Chocolate and Lemon Madeleines

When I feel a little under the weather and or just unhappy, I take my favorite blanket and watch Chocolat. I can always count on Vianne- I’m in good hands. When she sees me, she always knows what I need the most at that time. Sometimes she offers me her 2000 year old Mayan recipe hot chocolate, sometimes her rich chocolate cake. It is often the darkest, the most bitter chocolate, but the red pepper jewel chocolates other times. Then as a cherry on top, once they party with Roux and gypsies on the boat, I’m a new person- no fuss, no drama! This happened again next week or so. When the movie finished I was craving for chocolate something. I was already drooling over the Pierre Herme’s Chocolate Deserts book for the last 45 minutes of the movie. Looking at the usual suspects, couldn’t decide what to bake, wanted them all, then decided on these chocolate madeleines. I baked, eat 3, then photographed, then eat another one… HAPPY!

Chocolate and Lemon Madeleines
adapted from “Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Herme” by Pierre Herme
makes 12 madeleines

1- An overnight rest in the refrigerator is what gives these madeleines their characteristic bump in the center. If you’re in a hurry, chill them for an hour – you won’t get as pronounced a bump, but cookies will bake better for the chill.

2- Madeleines can be kept at room temperature in an airtight tin for about 2 days or frozen for up to 2 weeks, but don’t toss them away if they get a little stale – that’s when they’re best for Proustian dipping.

- 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp (70 g) all-purpose flour
- 3 1/2 tbsp Dutch-processed cocoa powder, preferably Valrhona
- 1/2 tsp double-acting baking powder
- 1/3 cup + 2 tbsp (90 g) sugar
- pinch of salt
- grated zest of 1/4 lemon
- 2 large eggs (at room temperature)
- 6 1/2 tbsp (100 g) unsalted butter (at room temperature)

1. Sift together flour, cocoa powder and baking powder. Set aside. Put the sugar, salt and lemon zest into a bow and rub everything together with your fingertips until the sugar is moist, grainy and very aromatic.

2. Using a whisk beat the eggs into the lemon-sugar until the mixture is blended. Squish the butter through your fingers to create what is called a pomade and add it into the bowl. Still working with the whisk, beat in the butter just to get it evenly distributed. Gently whisk in the sifted flour mixture, stirring only until the flour is incorporated and the mixture is smooth. Press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the batter and chill it overnight before baking. The overnight rest helps the cookies develop their characteristic bump on their backs; if you don’t have time for an overnight rest, try to give the batter at least an hour in the refrigerator.

3. When you are ready to bake the cookies, center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 425F (220C). Butter a 12-mold madeleine pan, than dust the molds with flour, tapping out the excess.

4. Divide the batter evenly among the madeleine molds. Place the pan in the oven, insert wooden spoon in the door to keep it slightly ajar, and immediately turn the oven temperature down to 350F (180C). Bake the cookies for 13 to 15 minutes, or until they are domed and spring back when pressed lightly. Unmold the cookies onto a work surface – you may have to rap the madeleine pan against the counter to release the cookies – then transfer them to a rack to cool to room temperature.

Umm, and my traditional controversial madeleines composition:
For the other one click!

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