A Little Taste of Paris

A visit to our local patisserie is the closest I’m going to come to a visit to Paris for quite some time I’m afraid. Although, I think I gain weight just looking at the rows and rows of sugary, buttery  masterpieces.

As luck would have it, we have to pass by the patisserie every weekend after my daughter’s Saturday morning ballet class on our way to swimming. Of course the only way to make it through our hectic schedule is to pick up a snack somewhere convenient . . .

There’s always a long line up at the patisserie and by the time we get to the counter they’ve usually sold out of our favourite snack: mini madeleines. (In case you are not familiar with them, madeleines are small sponge cake-type cookies distinguished by the shell pattern that comes from using a special pan.) My daughter just LOVES them and so I spend the next hour convincing her that the goldfish crackers I’ve packed in my purse are even better than madeleines.

To avoid the constant disappointment and the $7 for a small bag, I finally decided that I needed to try my hand at making them myself. All I can say is that they’re going to miss us at the patisserie. I think that mini madeleines may become my new signature cookie. The $9 for the special madeleine pan was definitely money well spent — and it is a lot cheaper than a trip to Paris.

Madeleines

Mini Lemon Madeleines

Makes about 80 cookies.

Recipe ever so slightly adapted from David Lebovitz

3 large eggs, at room temperature
2/3 cup (130g) granulated sugar
pinch of salt
1 1/4 cup (175g) flour
1 teaspoon baking powder (optional) (I added this)
zest of one small lemon
9 tablespoons (120g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature, plus additional melted butter for preparing the molds

1/4 cup of icing sugar (for dusting)

Directions

1. Brush the indentations of a mini madeleine mold with melted butter. Dust with flour, tap off any excess, and place in the fridge or freezer.

2. In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, whip the eggs, granulated sugar, and salt for 5 minutes until frothy and thickened.

3. Spoon the flour and baking powder, if using, into a sifter or mesh strainer and use a spatula to fold in the flour as you sift it over the batter. (Rest the bowl on a damp towel to help steady it for you.)

4. Add the lemon zest to the cooled butter, then dribble the butter into the batter, a few spoonfuls at a time, while simultaneously folding to incorporate the butter. Fold just until all the butter is incorporated.

5. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. (Batter can be chilled for up to 12 hours.)

6. To bake the madeleines, preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

8. Plop enough batter in the center of each indentation with enough batter which you think will fill it by 3/4′s Do not spread it.

10. Bake for 5-6 minutes or until the cakes just feel set.

11. Remove from the oven and tilt the madeleines out onto a cooling rack.

12. Sift icing sugar over madeleines (shell side up).

Storage: Madeleines are best eaten the day they’re made. They can be kept in a container for up to three days after baking, if necessary.

NOTES:

  • I didn’t put the madeleine pan in the fridge before baking, but I did refrigerate the batter for an hour or so before baking.
  • I adjusted the baking time in David’s original from 8 or 9 minutes to 5 or 6 minutes for the madeleines. All of my cookies cooked in 5 minutes.
  • I did not use the lemon glaze on any of my cookies. I wanted the delicate and buttery flavour of the cookies to stand on its own.
  • I recently bought my mini madeleine pan at Tap Phong in Chinatown. It makes 20 cookies per batch.(Remember the shopping excersion I was supposed to go on with Eva? Hopefully we can reschedule now that she’s managed to shake her cold.)