Friday, April 29, 2011

Traditional Madeleines

This is one of the French pastries that I've been wanting to make. They're really simple to prepare, yet has strong characteristic; thanks to their distinct scallop shape. They are also quite similar in look and in taste to a traditional Malay little cakes called bahulu. Thus, I dub these bahulu Peranchis, or the French bahulu. I won't get sued, will I?

I think they are as pretty as their name! Named after a local woman in Commercy, France, read about the history of Madeleines here.

They are also really tender and light little cakes and personally, I think best to be eaten with a cup of tea. I think coffee would just kill the sweet, fragrant mild taste of the lemon zest in them.

I just recently got myself the mould from a famous baking supplies shop here in Kuala Lumpur. The shocking purplish pink silicone mould has been irresistable to me since the first time I saw them sometime back, yet at the same time I had reservations about getting them. I must add that they are inexpensive and of course, it has been known that sometimes inexpensive tools can affect the quality of your bakes, but these really serve their purpose and I can't be happier! Come to think of it, I don't own any expensive kitchen tools. NONE! Of course, I would love to get a better Madeleines mould - a French one would be great; one which has a more pronounced scallop shape. But for now, I'm happy with what I have! :)

I used Dorie's recipe for this and here they are:

Traditional Madeleines

adapted from Dorie Greenspan, Baking: From My Home to Yours

2/3 cup all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
½ cup sugar
Grated zest of 1 lemon
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
¾ stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.

Working in a mixer bowl, or in a large bowl, rub the sugar and lemon zest together with your fingertips. Add the eggs. Beat the eggs and sugar together until pale, thick and light. Beat in the vanilla. Gently fold in the dry ingredients, followed by the melted butter. Press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the batter and refrigerate it for at least 3 hours.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter and flour12 full-size madeleine molds.
Spoon the batter into the molds. Bake for 11 to 13 minute. Just before serving, dust the madeleines with confectioners’ sugar.

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