Friday, September 23, 2011

honey-spiced madeleines - French Fridays w/ Dorie

I have to confess to never having had a real madeleine before and if the assignment wasn't for the spiced version, I would have started with the traditional to get an idea of what would be typical, then go to a good bakery and get an authentic one to compare to my attempt. However, not knowing what this should have been like, I can't imagine it wasn't exactly perfect - the taste that is. We'll get to the looks of them a little later.

So last night I prepped the batter, as suggested, and left it to chill until morning. I had to give everyone a smell of the orange zest mixed with the sugar and think that's the most brilliant way to flavor a batter. I also measured the spices, rather than eyeball them as I sometimes do, but I used all the clove because we really enjoy this flavor. When I put in the butter, I realized when the melted butter solidifies, so would the batter, to a large extent. In the morning this made for a harder time "pouring" the batter into the mold.

The mold. I had thought of calling a woman I work with to ask her to bring in a mold for me to use, since she has the most well stocked kitchen I know of, but wanted to make these before work and of course didn't plan far enough in advance. Knowing that other FFWD bloggers would be showing off some gorgeous treats, I didn't want to use a plain muffin tin. My first thought was to take cookie stamps, grease them up well and put them in the bottom of greased muffin cups. As I was getting these out I spied a cast iron cookie mold tray I had gotten for my daughter's Word World party a few years back. I had made cornbread in these and they were really cute, but I failed to remember the imprints with the cute designs faded with the puffiness of the bread. Well this experience was somewhat similar. The whole tray filled in with the batter and a very little bit leaked over the side. Not a big deal since I had it on a cookie sheet. That crispy spillover was so good I gobbled it right up as soon as I could handle it. I had to get my daughter to the bus stop and the cakes were so hot I just left them in the turned off oven for the day until I could deal with them. Not very French of me, but I wanted to meet my deadline. I can't imagine the taste could have been better, but I know it would be nice to heat the cakes up for a couple of minutes to crisp up the edges again.
I now have to try the original recipe, with a real madeleine pan! I'm hooked, which is dangerous. These are far too simple to whip up on a whim. I'm going to make the honey-spiced ones to bring to my mother's for Yom Kippur. They'd be best for Rosh Hashana, and I'll suggest these to my mom, who also loves this cookbook!

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