As most of the foodies I have a cookbook addiction. I love looking at the pictures and also enjoy reading stories about the recipes and stories about the people themselves. The other day I was going through Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table. Reading the introduction of her book, I learned that when it all started she was studying on her PhD and working in a research center!!
She realized her passion for cooking, left everything behind and got a position as a pastry cook in a restaurant. She also talks about how she loves Paris and how it played a crucial role in her decision. It was like a life changing moment like in movies. As if I was getting a sign from above . Last week, I was telling my husband that I wish I work as an apprentice in a pastry shop in Paris for a year. We talked how we enjoyed our vacation in Paris couple years ago and how everything was so magnifique, it was just simply la ville bonne. But it was me just dreaming loudly. I’d never be that brave, spontaneous and leave the mainstream thinking. But I know a lot of people started with just blogging and this became their life. So may be someday…
Until that day comes, if ever, if you ask me I will be either in my office with my codes or in my kitchen with my pans, rolls and all.
So now in the kitchen… These are gorgeous, lemony, spongy, Marcel Proust’s favourite madeleines. They are named after Madeleine, a baker in Commercy, after Stanislas Leszczynski, king of Poland, really enjoyed them when he was in Paris.
I have tried Dorie Greenspan’s, Martha Stewart’s and Alton Brown’s recipes and changed a bit, got all their tricks and I think I perfected the recipe. Especially, browning the butter really kicks it up a notch. Trully delicious!
(makes 12 madeleines)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 lemon, zested
pinch of salt
2. Rub the sugar and lemon zest together with your fingertips until the sugar is moist and fragrant. Add the eggs and salt to the bowl. Working with the whisk attachment, beat them on medium high speed until pale, thick and light, 2 to 3 minutes. With a rubber spatula, very gently fold in the flour, do not over beat it. Then add the butter into the batter, a few spoonfuls at a time, while simultaneously folding to incorporate the butter. Fold just until all the butter is incorporated.
3. Spoon the batter into the greased and floured madeleine molds, cover and refrigerate it for at least 1 hour. Chilling the butter helps with the signature shape.
4. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375F. Bake for 5-8 minutes until they are golden and the tops spring back when touched.
5. Remove the pan from the oven and release the madeleines from the mold by rapping the edge of the pan using your fingers or a butter knife. Transfer the madeleines to a rack to cool to just warm or to room temperature.
6. Just before serving, dust the madeleines with confectioners’ sugar.
This was my father’s favorite “coffee mate”. Miss you dad!
The financiers look absolutely lovely!! And I really enjoyed reading your blog post, especially the little background info on Dorie Greenspan. She’s so inspiring, isn’t she? I think you should definitely have a go as an apprentice in a Paris pastry shop. Live the life you want – baking pastries in Paris is a reachable dream!
Ah, sweet madeleines. They were a favorite cookie of mine as a child. Still are as a matter of fact. Look forward to trying this recipe out. Don’t be afraid to live your dream…next stop Paris.
I’ve just started a food blog (really a macaron blog…aren’t French pastries divine?) and I’m wondering how you get all of your pictures so bright. Do you have professional lights, a really great camera, or something else I don’t know about? I’ve just started taking pictures and have a long way to go to make them look as beautiful as yours.
Thanks so much Lindsey. I have a Nikon D60 body and use Nikon 60mm f/2.8D macro lens with it. I use only natural light and take pictures with low shutter speed when it is not very bright outside. I’m not a pro at all, just trying my best, reading here and there. I’m really glad you liked it. Good luck with your new blog- actually macarons are the reason I started blogging too. I really adore them.
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