Sunday, 17 August 2014

Almond Madeleines and coffee ones too

This post on A Little Bit Country made me laugh. Why? Because that is exactly what happened to me last Thursday. I had gone into town to hunt down some clothes bargains for the new school year, only to be lured into a shop selling kitchenware. Well now, sending me into one of those shops is like sending a child into a sweet shop: I not only want to look, but also to touch, buy, and taste. No-one was actually there to send me into the shop - or harness me, for that matter - and so I wandered in of my own accord, only to come out an hour or so later with a bag full of things I was never intending to buy. And that bag full didn't come cheap, either. No, this kitchenware shop is full of all your coveted designer stuff; way too expensive, but oh so irresistible. Forget new clothes, I thought: I've got a wonderful new super-duper, baby-blue spatula; a turbo 24cm baking tin; a mini whisk; a variety of pure extracts (coffee! almond!); a slab of organic pure baking chocolate (which I'd better use fast or I'll eat it straight up); and, the icing on the cake (so to speak).... a floppy, silicone madeleine mould thing. Yes! Just what I've always wanted. No, actually, what I really wanted was the real hard tin madeleine mould, but at thirty euros that really was taking things too far. Hence the silicone one, which, I was told, is very versatile. For one thing, it's, well, floppy (why that is an advantage, I'm not sure - the lady also sold me a tray on which to balance it for stability), it's small, it doesn't need to be greased (not true I've discovered), and you can put it in the dishwasher and freezer. Okay, that's all very nice, but if the truth be told, I only bought it because it was a damn sight cheaper than the real tin thing.




As soon as I was home and had sheepishly explained away my purchases, I of course wanted to get stuck into baking madeleines. I first made a batch using the almond extract, then one with the coffee extract, and I honestly don't know which I like best. M and son S love both equally; daughter N prefers the coffee ones, but perhaps she has a genetic predisposition to caffeine addiction. Anyway: madeleines are nicest eaten as soon as they've cooled down, so if you've got folks coming over for tea or coffee, this little French classic is just the thing. 



Coffee or Almond Madeleines
adapted from How to be a Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson

50g butter
2 eggs
40g sucanat or other raw cane sugar
50g spelt flour
0,5 teaspoon baking powder
0,5 teaspoon of good quality coffee or almond extract
pinch of fine (sea) salt
use melted butter for greasing (not oil)
icing sugar for dusting
yields 16 madeleines

  • melt butter over low heat, then leave to cool completely
  • using an electric hand mixer, beat the eggs, sucanat, and salt in a bowl until thick and creamy (about 5 minutes)
  • sieve and fold in the flour
  • pour in the melted butter along with the extract; mix carefully, but well
  • leave the mixture to rest in the fridge for an hour
  • then take and leave to rest at room temperature for another half hour
  • preheat oven 220 degrees Celsius
  • grease the madeleine mould with melted butter
  • pour about a teaspoon of the mixture into the moulds - no need to fill them to the brim, as the mixture will spread in the oven
  • bake for 10 minutes and leave to cool on a rack
  • dust with icing sugar
  



28 comments:

  1. Hey Isabelle,
    A couple of months ago, I was at Alfie's weekly judo class and was offered a Madeline's by a lovely young judo instructor. He had made them that morning. They were delicious, and enjoyed all the more as they were baked by someone other than me!! I have been intending to buy some bake ware so that I can make some myself. I am going to Penzance on Wednesday, to buy school shoes (yuk) and there is a similar shop to the one you mention here. Perhaps a little trip is in order......
    Leanne xx

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    1. Well, that sounds wonderful - the bake ware shop, not the school shoes, I mean - and should you end up baking madeleines: you can substitute the spelt and sucanat for plain flour and sugar, no worries. BTW: was this lovely young judo instructor a bloke (or is a male judo instructor who bakes madeleines simply too good to be true...? ;-)
      xxx

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    2. Silly me - I've just seen that your judo instructor is in fact a bloke! Wow, so a young male judo instructor who bakes madeleines is not too good to be true after all! xxx

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  2. I've never tried a madeleine but I've always thought they were so pretty. Thank you for sharing the recipe. :)

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  3. Give me kitchenware any day! Do let us know how you feel about the silicone tray after a few uses. I have always avoided them (can't get to grips with the 'flop factor'!). I'm sure Elaina's post caused lots of us to nod in agreement! X

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    1. I will certainly let you know, Penny, though I can tell you now I don't think I'll be buying any others.

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  4. I love madeleines and have eyed the madeleine tin in our local kitchenware shop many times....

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    1. That's exactly what I had done for a while, but they are quite expensive, aren't they.

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  5. I can completely understand the kitchenware vs clothes - maybe because it's easier to justify?! The whole household will benefit?! They look like delicious madeleines, think of the money you'll save by making them at home!!

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    1. Yes, M was very surprised about my explaining away my purchases - he was single-mindedly thinking about all the delicious baked goods coming his way!

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  6. I have a madeleine recipe that I want to try but don't have a tin.......I feel that your post may be a "sign" that I need to get one. I always have a look in the op shops but haven't come across one yet. We have a really beautiful kitchen shop in town that I will go and have a look at when I don't have the kids with me (this hardly ever happens) it has long thin isles that you need to squeeze through. I like to wander around with a coffee in hand. It is bliss for me. Your madeleines look so pretty and delicious xoxo

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    1. Sounds like my kind of shop. And yes, it's a sign. You need to get that tin. Now. ;-)

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  7. I have that cookery book but somehow cannot justify the expense of the tin that will only make one sort of biscuit, much as I love them..........I don't have the storage space. I will just have to be content with looking at your beautiful pictures!

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    1. That's exactly why I didn't buy the 30 euro tin - it just seems a bit extravagant. My storage space is running out too. Fast.

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  8. I have kitchen shop addiction and am trying very hard to reign it in, but it is hard isn't it! I hope that you get your tin madeline tin someday, and that you keep enjoying the current one in the meantime! xx

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    1. I may put that tin on my Christmas list; I think I would prefer it to the floppy thing, but we'll see how I continue to get on with it.

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  9. I am always tempted by the kitchenware shop...and even recently purchased a Madeleine tin (one of the floppy silicone ones)...I've not tried it yet but your recipe is going to the top of my 'to bake' list

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    1. I'll be interested to know what you think of that floppy thing!

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  10. They look delicious and I think of Proust, though I never actually got round to reading all of that book which was required reading on my degree course. A visit to Lakeland, our best kitchenware store, is always full of temptation. I don't like those floppy baking trays either - can't see the advantage.

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    1. I was thinking recently that I should (re)read some of those French classics. Perhaps I should bake a new batch of madeleines and get started!

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  11. I do love kitchen stores and always come away with something.

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    1. Yes, kitchen shops are just the best, aren't they!

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  12. These look so delicious, I love Madelines! I nominated you for the Liebster Award, you can find all the info on my blog: http://plaidismyfavouritecolour.blogspot.com/2014/08/liebster-award.html
    ~Sophia :)

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    1. Thank you, Sophia. How incredibly kind of you to think of me :-)

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  13. I adore Madeleines, and shall try adding coffee essence to mine.

    Thank you so much for all your sweet comments over at my place recently, and apologies for my reading but not commenting here of late. I'm only just catching up with myself after my short holiday a couple of weeks back.

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    1. No worries, Annie. I love your blog and am so delighted that you visit mine. xxx

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  14. oh yum. my mum just gave me my grans madeline tins. they are individual ones I'm not sure how to balance them but I want to find out Soon x

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