Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Chocolate & Lemon Madeleines


Chocolate & Lemon Madeleines ... a recipe by the master himself, Pierre Hermé.

Pssst, you. Yes, you. Can you keep a secret? I have some confessions to make.

- One, I have never eaten nor made madeleines in my life. At least I don't recall. They just never appealed to me. Crazy, right?

- Two, Clare (Mrs Multitasker) very generously gave me a copy of "Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Hermé" almost 10 months ago, and I only made my first dessert from it today. Crazy, right?

- Three, these madeleines were made using a mold that cost me all of two bucks. Crazy, right?



Well, what can I say? French desserts always unnerve me. They have these strange, quirky requisites, like feet for macarons, bumps for madeleines, no domes for financiers, height for souffles ... argh, the list goes on.

But after I made my first grown-up chocolate cake, I have become emboldened. Of course, seeing that lone madeleine mold at Daiso helped seal the deal. Come on, two bucks ... and Made in Japan. Pffft, it's a no-brainer.


That's my $2 mold in the background. :)

Now, you can't expect to get the deep, clear lines a proper - and very expensive - madeleine mold would give (and I suspect, the dark chocolate colour of my madelines doesn't help either). But at two bucks, I'll gladly overlook that. They are still Pierre Hermé madeleines, made with Valrhona cocoa no less. Aesthetics will have to take a backseat this time. ;)

Recipe
(from Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Hermé, written by Dorie Greenspan)

*Makes 12 cookies.

* An overnight rest in the refrigerator is what gives these madeleines their characteristic bump in the center. If you're in a hurry, chill them for an hour - you won't get as pronounced a bump, but cookies will bake better for the chill.

* Madeleines can be kept at room temperature in an airtight tin for about 2 days or frozen for up to 2 weeks, but don't toss them away if they get a little stale - that's when they're best for Proustian dipping.


- 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp (70 g) all-purpose flour
- 3 1/2 tbsp Dutch-processed cocoa powder, preferably Valrhona
- 1/2 tsp double-acting baking powder
- 1/3 cup + 2 tbsp (90 g) sugar
- pinch of salt
- grated zest of 1/4 lemon
- 2 large eggs (at room temperature)
- 6 1/2 tbsp (100 g) unsalted butter (at room temperature)

1. Sift together flour, cocoa powder and baking powder. Set aside. Put the sugar, salt and lemon zest into a bow and rub everything together with your fingertips until the sugar is moist, grainy and very aromatic.

2. Using a whisk beat the eggs into the lemon-sugar until the mixture is blended. Squish the butter through your fingers to create what is called a pomade and add it into the bowl. Still working with the whisk, beat in the butter just to get it evenly distributed. Gently whisk in the sifted flour mixture, stirring only until the flour is incorporated and the mixture is smooth. Press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the batter and chill it overnight before baking. The overnight rest helps the cookies develop their characteristic bump on their backs; if you don't have time for an overnight rest, try to give the batter at least an hour in the refrigerator.

3. When you are ready to bake the cookies, center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 425F (220C). Butter a 12-mold madeleine pan, than dust the molds with flour, tapping out the excess.
Note: I buttered but did not flour ... even though it is highly recommended in the book.

4. Divide the batter evenly among the madeleine molds. Place the pan in the oven, insert wooden spoon in the door to keep it slightly ajar, and immediately turn the oven temperature down to 350F (180C). Bake the cookies for 13 to 15 minutes, or until they are domed and spring back when pressed lightly. Unmold the cookies onto a work surface - you may have to rap the madeleine pan against the counter to release the cookies - then transfer them to a rack to cool to room temperature.
Note: I did not do the wooden spoon trick. I simply reduced the temperature to 200C when the madeleines went in.


Also, much thanks to my fairy godmother, Monique, for the adooooorable little cocktail picks. :) I love them!

Oh and before I sign off, here's yet another confession: this photo above was a test shot (for lighting), and one which I did not style, which explains why it looks different from the rest. But it turned out to be the one I liked best ... so I saved the best for last. ;) The stars must have been aligned. C'est la vie!

47 comments:

  1. 2 dollar molds! You're so lucky. Where I live, they're around $20 for a tray. I really want to make them one day, but I need to buy the molds first. :) Yum, I wish I could try your madeleine.

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  2. x3baking: Yes, the $2 mold is really ridiculous, altho the "shell" imprints of the madeleines are very faint. But what the heck. :D

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  3. Looks very delicious! Coincidently I bought a Madeleine pan last week and still haven't tried to make any yet~ this recipe comes in very handy! Thanks for sharing :)

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  4. Looks great! I want a $2 mould too...

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  5. Ju, you are making me feeling like going daiso now :p. The madeleines look cute and chocolaty!

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  6. I simply love your photos. Now, I have to go bake some madelines ....

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  7. lovely, very lovely indeed! yes french desserts all hv their "requirements" and it does feel daunting at times. but its not that difficult la, practice makes perfect :D and financiers must hv domes? how come i didn't know? haha. i only know they hv to be made using the beurre noisette (browned butter) method.

    p/s : initially i thought yr plate has got the word 'madeleines' then i realize its the paper liner!

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  8. even without the deep etched lines, at least none of your madeleines got skinned during unmoulding :)

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  9. Nup! Not crazy at all! I've never had them either =S But they look so good!! I've always wanted to try making them, but I didn't really want to buy a pan which I'd have trouble finding a space for =)

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  10. I love your posts...
    It motivates me and now I started my own.

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  11. Evan: Thanks. :) "Optical illusion" with the paper liner. Hahaha!

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  12. Can I say how lucky you are??? $2 for a madeleine mold is amazing. The last one I saw was $22... and I can't imagine they came out any better than yours did. They are perfect. The shape is ideal for holding in one's delicate "girlie" hand at tea time. God bless Proust!

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  13. Wow! These little chocolate treat sure look great with a cup of tea. Will try making some this weekend :) Thanks for sharing your tips.

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  14. oh those do look amazing! I tasted madeleines too much in the past, never made them though :)

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  15. more beautiful photos and another super recipe. You're on a roll Ju ! I love madeleines and the cute shell shape.

    We do some nice madeleine moulds with 9 cells - they're really popular in Europe

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  16. Wow ! I want to get hte 2 dollar mould too :( Its so expensive here :(

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  17. Chocolate and lemon!! You got me :-)
    My mom will be SO happy if I make this for her. Madelians r her favorite and she wants a BIG goodie bag of that everytime I visit India.
    Thanks for sharing the recipe!

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  18. Ju you've been so bad! But you are forgiven after making such perfect macarons. Pierre Herme would be impressed!

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  19. Lovely looking madeleines! I can't stop once I start to eat madeleines!

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  20. 2 bucks for a madeleine mold, with that you made these heavenly tasty choc dessert.... Who can complain?
    I wish I had your luck! But no way, the mold here costs my arms and legs, lol.

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  21. Yum...love your madeleines :D

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  22. I love scoring cheap food-related stuff. I've had that book for over a year now and still haven't used it, so you shouldn't feel bad at all ;p. These look great, and I can't wait til I own a pan to make them.

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  23. i have that exact same molds! i even got two when i saw them at daiso cos one makes only five...havn't use them tho but thanks for the heads up on the faint lines the molds give! :) perhaps the lines will be more obvious for lighter coloured batter u reckon?

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  24. A Pierre Herme recipe! How fantastic, this makes me want to break out my madeline pans too :D, they look fabulous daaaaahling!
    *kisses* HH

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  25. Knew where you bought the molds when you mentioned the price! The ubiquitous Daiso. Madelines seem really hard to bake.. Now I might be emboldened by your post to make them too! :)

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  26. I also never eat before! Macarons too! Hahaha

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  27. $2??!! good find! hmm to be honest, I don't think I've ever had madelines.

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  28. $2?? I must go turn Daiso upside down too. Strangely I have never been tempted to bake this as well but since the mold is so 'dai', I'm gonna give it a go!

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  29. What would food bloggers like us do without Daiso??!! They have recently revamped their shop layout, bigger and more organised now... you should check it out if you haven't... better yet check out the one at Ion basement :)

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  30. $2 is such a steal! Would never be able to find something so cheap here. I've think I've only eaten madeleines once, a long time ago so I can barely remember what it tastes like. For some reason I keep on thinking about kuih bahulu?

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  31. Those are gorgeous little babies Ju...they are just perfect! And your pics are also magnificent...that goes without saying!
    I can just taste one...right through the screen!

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  32. I always thought they look like kuih bahlu too:) Now that makes me the first who have neither eaten nor made madeleines in my life!

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  33. Perfect madeleines with beautiful hump! Ju, love your styling, everything is so beautiful :)

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  34. The madeleines look beautiful. I happened to find you via tastespotting and was excited to see Pierre Herme's name! I met him in 2006 and he is one of the nicest chefs! My class and I toured his kitchen and got to check out the entire facility. One of the greatest experiences of my life.

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  35. Hi,
    I also bought one from there and use it to make the orange favour madeleines. Thanks for sharing this chocolate madeleines recipe.

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  36. How on earth did I miss this? One day Blogger had huge images..and few posts on the Blogroll of mine..I bet this is why:)

    My Maddy pan was that price also:) From Xmas Tree shop a few years ago..

    I must say your dishes my darling are super sweet and perfect with your French Post.
    xx

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  37. What an awesome combination! Those madeleines look so pretty and tempting.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  39. Hi Ju

    May I know which brand of the oven are u using?

    Your cake is always so nicely bake.

    I'm sourcing for a new oven now.

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  40. Hi Michelle, I am using a Tefal 21L Vapeur-Steam oven. DON'T ever get it! It's a horrible oven! Uneven heating, unreliable temperature, etc. I learnt to cope with all its idiosyncrasies over time. I ALWAYS have to keep a very close eye on whatever I am baking because it's so unreliable.

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  41. Ha! I dream about Madeleines Pans since May, and almost give up until I saw the wickedly cheap madeleines pan from Daiso last month(I'm not from Malaysia), I bought 5 of them but I didn't have the courage to bake ones(yet)... But I promise my self that I'll conquer Madeleines ;)
    -Joy-

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  42. the madeleines you baked looks nice! daiso no longer sells that ): ): do you know where else to buy it? thank you! (:

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