Every time I'm rooting through my baking cupboard to find something or other Andrew seems to spot the madeleine tin. Not the loaf or bun tins...always the madeleine tin. This is usually accompanied with a friendly jibe about how long it must be since I last made madeleines - have I made them since living at this house (where we've been for over 18 months)...?! The answer is probably no. So over the August bank holiday weekend, after two very full on weeks at work which left no time for eating and sleeping, let alone cooking, I decided to get back in the saddle by cooking up an Ottolenghi inspired feast on Saturday evening and a lazy bank holiday breakfast in bed for my (clearly deprived) husband.
Instead of my usual (and preferred) method of making it up as I go along, I decided to follow the recipe in my much loved and well used copy of French Regional Cooking (by Anne Willan and the Ecole de Cuisine La Varenne) which I picked up at Oxfam a few years ago before our Bourgogne-Odyssey (that was the holiday when it rained, a lot, and when I managed to used around 8 packs of butter in 10 days on my cellulite inducing cook-a-thon).
Well, when I say I decided to follow the recipe that's not strictly true. I'm not the world's greatest recipe-follower. I tend (unless it's a Denis Cotter recipe) to make my own little adjustments as I go along. Today was no exception, although I did follow the method word for word!
Freshly baked, warm madeleines with a cup of Williamson Earl Grey. Lovely.
This recipe makes around 16 madeleines.
2oz plain flour
1/2 tsp banking powder
2oz caster sugar
2oz melted butter
zest of 1 orange
zest of 1 lemon
Whisk the eggs and sugar until thick and light. Add the orange and lemon zest. Sift the flour and baking powder and gently fold into the egg and sugar mixture in three batches. When the last batch of flour is almost mixed in, add the melted butter and fold in quickly and lightly to retain as much volume as possible.
Chill the batter for 20 to 30 minutes in the fridge. Heat your oven to around 230C (I heated mine to around 210C in the fan oven). Brush your madeleine tins with a little butter and then sprinkle with flour and knock the excess out of the tins.
Fill each of the madeleine to around three quarters full. Bake for 5 minutes then reduce the temperature of the oven to 200C and bake for a further 5 - 7 minutes until the madeleines are golden brown.
Transfer the madeleines to a rack to cool (or alternatively eat them all whilst they are still warm and skip lunch...).