Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Marvellous Madeleines

It seems that this is the week of making baked goods beginning with 'm' chez Rach, so today it was madeleines. And I must say, they were A LOT more of a success than yesterday's culinary disaster! I have to admit, I've yet to taste a madeleine in France, and I've not actually seen a great deal of them in the south, but for those of you that don't know what they are they are little sponge cakes, perfect for snacking on. What really made me want to make them was seeing Rachel Khoo make them on her current television series The Little Paris Kitchen: Cooking with Rachel Khoo which I am just a little obsessed with watching at the moment! One day I will be living somewhere in France, baking to my heart's content...I can dream anyway!

So this recipe is courtesy of Rachel and it's her twist on the classic French madeleine. The light lemony sponge is heavenly and then you bite into it and discover two little hidden treats inside: a burst of lemon curd and a raspberry. Diiiivine. As she rightly says, they're best eaten warm, just out of the oven. And oh my goodness is she right. I ate two in the space of about five minutes and could have kept going. Unfortunately, mine don't look quite like traditional madeleines, as I don't possess a proper mould to bake them in, but really, it doesn't matter too much what they look like, because they taste wonderful! I'm sure I'll be making these little beauties again, because I know this batch won't last long...

Madeleines with Lemon Curd   makes about 24

For the lemon curd:
1 Lemon (zest and juice)
Pinch of Salt
40g Sugar
45g Butter
2 Egg Yolks

For the madeleines:
3 Eggs
130g Sugar
200g Plain Flour
10g Baking Powder
1 Lemon (zest only)
20g Honey
4tbsp Milk
200g Butter (melted and cooled)
Punnet of Raspberries

  1. Beat the eggs with the sugar until pale and frothy. 
  2. Put the flour and baking powder into a separate bowl and add the lemon zest.
  3. Mix the honey and milk with the cooled butter, then add to the eggs. 
  4. In two batches, fold in the flour. Cover and leave to rest in the fridge for a few hours, or overnight.
  5. Meanwhile, make the lemon curd. Put the lemon zest and juice, salt, sugar and butter into a small saucepan and heat gently until the sugar and butter have melted. Remove from the heat.
  6. Whisk the egg yolks in a bowl, then add to the pan and whisk vigorously. 
  7. Return the pan to a low heat and whisk constantly as the curd starts to thicken. Don’t stop whisking or the eggs will curdle (if the curd starts to boil, take off the heat). Once the curd thickens and releases a bubble or two, remove from the heat and pass the curd through a sieve into a bowl. 
  8. Place cling film in direct contact with the curd and refrigerate for at least an hour, preferably overnight.
  9. When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 190 degrees. 
  10. Butter and flour a 12-shell madeleine tin or cake tin. 
  11. Put the lemon curd into a piping bag fitted with a small, pointed nozzle and place in the fridge (I made my own piping bag using a plastic sandwich bag which did the job!).
  12. Put a heaped tablespoon of batter into each madeleine shell and press a raspberry deep into the batter.
  13. Bake for five minutes and turn the oven off for one minute, then turn the oven on to 160 degrees and bake for a further five minutes. 
  14. Place the madeleines on a wire rack and leave for a few minutes until cool enough to handle. 
  15. Put the piping nozzle into the mound in each baked madeleine and squirt in a teaspoon’s worth of lemon curd. 
  16. Eat straight away and enjoy!

A lot of sugar..
...and a lot of butter..
...makes lemon curd!
Now you see the raspberries...
...now you don't!

The raspberries are still in there somewhere, though, I promise!

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