Martha Stewart Living (September 2011)
Just two days ago, we were discussing indispensable kitchen tools -- those items that we reach for all the time in the kitchen. And we loved hearing about your go-to tools, from blenders to Dutch ovens and even cast iron woks!
Sadly, in our kitchen, our favorite tools are nearly outnumbered by the items we almost never use. They're there, within our reach, taking up space. But for the most part, they sit idly by while other tools do all the work.
But they're not alone.
For a year now we've had a Madeleine Pan. It was a lovely gift from Zach's mom, and ever since we received it, we have had the very best intentions of making madeleines.
Well, those intentions became action this last weekend. Martha Stewart Living has a beautiful feature on making madeleines, our unused pan (still in its wrapper!) was staring us dead in the eyes, and we finally caved.
It was time to make the madeleines.
One of our favorite things about this Living feature is that is provides you with a basic recipe for Vanilla Madeleines and then offers 8 suggestions for both sweet and savory variations on the recipe.
We debated which version to make (or to improvise our own) but settled on the maple variety. We loved the sheer autumness of the idea of Maple Madeleines.
Though the process here is somewhat time-intensive because the batter needs to rest for several hours, the method is quite simple.
We're full-on obsessed with this batter! The butter and sugars are mixed on high speed for 10 minutes, and they transform into a voluminous, fluffy concoction. The dry ingredients are then folded in and the batter rests for several hours. We loved watching it come together, and the consistency of the final product.
Once the batter is rested, the madeleines bake very quickly -- in about 10 minutes. Our madeleine pan makes 12 at a time, so we made three batches in about a half hour.
And the results are excellent.
These madeleines are light and soft, with a faint hint of crunch on the outside. We loved the maple flavor, and think that it really came through. (Although when Clay took the leftovers into his office, his co-workers did say the maple reminded them of pancakes. Not that that's necessarily a bad thing.) The glaze, unfortunately, gets lost a few minutes after it's applied. We found that our madeleines really absorbed the glaze quickly. The madeleines in our photos, for instance, are glazed, though it's hard to tell.
Here are our only quibbles with this recipe:
There is, of course, the issue of equipment. You have to have a madeleine pan, a mixer, a pastry brush and a pastry bag. We had all of these items except a pastry bag, which we improvised by putting our batter in a resealable plastic bag and snipping off a corner. This proved to be more than a little messy, and after the second batch we just spooned our batter into the madeleine pan. It wasn't as elegant, and we couldn't say we were "piping" (so fancy!), but the madeleines that were spooned turned out a-okay.
Many of you may already have all of this equipment at home, but we'd bet most people don't have a madeleine pan.
And one thing we find confusing about the recipe variations is that the vanilla is never omitted from the basic recipe, even for the savory variations. Other ingredients are specifically omitted (for this maple version, for instance, you're instructed to omit the honey from the basic recipe). We decided to include the vanilla in our madeleines, but if we were making the Olive Oil and Sea Salt variety, we're certain we would have omitted it. Are we wrong about that?
But here are the things we love:
This batter can be made ahead and kept in the fridge for two days, and the madeleines then bake in no time. We love the idea of throwing a dinner party, and baking up a batch of fresh madeleines right before we're ready to serve them.
And the madeleines themselves, hot out of the oven, are absolutely to die for.
So consider yourself on notice, Madeleine Pan. You're going to have a busy fall.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
Yield: Makes 32 (or 160 mini)
Special Equipment Needed:
A Pastry Bag (we improvised one using a resealable plastic bag)
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
6 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons packed light-brown sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter, melted, plus more, softened, for pans
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
4 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
Reduce 1/2 cup maple syrup by half over medium-low heat, about 15 minutes; add to melted butter.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl.
Whisk together eggs and granulated and brown sugars with a mixer on high speed until pale and fluffy, about 10 minutes. Sift flour mixture over top in 2 additions, folding in after each addition. Fold in melted butter in 2 additions, then vanilla. Refrigerate, covered, for at least 2 hours.
Meanwhile, make the glaze by whisking together the maple syrup, melted butter, and confectioners’ sugar. Let cool for at least 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Let batter stand at room temperature for 10 minutes. Generously butter 2 standard-size or 2 mini nonstick or aluminum madeleine pans using a pastry brush.
Transfer batter to a pastry bag, and snip tip to create a 1/2-inch opening. Pipe some batter into molds, filling each about three-quarters full. Bake on middle rack until pale gold, 8 to 11 minutes (6 to 8 minutes for mini madeleines). Immediately shake madeleines out. Wash and rebutter molds. Repeat with remaining batter.
Brush the glaze onto the scalloped side of baked madeleines.
Madeleine batter can be refrigerated for up to 2 days. Madeleines are best the day they are made, but they can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days