Friday, June 20, 2014

Violette Progress, K2 Framed & Madeleines Baked


We've had a wonderfully very cool wet spring, and everything seems to be late this year, even the does seem to be having their fawns later than usual.  Here is one  mom with her newborn fawn -
Brand new Gracewood fawn


Another 'baby', our Chessie, Jasper, is 10 months old and is already firmly embedded as guardian of Gracewood. Here he is 'guarding' the Madeleines cooling on the counter.

 
K2 is framed in a midnight blue distressed frame. 
 
 
I'm making some progress on 'Violette', using Rainbow Gallery Splendor silk floss in shades of violet, pistachio and a bit of gold in the floral centers.
 
 
 
And on these cool wet spring days we often stop for 'elevensies' and you just have to have some little something to go along with that cup of tea or coffee.  I've always wanted to try the definitive French treat called a Madeleine and finally got my confidence up enough to try baking this notoriously difficult cookie/cake. 

The various cooking blogs and forums that mention making Madeleines invariably say they are tricky to bake and certainly difficult to get out of those shell shaped baking molds.  So after lots of reading I decided to begin with the 'classic' recipe and also to use the authentic tin type of Madeleine mold and found a lovely vintage one on ebay.



I'm happy to tell you that this was not only a successful and delicious attempt, but it is so very easy!  With only a few tweaks from my original baking, here is my recipe for some really scrumptious treats to dip in your cuppa.

You can make different flavorings and I made this batch orange.

Orange Madeleines
Makes 24

Ingredients

1 stick of butter, melted (slightly browned adds flavor) and slightly cooled
2/3 Cups Sugar
2 Large Eggs, room temperature
1 Tablespoon Orange Juice
1 Tablespoon Orange Zest
1 Tablespoon Orange Honey
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Flavoring
1 Cup unbleached Flour
Pinch of Salt

Use an electric mixer and beat the eggs until frothy, slowly add sugar, orange juice, zest, honey and vanilla and continue beating at medium speed for about 8 minutes.

Remove bowl from mixer and sift the flour and pinch of salt into the batter and lightly stir until combined.  Add the melted butter and fold in gently until incorporated.  Cover with plastic wrap or put into bowl with lid and refrigerate.

I found that the key to making these successfully is to refrigerate overnight before baking.  I made a few batches and it made a huge difference, not only in how well they baked but how easily they came out of the pan.

Prepare the Pans

If you are using a tin mold this is how you prepare them.  Melt 3 tablespoons of butter and cool slightly then stir 1 tablespoon of flour into it.  With a pastry brush coat the molds with the mixture being sure it is well coated then be sure to freeze the pan for at least an hour but overnight is fine as well.

Baking

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Spoon 1 tablespoon of batter into center of each mold, do not spread it, the oven heat will melt it nicely.  Bake 8 minutes, turn pan and then bake approximately 12 - 15 minutes until lightly golden brown.  Remove from oven, cool on rack for just a minute or two and then turn out onto cooling rack.

These can be served with just some powdered sugar sifted over them or you can make a glaze with some powdered sugar, orange juice and if you like some orange honey mixed to a dipping consistency.  Dip each Madeleine in the glaze and let cool. 

Serve immediately or they freeze beautifully.  Place cooled Madeleines in freezer bags and freeze.  They reheat really well in a microwave for a few seconds at a medium power.

Hope you'll give these a try!
 
One more tip about the tins, don't wash them with soap or put in the dishwasher, just a good rinse with hot water and wipe with a sponge and then I pop them back in the still warm oven to dry.  They soon develop their own non-stick type of surface.

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