Baking Cake

Perfect madeleines

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Bonjour! This week my bake has been inspired by my trip to Paris last week. Me and a couple of girlfriends hopped on a plane to the other side of the ocean for a shimmy round one of the most beautiful and romantic cities in the world. Feeling super savvy, we travelled across the city using the Metro to visit the obvious tourist hot spots whilst sampling some fine French patisseries (although not as many as I would have liked. Croissant for breakfast, lunch and dinner, oui?). I had the opportunity to use my GCSE French to enquire about the cost of baguettes and how to find my way to the train station which made me feel like perhaps I missed my true calling in life to work as a translator. I spent a morning exploring a (rather disappointing) vintage flea market (re: overpriced), a wonderful afternoon lazily strolling round the Pompidou art gallery and an evening eating real French onion soup. Tres bien!

 

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In the windows of many patisseries were these cute likkle madeleine! Such tiny morsels of perfect buttery sponge. If this is how the French do cake, no wonder all the Parisian women are so slender, they disappear in two bites (or one huge bite if you are me). I practised a few different recipes until I found perfection. I use salted butter and brown the butter by heating it in a saucepan until it starts to turn golden. This adds a wonderful almost salted caramel dimension to the madeleines. You do need a special madeleine tray if you want the authentic shell shaped cakes, I found mine in TK Maxx for just £4. These taste best fresh from the oven, slightly warm when the edges are slightly crisp and the centres are pillow soft.

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Perfect madeleines

  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 100g plain flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • 100g salted butter
  1. Start by browning your butter. Add your butter to saucepan on a low to medium heat. Warm the butter until it starts bubbling, keep an eye on it. You want a lovely golden brown colour and a nutty, buttery smell. Take it off the heat and pour into a bowl to cool.
  2. Pre heat the oven to 170 degrees and lightly grease your madeleine pan.
  3. Add the sugar and eggs to a mixer and beat until smooth and frothy, about 4-5 minutes. Add the vanilla.
  4. Sift together your flour and baking powder. Fold into your eggs. Pour in the cooled butter and stir until just incorporated. Leave to sit for 20 minutes.
  5. Add about 1-2 teaspoons of mixture to each madeleine mould so they are around 3/4 full, you don’t want to over fill. Pop in the over for 10-12 minutes, until golden brown on top. Leave to cool for 2-3 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack. Best enjoyed when dipped in hot chocolate.

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