by Alexandra Takasugi, viola
If you don’t see me playing viola, you’ll most likely find me in the kitchen. I love to bake as a way to alleviate stress and share delicious goodness with my fellow orchestra members. These madeleines are perfect with a cup of tea or coffee, especially during rehearsal breaks.
Original recipe found in From Julia Child’s Kitchen by Julia Child.
2 large eggs, beaten
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
4 ounces unsalted butter and 1 1/2 tablespoons for buttering the molds (total of 5 1/4 ounces)
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Grated lemon zest from 1/2 lemon
3 drops of lemon juice (or 2 of lemon and 2 of bergamot)
2 large Madeleine pans
Per original recipe, all ingredients should be brought to room temperature before mixing so that the melted butter does not congeal in the batter before the ingredients have blended together.
Combine flour and sugar in a mixing bowl and add three quarters of the eggs. Beat vigorously with a wooden spoon to blend into a heavy cream – if very stiff, add a little bit of the remaining egg, one droplet at a time. Set aside for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, bring all of the butter to a boil until it begins to brown very lightly. Combine 1 1/2 tablespoons of the butter and tablespoon of flour in a small bowl and set aside.
Stir the rest of the butter over cold water until cool but still liquid. Beat the remaining bit of egg into the batter and stir in the cool butter. Stir in the salt, vanilla, grated lemon zest, lemon juice (and bergamot if using). Cover the batter, and set aside in the refrigerator for at least one hour. Meanwhile, paint the Madeleine cups with a light coating of the browned butter and flour mixture, wiping up any pools that form in the bottom. Set aside or refrigerate if the kitchen is warm.
Preheat the oven to 375°. Using a spoon and rubber spatula, drop a rounded tablespoonful of batter into each Madeleine cup. Do not spread the batter to fill the mold. Repeat with remaining batter and mold. Set pans on the middle rack and bake for about 15 minutes. The batter will spread on its own to fill the cups and a hump will gradually form in the middle. Unmold onto a rack, humped side up.
Serve as is, or sprinkle tops with a dusting of confectioner’s sugar.*
Makes 2 dozen Madeleines.
Notes: When cool, they can also be wrapped and frozen for later.