This delectable little cake probably does not need a whole lot of explanation. It originated in the Lorraine region of northeastern France and is best known as being mentioned in a book by Marcel Proust, where he talks about the memory of having eaten a madeleine dipped in tea. I can’t remember when I first tasted a madeleine, but I do know that I was smitten and started baking them shortly thereafter. They are the perfect small dessert, akin to a cake, rather than a cookie and are baked in a special pan with shell-like indentations.
Well, I have to admit that it’s been years since I’ve baked madeleines. The pans were right there in the back of the cupboard where I thought they would be, but I couldn’t even remember when I last dragged them out. I know that somewhere there’s a little scrap of paper with the recipe written on it, but I couldn’t find it. It really doesn’t matters since the recipe doesn’t really vary, unless you want to make them chocolate.
I’m taking them to a friend’s house tonight. She’s making some French food for dinner and I thought these might be a nice addition to her meal. I did sneak one from the cooling rack and they were just as I remembered-lovely.
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel
Pinch of salt
1 cup unbleached flour
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
Powdered sugar for dusting
Preheat the oven to 350°. Generously brush the pans with melted butter. Beat the eggs on high speed with an electric mixer until light and foamy, about a minute. Add the sugar and vanilla and beat at high speed until the mixture is tripled in volume, about 3 minutes. Add the flour and beat just until blended. Fold in the lemon zest. Gradually add the cooled, melted butter in a steady stream, beating just until blended.
Spoon 1 tablespoon batter into each indentation. Bake until puffed and browned around the edges, and a tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 12 minutes. Invert onto a rack and dust with confectioners sugar. Makes: about 2 dozen
Let’s cook in Italy together-there’s a few spots left for the May tour. Check up above the header at Cook with Panini Girl In Italy.