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52 Weeks of Baking: Madeleines


One of geeksugar's favorite treats is a fresh baked madeleine - for those of you that don't know, a madeleine is a French, cakelike cookie shaped like a shell. In fact, she likes them so much, her mom actually ended up buying her the special pan in order to make her own. Only there was one problem: geeksugar swears she can't cook. I think this is a total lie and so I suggested that she make a batch and then I would make a batch. I'd never made madeleines before, in fact I couldn't even remember what they were supposed to taste like, but I thought it would be a fun challenge. Besides, I wanted to see what her "non-cooking" skills could muster up. To see both of our results and check out the recipe we used, read more

First of all, geeksugar is very modest when it comes to her own cooking skills. Her madeleines ended up nice and light (if not somewhat ill-shaped). While mine were slightly more dense and madeleine shaped (although neither of us managed to get the signature "hump" on the back side). The flavor of both batches was pretty similar, in fact the only big difference was the visual. I had used a floured cooking spray, while she relied on greasing the pan with butter and flour. In the end they were both pretty decent batches of madeleines, and now that we've gotten the first batch out of the way, I think we're both looking forward to trying it again.


Madeleines
From The Joy of Baking

1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup (140 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, at room temperature
2/3 cup (133 grams) granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  1. First, melt the butter and allow it to cool while you make the batter.
  2. In a small bowl place the flour, baking powder and salt and whisk until well blended.
  3. In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar at medium-high speed until the mixture has tripled in volume and forms a thick ribbon when the beaters are lifted (about 5 minutes). Add the vanilla extract and beat to combine.
  4. Sift a small amount of flour over the egg mixture and, using a large rubber spatula, fold the flour mixture into the beaten eggs to lighten it. Sift the rest of the flour over the egg mixture and fold in being sure not to overmix or the batter will deflate.
  5. Whisk a small amount of the egg mixture into the melted butter to lighten it. Then fold in the cooled melted butter in three additions. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or several hours, until slightly firm.
  6. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Generously butter two 12-mold madeleine pans. Dust the molds with flour and tap out the excess. (Could spray pans with Bakers Joy instead.) (Make sure the pans are well greased or the madeleines will stick and be hard to remove.)
  7. Drop a generous tablespoonful of the batter into the center of each prepared mold, leaving the batter mounded in the center. (This will result in the classic "humped" appearance of the madeleines.)
  8. Bake the madeleines for 11 to 13 minutes, until the edges are golden brown and the centers spring back when lightly touched. Do not overbake these cookies or they will be dry.
  9. Remove the pans from the oven and rap each pan sharply against a countertop to release the madeleines. Transfer the madeleines, smooth sides down, to wire racks to cool. The madeleines are best served the same day but can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 to 3 days or frozen, well wrapped, for up to 1 month.

Note: If you make miniature madeleines, reduce the baking time to about 7-9 minutes.

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