13 November 2010

{Lemon Madeleines}

Ah.Madeleines. They are my nemisis.Over and over again, I fall for its crispy, buttery, vanilla charms. Mostly, I hate how it's made me try over and over again. Rarely, I love how it makes me try some more. Regardless, I try and try and try some more.

As far as the madeleine is concerned, I will be trying, trying and trying somemore until I find a perfect recipe. Questions arise whenever I bake a new batch: Will these be crispy? Will it taste of lemon? Will I succeed in creating a madeleine with a little, round yellow ball of whatever on top? Although the first time I tasted madeleines was in Germany, it wasn't before I traveled to Verdun, France last February that my infatuation began in earnest. I bought a big package to bring home to Norway, and once they were consumed, I began having thoughts of baking them myself one day.

Trouble was, I didn't have a madeleine mold. I mean, I'm sure you could try with some kind of muffin mold if you wanted to, but I don't think that'd be very successful. Therefore, I very kindly let Mr.Grenouille know that what I really wanted from France was a madeleine mold. I didn't nag him. I just occasionally encouraged and reminded him of my wish. This wish was granted two months later.

A little bit about their history... Madeleines, although baked all over France, are originally from Commercy and Liverdun, both communes in Lorraine. Therefore, the Verdun (in the commune of Commercy) madeleines I tasted were ''the real deal''. Some sources say that madeleines were named after a 19th century pastry cok, Madeleine Paulmier; other sources have it that Madeleine Paulmier was a cook in the 18th century for Stanislaw Leszczynski, whose son-in-law, Louis XV of France, named them for her. A quick definition of what exactly a madeleine is. They're very small sponge cakes with a distinctive shell-like shape. You use a génoise cake batter, and the flavour is similar to, but somewhat light than, sponge cake. Traditionally, you add very finely ground nuts, usually almonds, but I tend to use the alternative; lemon zest.

Makes about 24

3 eggs
150g sugar
½ zest lemon
Juice of half a lemon
200g flour
8g baking powder
100g melted butter
50g milk

1.Whisk the eggs and sugar until pale and thick. Add the zests, lemon juice and ¾ of the milk. Combine the sifted flour and baking powder. Combine the cooled melted butter and the remaining milk. Let sit in the fridge for 15 minutes. Butter the madeleine pans (unless you have silicone mold, like I have!) Fill the pans up to ¾. Put in a warmed 250°C oven and lower the temperature to 200°C. Bake for about 10 minutes.

2.When the madeleines start to rise and turn golden, they are ready. Take out of the oven and let cool.

Norsk Versjon

Lagar omlag 24

3 egg
150 g sukker
Skalet til ½ sitron
Juset til ½ sitron
200 g mjøl
8 g bakepulver
100 g smelta smør
50 g mjølk

1.Visp egga og sukkeret saman heilt til blandinga er tjukk. Ha i sitronskalet, jusen og ¾ av mjølka. Ha i mjølet og bakepulveret. Ha i kjølna og smelta smør og resten av mjølka. La deigen stå i kjøleskapet i 15 minutt. Smør ei madeleinesform. Fyll forma ¾ full. Ha i ein forvarma omn ved 250°C og senk temperaturen så til 200°C. Bak i omlag 10 minutt.

2.Madeleinane er klare når dei byrjar å veksa og verta gylne.

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