Monday, May 19, 2008

TWD: Madeleines

For many years I have carried around one dozen individual madeleine molds, hoping that someday I would have occasion to use them. That day finally arrived. This week’s TWD challenge was madeleines, chosen by Tara of Smells Like Home.




I don’t remember where or when I purchased them, but I knew I had to have them. I’m sure that others have tried to persuade me to toss things I don’t use, but, like cookbooks, a girl can never have too many baking tools. So, the tins remained.


This time I made only half a recipe and I let the batter refrigerate for about 24 hours. It filled about 8 tins, but, in future, I would spread it out among 10 to 12 because a few overflowed and the rest were almost too full. Perhaps that is why there was no bump. It’s worth investigating.


While the cookies were light and delicious, I was somewhat underwhelmed. All the hype over the years had me convinced that these were special cookies with a mystique all their own. They were good, but not spectacular. For science, it might be worthwhile to try several different recipes and compare -- is it the recipe or the cookie itself that disappoints?




Be sure and visit the other TWD blogs and see how everyone fared with their own madeleines.

Traditional Madeleines
(Baking From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan)

2/3 cup all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
½ cup sugar
Grated zest of 1 lemon (I used a combination of lemon and orange zest)
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
¾ stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.

Working in a mixer bowl, or in a large 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, or with a hand mixer, beat the eggs and sugar 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. This long chill period will help the batter form the hump that is characteristic of madeleines. (For convenience, you can spoon the batter into the madeleine molds, cover and refrigerate, then bake the cookies directly from the fridge; see below for instructions on prepping the pans.)

GETTING READY TO BAKE: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter 12 full-size madeleine molds, or up to 36 mini madeleine molds, dust the insides with flour and tap out the excess. Or, if you have a nonstick pan (or pans), give it a light coating of vegetable cooking spray. If you have a silicone pan, no prep is needed. (my silicone needed the prep) Place the pan(s) 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 large madeleines for 11 to 13 minutes, and minis for 8 to 10 minutes, or until they are golden and the tops spring back when touched. Remove the pan(s) from the oven and release the madeleines from the molds by rapping the edge of the pan against the counter. Gently pry any recalcitrant madeleines from the pan using your fingers or a butter knife. Transfer the cookies 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(es), making certain that you cool, then properly prepare the pan(s) before baking.

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

Makes 12 large or 36 mini cookies

Serving: Serve the cookies when they are only slightly warm or when they reach room temperature, with tea or espresso.

Storing: 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 really are better on day 1. If you must store them, wrap them airtight and freeze them; they’ll keep for up to 2 months. (I thought they tasted just as good on Day 2.)

25 comments:

Peabody said...

How cool, I have never seen the indvidual ones before. I want now!

Engineer Baker said...

Those are cute little individual molds! I'm sorry you were underwhelmed - maybe a more intensely flavored recipe would be better? Experimentation is necessary :)

Lori said...

never seen those kind before. Thats funny how you had them and never used them, I have done that as well. Suddenly your like oh yeah... YEAH! And then there your best friend.

Your madeleines look great.

ostwestwind said...

I never saw those individual pans. In Germany we make also bear's claws in this pans :-) Glad you used them for this occasion.

Ulrike from K├╝chenlatein

Gretchen Noelle said...

Too bad these did not overwhelm you! They look great. I am sure some other flavors are worth experimenting with.

Bumblebutton said...

They look great, even if you weren't wowed. Bet your pans will get a workout now trying to find the perfect recipe. It is impressive that you are able to keep all your little pans together--they'd go missing, one by one, at my house!

SiHaN said...

i agree with the rest about the hype about the individual pans. i've never once seen those before!

CRS said...

I'm sorry you didn't love them!

Garrett said...

Wow, I've never even seen the individual molds like that before. Very curious.

Danielle said...

Those pans would look so great as a framed kitchen art piece. I'm gonna keep my eye out for them.

likesprinkles said...

I love the little tins! I could actually justify buying a couple of those instead of the huge pan.

The madeleines look delicious. Sorry to hear that you weren't a fan.

Christine said...

I wish you knew where you bought your individual pans because I want them! Your madeleines look delicious!

CB said...

aaaawww your individual madeleine pans are so cute!
Clara @ I♥food4thought

Rebecca said...

Individual molds? I don't know whether that's cute or psychotic. ;)

Dianne said...

I love the individual molds. Sorry the Madelines didn't live up to quite what you expected though.

Mara said...

i also love the individuals, what a great idea. in the past i have not liked madeleine's either...but maybe lots of ZEST will change that.

Dolores said...

Add me to the list of individual mold lovers... glad you finally got a chance to use them; just wish the end result had been a bit more satisfying. I'm intrigued by Dorie's Earl Grey recipe... thinking about giving it a shot with matcha tea instead...

Cheryl said...

Sorry you didn't love them. : ( There's nothing particularly amazing about them; for me, it's just that they're a simple and tasty sweet to eat with tea.

Yours look great!

Heather said...

I love your individual molds! Cute! I thought mine tasted just as good later too. In fact, I froze some of my extras and took them to work this week. No one even knew!

Aardvark Cakes said...

Those molds are fab! They are just the sort of thing I would have in the house and not be able to find when it eventually came time to use them! Hx

steph- whisk/spoon said...

neat molds...even if madeleines weren't what you thought, at least they got some use!!

The Kitchen Vixen said...

I love those molds! so cute! good job;)

Jaime said...

wow, i didn't know they made individual molds. great job w/the cookies. as for if it's the recipe or the cookie, i'm not sure b/c i don't have experience with either!

Mevrouw Cupcake said...

I've never seen individual madeleines molds, how cute! I'd definitely try a few more recipes, just to be sure that you don't like them! ;-)

LyB said...

There are so many variations out there, I'm sure one of them will tempt you! Those molds are just gorgeous, I want some too! :)