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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A Little Tea and Cake: Recipe

It's cold outside! I mean REALLY cold! I needed a little tea and cake to warm up today so I made Madeleines. What are they?  You know - those little sponge-like vanilla cakes in the shape of a modified Fleur de Lis? I just happened to have the Madeleine pan needed for just such a project! But if you don't have the right pan, try making these in a mini cupcake pan - it's the flavor you're after, after all.

I made these in a cooking class I took a long time ago and I wrote several notes on the recipe.  The one that stands out is that they start to go stale the moment you take them out of the oven! But since they're so very easy to make, I suggest you make a batch and then gobble them right down with your hot tea, a good book, and quite possibly a blanket!

Vanilla Buerre Noisette Madeleines
makes @ 60

3 large eggs
5 1/2 oz. all-purpose flour
5 1/2 oz. unsalted butter
1 vanilla bean
5 1/2 oz. sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 cup Creme de Cocao (or Rum)
Confectioner's Sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 350.

In a medium pan, melt the butter over medium-high heat and scrape the vanilla bean* into the pan. When the butter becomes a nutty brown color, turn off the heat.  Spray the Madeleine pan with non-stick spray and set aside.

Meanwhile, using the whip attachment to your electric mixer, mix the eggs and sugar together until pale yellow and thick - about 2 1/2 minutes. With the whip, scrape the sides of the bowl to ensure it's fully mixed. Combine the flour and the baking powder together in a small bowl and using the whip as a spatula (machine not in use), gently fold the flour mix into the eggs. Then, gently stir in the butter. - be sure to scrape the bottom of the pan to get all the vanilla beans.

Spoon the mixture into a plastic piping bag fit with a #2 or #3 Wilton tip. Pipe into each opening on the tray a small mound of batter. Bake for about 15 minutes and then repeat to complete the batter.

While the cakes are baking, soak a clean dish towel with the alcohol and set aside.  Once the cakes come out of the oven, turn out onto the dish towel and cover lightly as they cool. Once fully cooled, dust with powdered sugar and repeat with remaining cakes.

* Slice the vanilla bean down its center - lengthwise - and with the tip of the knife, scrape the tiny black beans away from the skin.

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