I have long wanted to issue the madeleine recipe but I do not have the mould. Without the mould, it can’t be called a madeleine. Yesterday, I unwillingly and irrationally bought an imported mould from USA that cost me the price of 7 chickens.. It is a non stick pan, smooth and looked very elegant.
I naively believed that this non stick pan will not stick and I chose a recipe to try out.. I was wrong, it stuck to the pan… I greased it with butter for the second batch, it still stuck… I thought it is a recipe problem and I change to another recipe beating another 3 eggs. It still stuck despite I have greased it and dusted heavily with flour.
Initially, I can’t convince myself that I needed to grease and dusted with flour for an expensive non-stick pan but when I probed into the problems by Googling for videos, I was convinced. Out of all the videos (about 10) that I have watched, all of them grease heavily with the exception of one video that did not dust with flour.. All the videos I watched used non-stick pan.
I started to wonder what had gone wrong since I have greased the pan and dusted with flour for the first 3 batches. When I ate the madeleine, the texture is slightly different from the one I always bought from Delifrance. My yesterday first 3 batches are much fluffier and airy without the characteristic hump. The one that Delifrance had are much denser and comes with hump. I suddenly realized that it may be the effect of over beaten whole eggs. When the cake are too fluffy, it will not be spongy and it is very difficult to detach from the mould. Denser cakes definitely are easier to unmould.
Most recipe called for beating the eggs with sugar until pale and whitish. I did that yesterday but it just did not work . I continued to search for recipes and I stumbled 2 recipes that using mix and bake method and it was explicitly stated that “Do not whip the eggs”. When I came to think about it, it does make sense because traditionally, I do not think that French granny has any stand mixer to beat the egg until light and pale. I can imagine that the recipe they have must be very simple and easy suitable to the living conditions then.
After reading so many recipes and with this new discovery, I have decided to design my own recipe which is very close to most other recipes but with totally different method. I tried out this morning, greasing my tray with butter and dusted heavily with flour, yes I did it.. I managed to get the characteristic hump of the madeleine even without freezing the batter overnight. It can also be unmoulded rather easily.
Many recipes called for the chilling the batter for a few hours to overnight in order to get the characteristic humps of madeleine but my recipe does not have this problem. Immediately after I prepare the batter, I put the batter into the tin and baked, and the remaining batter I put in the refrigerator and all the madeleine have that hump though the later batch has a more beautiful hump than the earlier batch. It does proof that chilling the batter will help to create humps in the madeleine.
“The madeleine (French pronunciation: [mad.lɛn], English /ˈmædleɪn/ or /ˌmædlˈeɪn/) or petite madeleine([pə.tit mad.lɛn]) is a traditional small cake from Commercy and Liverdun, two communes of the Lorraineregion in northeastern France. Madeleines are very small sponge cakes with a distinctive shell-like shape acquired from being baked in pans with shell-shaped depressions. Aside from the traditional moulded pan, commonly found in stores specialising in kitchen equipment and even hardware stores, no special tools are required to make madeleines. A génoise cake batter is used. The flavour is similar to, but somewhat lighter than, sponge cake. Traditional recipes include very finely ground nuts, usually almonds. A variation uses lemon zest, for a pronounced lemony taste.”
WHAT IS REQUIRED
Servings: About 20 Madeleine
- 150 grams of salted butter, melted
- 150 grams of self raising flour
- 150 grams of castor sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon of lemon zests (optional)
STEPS OR PREPARATION
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 degree Celsius
- Crack the eggs to a mixing bowl and add the sugar. Use a whisk to whisk the eggs until well combined and foamy. There is no need to whisk the egg until very pale.
- In another mixing bowl, sift in the self raising flour and make a well in the centre, add the eggs gradually until it forms a thick batter. Add in the melted butter, stir until smooth.
- Chill the batter, if preferred. Chilled batter will yield characteristic humps of madeleine. The chilling period is at your own wish . It can also be chilled for overnight but at least an hour of chilling is recommended. As for me, I did not chill for the first tray but when the first tray is baking, I chilled the remaining batter.
- Heavily grease the madeleine pan with butter and dust sparingly with some plain flour . Ensure that the mould is coated with flour.
- Use an ice cream scope or a tablespoon to scope some batter such that the batter fills 3/4 of the pan. If it is chilled, the batter may be harden . Just scope the hardened batter and placed on the centre of the madeleine pan. Bake in the pre-heated oven of 180 degree Celsius for 10-12 minutes or until a toothpick inserts at the centre of the madeleine comes out clean.
- Unmould the madeleine by inverting the pan immediately when it is out of the oven. If it sticks, use some thing to lightly detach the madeleine. Dust with icing sugar before serving with hot tea or coffee.
It is still a puzzle to me as to why is there a need to have a non-stick madeleine pan if we still need to grease and dust with flour. Should I know this fact earlier, I will not buy an expensive mould, a normal one will do. However, I do think that the sticking and the humps may have a close relationship with the recipe. I am happy with the outcome of this recipe and at least the texture is close to what I have bought from Delifrance. Lastly, I am of the humble opinion that the beating of eggs until light and pale may be needed for recipes that did not use any baking powder. In that case, beating eggs until a ribbon stage may be required. With the help of baking powder, I maintain the stand that there is no need to beat the eggs as it will make the cakes overly fragile and light and hence difficult to unmould.
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