Madeleines

I love eating madeleine cookies.  These soft cakes disguised as cookies are oh so delicious.  I love buying a box by Sugar Bowl Bakery® (http://sugarbowlbakery.com/) from the supermarket or these La Boulange® ones from Starbucks®:

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My favorite bay area bakery, La Farine, makes a great one too:

image  Not as sugary as the La Boulange ones – probably because it’s not mass manufactured and intended to last for a few days before eaten.  This is very delicate and cake like.

This week, I decided to give madeleines a try in my kitchen.  I pulled out my Cook’s Illustrated® cookbook and tried to teach myself how to make them.  Like other recipes in Cook’s Illustrated® cookbook, the recipe comes with suggestions for variations as well.  I decided to make 4 different types – plain, chocolate, almond, and citrus.  The recipe calls for you to melt the butter completely before adding it to the batter.  I was a little hesitant to do that because I thought it would be better to have pockets of butter mixed in to make it more airy and cake-y.  So, I made all the variations with different degrees of melted butter.

image  Conclusion?  I should really listen to Cook’s Illustrated at this point and melt all the butter. 🙂

In any case, they all turned out great!  I can’t believe I’ve been paying a few dollars for one this whole time!!!

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I added almonds to the top of the almond ones, so I can better differentiate them after they are baked.  The only thing separating this recipe from regular ones was the addition of almond extract to the batter.

image  Really nice.

The citrus ones have orange and lemon extracts instead of vanilla:

image  These were very fresh!

The chocolate ones have cocoa powder mixed in:

image  These were like little chocolate tea cakes!  Serve them with some vanilla ice cream, and this was a perfect dessert!

To round out my lesson on madeleines, I made Ina Garten’s Coconut Madeleines:

image  With shredded coconut in the batter, how could I NOT make this?  Compared to Cook’s Illustrated, this recipe has more egg white, less butter, and cornstarch mixed in.  But similar consistency in each bite at the end of the day and I appreciated learning a different way of doing things.  This recipe can be found in her book Barefoot in Paris or via http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/coconut-madeleines-recipe.html

Now that I’ve tried it once, I’m ready to keep trying to make more!  Look how pretty they are all together!

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Don’t have enough madeleine pans?  Neither do I.  Turns out, they are just as good baked in whoopie pie pans!

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