August 9, 2010

Honey Early Grey Madeleine

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think I've ever posted about Madeleines. Oh Madeleines, another one of those fancy French pastries. I really admire the French for inventing all sorts of delicate, delicious, and dandy desserts. The French certainly has the Spain beat in this area, because I can't think off the top of my head any famous Spanish dessert! I have been searching for the perfect Madeleine recipe ever since I bought my Madeleine pan almost a year ago. Still...the search continues. I've tried many recipes, and this one came closest to replicating Costco Madeleines' texture that I love so much. It's more cakey and buttery than the others I've tried. I still have to work out how to flour the pan so my madeleines don't come out looking burnt. They just look dark, but they don't taste burnt at all. I'm quite pleased with this recipe, so I think I will just work off this one from now on.

Honey Early Grey Madeleines
 (modified recipe from Kitchen of Olivia)

6 tablespoon of unsalted butter
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1 tablespoon of Earl Grey Tea, ground to a powder
Pinch of salt
1/3 cup of sugar (next time I will use 1/4 cup)
Zest from 1/2 an orange or lemon, grated
2 large eggs
2 tablespoon of honey (next time I will use 1.5 tablespoon)
1 teaspoon of  vanilla extract

Heat butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Allow the butter to melt and then continue cooking, swirling the pan often to prevent burning, until it turns light brown and gives off a nutty aroma. Cool completely before using. Meanwhile whisk together the flour, baking powder, ground Earl Grey tea, and salt in a separate bowl.

Working in a mixer bowl, rub the sugar and orange zest together with your fingertips until the sugar is moist and fragrant. Fit the mixer with the whisk attachment (you can make this batter easily with a handheld mixer or just a whisk, if you prefer), add the eggs to the bowl and beat until the mixture is light, fluffy and thickened, about 2 minutes; beat in the honey, then the vanilla. Switch to a rubber spatula and very gently fold in the dry ingredients followed by the melted and cooled brown butter. Spoon the batter into generously buttered madeleine molds filling each one full, cover with plastic wrap, and chill for at least three hours or up to 2 days. (The batter can be baked immediately, but it's even better if allowed to rest in the fridge overnight.)

Preheat oven to 400° F. When ready to bake, remove the plastic wrap, place the madeleine pan on a baking sheet in the center of the oven. Bake 11 to 13 minutes for large madeleines or 8 to 10 minutes for minis, until golden and the tops spring back when gently pressed. Remove the pan from the oven and release the madeleines from the molds by rapping the edge of the pan against the counter. Transfer the cookies to a rack to cool to just-warm or room temperature. Madeleines are best eaten shortly after they come from the oven, so try to time your baking to your serving time.

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