Oh, madeleines, where have you been all my life?
When I saw that this week's French Fridays with Dorie recipe was for honey-spiced madeleines, my first concern was whether I would have to purchase a madeleine pan, one of those one-off items that I just knew I would never use again. I checked Amazon, and the nonstick pans were fairly reasonable, so I bit the bullet and purchased one.
So far, in one week, we have prepared 4 batches of madeleines. I know there will be more to come. I will certainly get my money's worth, and then some. We have now added tea-time to our weekend schedule, to allow for madeleine munching.
A madeleine is a small cake that looks like a cookie. The madeleine pan is apparently very important to the process, as the fluting in the pan allows the top of the madeleine to be slightly crispy and chewy, while the interior is light and cakey. In Dorie's recipe, you combine the dry ingredients, then combine sugar, citrus rind (lemon in classic madeleines, orange in spicy madeleines), and eggs. You fold dry ingredients into wet, then fold in melted butter. Then you fill up that madeleine pan and bake. The non-stick pan worked like a dream. The first batch popped out of the pan so well that in the subsequnt 3 batches I didn't use any oil or butter coating, though it was recommended, and they slid right out of the pan.
Two batches were of the classic, buttery, lemony madeleines. Two batches were of Dorie's honey-spiced variation. I was concerned that the spices she used would feel too Christmas-y, which really doesn't complement these arid, 100-degree, drought- and wildfire-filled days. Instead, I used a tablespoon of Ras el Hanout, a Moroccan blend with a similar but less wintry flavor profile. This spice was delightful with honey and orange rind, all in a lovely, cakey madeleine.
As you can see from the photos, some of my madeleines were a bit on the brown side. They still tasted just fine, but my favorites were the more lightly-baked, golden variety.
If you would like to prepare this lovely dish, or any of the recipes from Around My French Table, please pick up a copy of the book! For others' interpretations of this week's recipes, check out the FFWD website!