Tuesday, April 11, 2006

A Nice Cup of Coffee

Eight in the morning. The best time of the day: I have the apartment to myself, and my official work day hasn't started yet.

Time for my second cup of coffee. I wish I had some home-baked snack to go with it. These were madeleines I baked (and ate) a few days ago. I'm still searching for the perfect recipe, but these work pretty well. And so quick to make, I could (almost) bake a batch right now. In time for that cup of coffee.

Recipe: Madeleines

From a comparison of many recipes. They vary a lot.

For about 18 madeleines:
- 2 eggs
- 100g brown or white sugar
I used brown sugar for this recipe. Although this was European brown sugar, not sure what it would do with American brown sugar. The brown sugar is not traditional, but I love its flavor. I've tried with less sugar, but they are not as pleasantly crisp on the outside.
- Grated zest of one lemon
or vanilla extract or "fleur d'oranger" essence
- 125 g flour
I use about 30g wholegrain and the rest all purpose. Again, this is not traditional, but it soothes my conscience to think there is some nutrition in them when I give these to my children as a snack...
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- Pinch of salt
I put in a little less than 1/4 tsp and it was too much
- 125 g butter

Mix eggs, sugar and lemon zest. Mix flour, salt and baking powder in another bowl or in the measuring cup, then stir gently into eggs and sugar. Add melted butter and fold in gently. (I'm not sure why the butter gets added after the flour, but many recipes seem to recommend it). Fill madeleine molds 2/3 full, and bake in preheated 180° oven for about 10 minutes.

- If you use a metal mold, you have to butter and flour it first. No need to do so with a silicone mold, which is what I used.
- Madeleines taste best the day they are made. You can store them in an airtight box but they will lose their crisp exterior.

* * *

OK. I just broke down and went and made another batch. Just to check the recipe. It took me half an hour, including clean up and baking time. Mmmm, time to enjoy my coffee (and to get to work!)...

I froze half the recipe in madeleines-sized portions, ready to bake for when company comes over. I'll add an update to this post to say if the frozen dough produces good madeleines.
Update May 2006: freezing the dough works well. I let the madeleines defrost in their silicone molds while the oven preheats, then pop them in. Perhaps they bake a minute or two longer, and their shape is a little less elongated, but the taste and texture are excellent.

Oh and about the coffee above: yes, we broke down and got a Nespresso machine (second hand). I hate being locked into buying their expensive pods, but the coffee is good. And fun to make. We're enjoying our slavery...


Kai Carver said...


Have you ever tried making cannelés

Astrid said...

No, though I actually have a mold for them. But it's silicone, which I hear is not the greatest for cannelés.

Anonymous said...

This is a trial...

Anonymous said...

> The best time of the day:
> I have the apartment to myself

héhé, tu t'es démasquée :-D


Dee said...

Converting from grams to ounces for American measures clues:
1. use an online conversion site
2. keep it in your "favorites" for easy access
3. 100 grams = 3.527 ounces or a little less than 1/2 cup
4. 125 grams = 4.409 ounces or a little more than 1/2 cup
5. purchase a measuring scale that has the conversions listed on it.

I have not used silicone molds for any of my baking. My brothers say I'm "an old-fashioned" cook! For Charlottes with ladyfingers, I use spring-form metal pans. I use metal madelaine pans that I had to order from a bakery supply in NYC several years ago because I couldn't find them in rural OH.