Sunday, 15 March 2009

SHF ≠53 The taste of time: Madeleines

This month Sugar High Friday takes us to our culinary history and heritage.

I've decided to choose one of our French national sweet treats, Madeleines. They are little pieces of pleasure to which pretty much every French person has been introduced from a very early age. Here is how it started.

Once upon a time, the story of Madeleines.
Madeleine came originally from Commercy, a little town in the North East of France.

The story says that in 1755, King Stanislas of Poland invited for dinner the philosopher Voltaire and Madame de Chatelet to his chateau de Commercy. In order to impress his guests, he asked his lady chef Madeleine to make a dessert never made before. She served them delicious little cakes in the shape of a little dome. The King loved them so much he sent a box to his daughter the Queen Marie (Louis XV's wife) at the chateau de Versailles. The little cakes were enormously appreciated by the Queen who decided to call them Madeleine, in respect to the modest lady who created them.

Makes between 22 and 25 madeleines
(Please note you are advised to leave the mixture to rest for about 2hours. It's just an advice so you don't need to follow it but if you do, you'll get a much nicer texture. Good things take time and love).

So you'll need:
3 eggs
250g of plain flour
200g of caster sugar
125g of butter, melted
1 tablespoon of plain yogurt (you can also use 5cl of milk instead)
1 sachet of vanilla sugar
2 teaspoons of raising powder
Some natural flavours (orange blossom water, vanilla extract, earl grey tea, etc)

In a large bowl, mix together the yogurt (or milk), sugar, eggs, flour, raising powder and the vanilla sugar. Stir till smooth.

Now add the melted butter and mix for a good minute until you get a smooth texture.

Add your flavours if you've decided to have some. 2 tablespoons should be enough but feel free to adjust according to your taste. Personally, I love a dominant flavour of orange blossom water.

Cover the bowl with a clean cloth and leave to stand in a warm room for about 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 220ºC.

Half fill your madeleine tray (I found mine at John Lewis, UK). You can also use mini muffin tins; the shape will be different but the taste will be the same.

Bake each tray for about 6 minutes or until lightly brown.

You can either enjoy warm or cold. Madeleines are also great served with custard or ice cream.

I love Friday treats!

Please check The Domestic Goddess where Sugar High Fridays started and In My Box where it continues.


Scrumptious said...

What a wonderful post! I never knew the history of madeleines. They are quite old!

Your photos look exquisite and your recipe sounds divine. I want to make them with Earl Grey! I've never imagined such a thing but now I am craving it with a passion.

Thank you so much for this terrific Sugar High Friday entry. Please check my blog March 27th for the round-up!

• friX • said...

Oeh, madeleines, they are so great. And yours definitely LOOK great ! Love the picture :-)

Andrea said...

Hola guapa!

You've inspired me to bake something.
I made a cake last week that didn't come up nicley. But today I've made this sort of lemon/muffin cake. Came up much better, very nice taste and good look.
Hopefully I keep improving...;)


PS: I still need to try one of your recepies