Sunday, December 30, 2007

Mesquite Honey Madeleines



I like repeating recipes, especially if my mom requests them. Repetition lets you see how small changes in ingredients, temperature, heat-distribution, or technique can affect the finished product.

David Lebovitz's post about "Humpy Madeleines" suggests buttering, flouring, and freezing the molds. I did this for one pan and only brushed the second with melted butter.

The cakes baked in the frozen, floured pan (seen in the photos) looked more finished than the others. They browned very evenly and slid right out of the pan. The other madeleines didn't brown as much and looked slightly greasy on the bottoms.

I think these taste best freshly baked, but fully cooled. The honey flavor is more pronounced and the edges have a bit of crunch. Feel free to use whatever honey you like. I've made them with clover, orange-blossom, wildflower, and now mesquite.

Chestnut-Honey Madeleines
adapted from Claudia Fleming's The Last Course
yield: 2 dozen madeleines

12 tbsp (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter, plus additional softened butter for the molds
4 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup chestnut honey (or other strong or mild flavored honey.)
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
confectioners' sugar for dusting

1. In a small skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Continue to let the butter cook until some of the white milk solids fall to the bottom of the skillet and turn a rich hazelnut brown, about 5 minutes. Strain the browned butter through a fine sieve into a small bowl.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs, both sugars, and honey until pale and foamy, 2-3 minutes.

3. Sift both flours, the baking powder, and salt over the egg mixture and use a rubber spatula to gently fold in. Fold in the browned butter. Cover the batter and refrigerate for at least 8 hours, or overnight.

4. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Liberally butter the madeleine molds. Spoon or pipe the batter evenly into the molds. Bake for 5-7 minutes, until golden brown. Transfer the pans to a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes then unmold the cakes and let them cool completely on the rack. Dust with confectioners' sugar before serving.


Daniel said...

Ah, madeleines...

I passed up a madeleine tray at Goodwill for a few dollars and have regretted it ever since. I've been coveting a very fancy tray at Sur la table, but it is far too expensive and has killed my desire for non-fancy trays. ;-)

Zeitgeist said...

Your Madeleines look absolutely's so cute to the point where I could think I want to pop them in my mouth!!! I'm mad for Madeleines, always!

And yes Daniel.....not sure why you didn't pick up the Madeleine mold for a FEW dollars!!! Oh what's a pain!!! Just kidding! Trying to tease you!