My quest for the perfect Madeleines: Orange drizzle madeleines
You know those times when a gift is more for the benefit of the giver than the recipient? Well I did that to my kids at Christmas. Because of D's lifelong passion for baking, and Miss T rapidly following in his footsteps, I gave them each a Madeleine baking tray for Christmas.
Why 2 you may wonder? My logic being that any home-baked foods rapidly dissapear in this household so by having two madeleine pans I could bake a batch of 24 in one go.
I've been desperate to try making madeleines to see if I can achieve the characteristic (and rather elusive as I discovered) 'bump' that rises in the centre of the madeleines. Using the scallop shaped pans I was confident that the scallop pattern would be easier to achieve.
So before Miss T and D got a look in, I grabbed the madeleine pans and got started with my experiment. First I tried Edd Kimber's madeleine recipe from his book Patisserie Made Simple which D received after baking with Edd Kimber last year. Edd's recipe is for lemon madeleines - the madeleines being plain ones but with a lemon glaze drizzled over. (A lot of madeleine recipes are very similar it seems although the number they make varies despite the recipe quanitities appearing the same).
His recipe advocates whisking together the eggs and sugar until thick and pale then carefully folding with the dry ingredients. Then the melted butter is also added carefully and folded to combine.
To get the 'bump' the batter needs to rest in the fridge for at least 3 hours with clingfilm on top to prevent a skin forming. When ready to bake this recipe says to chill a greased and floured madeleine tin in the freezer for an hour first.
So this is method I followed on my first attempt. Being the first time making madeleines I wasn't sure how much to fill the pans and I ended up with overflowing mixture. Lesson to be learnt for next time! Although they rose well, sadly there was no huge bump in the centre of them. That didn't deter Miss T from sneaking a taste though.
Attempt number two commenced the following day...This time using a slightly different recipe and a different technique for the chilling stage and ta dah!!! Huge bumps - yay!
This time I didn't overfill the tray but I did slightly overcook the madeleines in the oven. Because they were smaller (i.e. tray less filled up than previously) I should have reduced the time they had in the oven accordingly. Another lesson for me to learn for next time.
But the taste was fantastic and the bump was brilliant so I was really happy.
Here's the recipe I used for the second batch:
100g caster sugar
100g plain flour
three-quarters of a tsp of baking powder
Juice and zest of half an orange
For the drizzle:
Icing sugar mixed with juice and zest of half an orange
Dried orange pieces to garnish (I used Nim's Fruit Crisps)
I followed a similar technique for combining the ingredients - so whisking the eggs and sugar together first, then folding in the flour and baking powder and then the butter and orange juice and zest.
The trays were brushed with melted butter and dusted with flour.
The oven was preheated to 200C.
This time I filled the trays with the mixture and THEN placed them in the freezer for 15 minutes before baking.
And I think this method of chilling the batter and then putting into a hot oven is what did the trick and got the desired 'bump'.
I made the orange drizzle which we had on some of the madeleines and we had some without the drizzle as they still had an orangey flavour from the juice that went into the batter mixture.
I look forward to trying out lots of different variations on madeleine recipes with the madeleine tins.