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Friday, 16 December 2016

Gingerbread Madeleines




Here we are again, nearly another year over and let the Christmas baking season commence!! (As of today I can finally relax with a sigh of relief as I have no more uni work till the new year semester. Woooooo!!) 



I love this time of year, partly because for the first time I can say the cliche term "I'm going home for Christmas" since the past 4 months have been my first living away from home. Though I'm loving it in Birmingham, it will be great to get back to old times with family and friends in familiar surroundings. 



Guilty to say, it's been a good while since my last post, but it's been a very hectic few weeks that have involved writing culinary skills portfolios, nutrition reports and a whole assignment on a maple syrup recipe. Yes. You heard me right, on ONE recipe. I'm quite frankly sick of the stuff now, though I'll be sharing with you that said maple recipe very sooooon, I think it's also rather festive so perfect for this time of year.



And now onto madeleines. I've had a mould tray to make some of these for quite possibly years now but I've never actually got round to it. So I set myself the task that as soon as my mum brought the tray to me on her next visit to see me, this would be my next blog recipe for sure. Funny how most mums would bring the usual student essentials you've forgotten like maybe a tin opener or some stationary. Nope not for me, my essentials consists of french patisserie baking trays. Standard. 

Nonetheless the task I set myself is now complete! Of course I had to give them a Christmassy vibe which generally means throw in some winter spices and there you have it, gingerbread madeleines. If that doesn't scream out the festive period is here, then I don't know what will quite frankly?! 



For my first attempt I thought they turned out very well if I don't say so myself, and being a traditional cake of France, there's not really any other test suitable than to get the approval of my two French flatmates however I'm proud to say they were a success all round. 

These simple petite cakes made me realise that not everything needs to be faffed around with, (I mean I was tempted, not gonna lie, to do a bit of a glace molasses icing) but sometimes a classic flavour and some light, delicate sponge is all you need... and with a good of cup tea as well. They're beautiful with just a dusting of icing sugar and their golden slight crisp shell indentations still visible, making a perfect alternative to the regular christmas cookie or mince pie dare I say it. Also, they're reasonably quick to make, start to finish, so great for when you've got those unexpected last minute visitors who pop round and you want to hand out something with their drink. Or perhaps wrap a few up as a cute little gift. The recipe can easily be doubled or trebled even, (if you're that popular type who has soooo many friends that all need a present). 



I recommend warming them up in a microwave for a few seconds though if you're not going to serve them straight from the oven fresh. They just seem to taste better that way and it also permeates the room every time full of all those wintery spices which is a bonus. 

Gingerbread  Madeleines


Makes approx. 25 depending on the size of the mould
Recipe adapted from The Kitchy Kitchen


Ingredients


120g (9 tablespoons or 1 stick plus a tablespoon) unsalted butter, browned and cooled to room temperature, plus additional melted butter for preparing the moulds
2 large eggs, at room temperature
150g (2/3 cup) caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
130g (1 cup plus 1 tbsp) plain flour, plus extra for dusting trays
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tsp baking powder
Icing sugar (powdered sugar) for dusting

Method


Brush the indentations of a madeleine mould with melted butter. Dust with flour, tap off any excess, and place in the fridge or freezer. 

In the bowl of a standing mixer (or with an electric hand mixer), whisk the eggs, sugar and vanilla for 5 minutes until pale and thickened and when you lift the whisk it leaves a trail of ribbon-like mixture on the surface for a short while. 

Mix together the flour, spices, and baking powder. Use a rubber spatula to fold in the flour as you sprinkle it slowly over the batter. 

Drizzle the browned butter into the batter, a little at a time, while simultaneously folding to incorporate the butter. Fold just until all the butter is incorporated. Don't over mix it or you will beat air out. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes. (The batter can also be chilled for up to 12 hours.)

To bake the madeleines, preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/ gas 7.  
Spoon enough batter in the centre of each mould that you think will fill it by 3/4′s. Do not spread it as it will spread out when cooking.

Bake for 9 to 10 minutes or until the cakes just feel set, (press the cakes lightly with your finger and if it bounces back they’re done. If it stays indented, give it another minute in the oven). Remove from the oven and tilt the madeleines out onto a cooling rack. Then dust with icing sugar to serve. Store in an airtight container. 
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