Baking Project (TWD): Madeleines

This week’s Tuesday with Dorie recipe was Madeleine’s. I’ve never had a Madeleine before but only know them as the spongy looking cookies in the shell shape. I’ve never made them before either so I’ve never had a need for one of the fancy trays either. Luckily, I learned you can bake Madeleines in mini-muffin tins and still get the same effect. For the recipe and host this week, visit Katie’s blog. 

So, as I’ve started to do with each of these recipes, I thoroughly review comments beforehand and also scan through the recipe to see if there are any weird things I should note. Like needing cake flour. And also room temperature eggs. And also how THIS recipe didn’t call for any resting in the fridge before baking while other recipes do. So I decided that since this wasn’t a recipe I was super excited to eat, I’d experiment and bake 1 batch immediately (per the directions) and the other batch would rest in the fridge overnight (per the comments). But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. First thing, first. Gotta make the dough.

20130416-175535.jpgThe first step to this recipe is to mix a combo of egg yolks and whole eggs together with some sugar. But not with a mixer. No, you have to hold your mixer’s whisk in your hand and hand whisk. Why you couldn’t just whisk with a normal whisk is beyond me. Maybe Julia and Dorie were trying to prevent us from dirtying two whisks. Once things are initially combined, you can hook the whisk piece back into place and turn the machine on. The goal is to produce a substance that sort

20130416-175547.jpg

of looks like whipping cream, pale in color and when you pull the head of the mixer head, the dribbles of batter leave a ‘ribbon’ for about 10s before absorbing back into the rest of the batter. You can kind of see my blobs in the picture to the left. I was pretty surprised by how light the eggs eventually turned after whipping for 5 minutes. The next step is to add flour to your egg mixture. This is always sort of a tricky step because after whipping for 5 minutes, you’ve added a ton of air into the mixture. When you gently stir in the flour, some of that air is going to escape and your dough/batter will start to deflate. To minimize deflation we added the flour mixture in three separate steps and gently fold that batter in on itself until the flour is absorbed each time.

20130416-175558.jpg Next step was to gently add the melted butter, which apparently will also deflate the egg batter.You can see to the right how goopy the newly added butter looks. But after a few more gentle stirs, that too gets incorporated into the batter. What was interesting at this point was how ‘cake batter’-y the batter tasted. I mean, I know madeleines are based off a genoise batter which can also be used as a cake batter but the flavor just reminded me of the flavor of cake box mixes. Or if you happen to go to Cold Stone, their cake-batter ice cream. I wonder what that combination is? It has something to do with the butter as I didn’t notice the flavor until after that step but I wonder what else it is. I feel like this topic needs more research.

20130416-175627.jpgSo as mentioned earlier, I used a mini-muffin tin instead of a madeleine tin. I baked one right away and the other went in the fridge overnight. The muffing/mini-cake/madeleine on the left was the one rested in the fridge. You can see they puffed up a bit more than the baked right away batch. I took pictures of the crumb but you can’t really get a good feel for the texture that way. I thought 20130416-175641.jpgthe baked-right-away ones (as others have mentioned) were super dry. They tasted like stale cupcakes. And if you look at the split open ones, you can see from the edges that the recipe version looks a little over-cooked. I’m curious if I dropped the cooking time down if they’d be moister. The ones that rested tasted much more moist but even with a better texture I thought they were pretty blah. I feel like they needed more depth to their flavor. As it was, it was just a lightly sweetened spongy cupcake. I found myself wanting to frost them. And since I had just tried my hand at a batch of profiteroles, I happened to have some ganache randomly sitting on my stove top. They were much better with ganache. Can’t say I’ll be making these anytime (ever) soon. If I feel a craving for madeleines, I’ll probably seek out a different recipe.

 

 

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4 Responses to Baking Project (TWD): Madeleines

  1. From everything I have read from our other bakers today, there are much better recipes than the TWD one. I used a recipe that was much simpler and turned out great!

  2. Cathleen says:

    Not a favorite. Now profiteroles – with chocolate ganache – can’t go wrong there!

  3. Teresa says:

    I like your experiment. We’ll probably use a different recipe next time, too, but it’s good to know this one benefits from a rest in the fridge.

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