First financiers, now madeleines? I feel like I should be opening up a little tea-shop or something. Or at least like a Starbucks knock-off. But really, who has the time? I was actually pretty stoked to make these madeleines since I have the special pan and I’ve only used it one time before this. These litte guys came together really quickly for me on a slow Sunday at work and I’m really happy with how they turned out. I decided to halve the recipe because I only had one egg and also I only have one madeleine pan and the thought of baking one batch, cooling the pan, washing the pan, then buttering it and sugaring it again for the second batch seemed like tons of unnecessary work. Plus as I said before, it’s not like I need a ton of these hanging around at this point in my life.
As I was whipping the eggs in the mixer I started pondering mix-ins. It sort of seemed like a shame to just make plain little guys so I looked around the kitchen and came up with a Cutie, some cinnamon sticks, and the almost-full bottle of Grand Marnier I bought for our cooking class on Thursday night and an idea was born. I used the Microplane and grated about half a cinnamon stick into the batter along with most of the zest from the Cutie. Halving the recipe got me 11 madeleines and probably would have gotten me 12 had I not totally overfilled one or two of the molds. Whoopsie.
As is my custom of late, I buttered and sugared the molds so there was a nice little crunch to the outside of the cookies that I really like. Sugar trumps flour, who knew? Actually everyone. Everyone knew that.
There was some debate over whether or not this batter needed to rest before baking and whether it was too dry, blah blah blah. I just followed the recipe pretty much as written and I think they turned out great but as I said, I’ve only done madeleines one other time. I was nervous about making this batter not because of those reasons but because of the Bitch Cake debacle from last summer and I’m proud to say that I think I’ve got this whole genoise thing down. I made it MY bitch.
The crumb seems nice and tight and I got a lot of lift out of those eggs so I’m pretty pleased. Overall, I give these madeleines two enthusiastic thumbs up (RIP Roger Ebert) and I even thought they were good for a couple of days as a treat with coffee in the morning. This week’s hosts are Katie and Amy from Counter Dog so you can get the original recipe there. Here’s my version though:
Cinnamon-Orange Madeleines with Grand Marnier Glaze
(adapted from Baking with Julia, by Dorie Greenspan)
1 1/2 T unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup cake flour, sifted
1/3 cup sugar
1/16 t salt
1 large egg, room temperature
2 large egg yolks, room temperature
1/2 t vanilla extract
1/2 cinnamon stick, grated or probably 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
zest of one orange (or Cutie if that’s what you have on hand :))
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Brush your madeleine pan with melted butter, then sprinkle sugar into all the wells, making sure to get it in all the crevasses.
Put the melted butter into a medium bowl and set it aside. Sift together the flour, 1 T of the sugar, and the salt and set it aside. Put the egg, yolks, and 1 T of the sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk them together lightly. Then using the whisk attachment, beat in the remaining sugar and continue the beat the mixture on medium speed until the eggs have tripled in volume and are light yellow in color. This will take about 4 or 5 minutes. Make sure they reach the ribbon stage before you stop which means that when you lift the whisk out of the eggs, the drips of batter sit on top of the mixture for about 10 seconds before being absorbed. When you have reached this stage, take the bowl off the mixer and sprinkle about 1/3 of the flour mixture on top of the batter. Using a big spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the wet, being careful not to deflate the batter. Do this two more times, adding the cinnamon and zest in with the last addition of flour.
Scoop out about a cup of the batter and put it in the bowl with the melted butter. Fold the butter into the batter, again being very careful not to deflate things, then add this back to the rest of the batter in the same way. Fold, fold, fold. It sucks, I know.
Gently spoon the batter into the madeleine pan, only filling the molds a little over halfway. Place the pan on the middle rack in the preheated oven and bake for about 10 minutes – the cookies with turn golden along the edges and probably start to pull away from the pan a bit. Take them out and let them cool in the pan on a cooling rack for a few minutes, then turn them out. You may need to use a sharp, thin knife to loosen them from the molds but they should pop out relatively easily. Let them cool completely while you make the glaze. When the cookies are completely cool, slide a piece of parchment paper underneath the cooling rack and drizzle the glaze over the top. So pretty, right!?
Grand Marnier Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
1-2 T heavy cream
1 T Grand Marnier
a little orange (or Cutie) zest
Mix together the sugar, 1 T of cream, the zest, and the Grand Marnier in a small bowl. If you think the glaze is a little too thick add a bit more cream, drop by drop, until you reach a good drizzling consistency.