Monday, 27 June 2016

Almond Madeleines

Yesterday, I just fancied a little something sweet in the evening.

I didn't have any chocolate or biscuits in the cupboards - I tend not to buy them as I'm likely to demolish half a packet before you can say "portion control".

What I did have was flour, butter, eggs and caster sugar. The base ingredients to make all manner of baked things - I could have gone for sponge cake, cupcakes, shortbread. The possibilities, while not endless, were many.

But what I hadn't made in a long time was madeleines. Small, fluffy and shell-shaped, these little French cakes are elegant, lightly flavoured and perfect with a cup of tea. And I had just enough ingredients to make half a batch.

I won't go into my explanation of Proustian moments, which is another great reason to make madeleines, but you can read it here.

I had to poke around in the dark corners and under the bed in my bedroom until I found my silicone madeleine tray, which just goes to show how long it had been since I made them.

If you do not own a madeleine tray (apart from baking equipment obsessives like me and professional bakers, who does?) you could make these in cupcake cases instead.

I had to use whatever flavourings I had in the cupboard for my madeleines. I could have used vanilla, but that seemed a bit boring, so I used almond extract and some ground almonds and I am very pleased with the results.

This recipe makes 30-32 madeleines but I halved it and only made 16.

You will need:
150g butter, melted and then cooled slightly (still fully liquid) plus extra to grease
100g plain flour plus extra to dust
100g caster sugar
2 tbsp ground almonds
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp almond extract
2 medium eggs
icing sugar, to dust

1. Prepare your tray by greasing it with melted butter and dusting liberally with flour, tilting the tray to get flour into all the corners.

2. Whisk together the caster sugar and eggs until frothy.

3. Whisk in the remaining ingredients (except icing sugar) and leave to stand for 20 minutes. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 200C.

4. Whisk the mixture again then drop a heaped teaspoon of the mixture into each madeleine mould.

5. Bake for 8-10 minutes until golden brown and risen. Dust liberally with icing sugar and serve.

Except for the 20 minute resting time (which gives you a perfect opportunity to put your feet up and watch some Netflix), this is a really quick recipe. It's also very simple and can be made with just a few ingredients that, if you're into baking, you will probably already have.

Enjoy with a cup of tea.

Au revoir,


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