citrus flavor madeleines beacause it’s more the taste I know and crave.