We’re starting to slide back into crazy mode at work, as we near the end of the school year! The beginning and end of each year are the times when we do the most catering as the school show cases the upcoming year or as in this case closes out another successful year. For the past three years I have been running my culinary program at the Mount and my girls have been helping at events through out the years, and this year I am ever so grateful to have more experienced hands helping in the kitchen, some of my girls having 3 years experience.
But your not hear to listen to me go on about work or my girls (although a post about them will be upcoming in the next few weeks), you’re hear because it’s my favorite day of the week! It’s Guest Post Friday!!!
It’s hard to believe I’ve been doing Guest Post Friday for almost two years now, and although some weeks I think it may have run it’s course, I really do enjoy having my friends guest post for me, I hope you’re still enjoying it too!
Speaking of friends, today it’s my great pleasure to share my blog with Jean from Lemons and Anchovies. Jean and I go way back to my early day’s of blogging circa 2010. (I know it’s amazing that we haven’t been blogging that long, it certainly seems like it’s been a lot longer! ) and If you haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Jean, or reading Lemons and Anchovies you are certainly in for a treat today! Not only will you find mouth watering creations, artfully styled, beautifully photographed, but you will also find a friend that shares her life with you through her posts. To me that’s the greatest joy of blogging, enjoying a cup of coffee with a friend as they share their life with you through their blog posts, and that’s exactly what you’ll find at Lemons and Anchovies.
So sit back, relax, put your feet up, grab another cup of coffee and get ready to visit with a friend as I give you, Jean and…….
I was seated near the back row listening to a speaker during my first Foodbuzz Festival in San Francisco in 2010. As I glanced behind me, I spotted a familiar face. It was Chef Dennis. Being the new blogger that I was, my reaction was akin to when one spots a celebrity. I was a fan of his blog not just because of his inspired recipes but also because he has helped to build such a supportive, friendly blogging community. I have learned so much from his Ask Chef Dennis series, as well. You can understand why I was so happy to meet him in person that day and why I’m just as excited to be appearing as a guest here today.
I will be honest with you. It was a bit of a challenge trying to figure out what recipe to share here with you. My dear host is such an accomplished, well-rounded chef that I did not want to disappoint by showing up with something mediocre for his readers. I am constantly inspired by Chef Dennis’s dishes, both savory and sweet, and how about the guest post series which brings me here? His guest bloggers always present such delicious recipes. Ultimately, I decided to share with you one of my latest obsessions: madeleines.
These are the little French tea cakes with a lovely fluted bottom that Marcel Proust made famous in his Remembrance of Things Past. I have always appreciated their delicate beauty but truth be told, I was never lucky enough to taste one that knocked my socks off. Well, until recently.
Equipped with brand new madeleine pans and a promising recipe, I made Pierre Herme’s chocolate madeleines. The batter couldn’t have been easier to prepare and it turned into such beautiful little tea cakes full of rich chocolate flavor. The only (very minor) drawback was the recommended overnight rest of the batter in the fridge before baking. This, I learned, is what helps to create the madeleine’s characteristic bump and what do you know, it really does work!
With my maiden madeleine voyage under my belt, I embarked on a second journey—this time leaning towards the more traditional. Classic madeleines are usually flavored with vanilla and/or lemon but Earl Grey Madeleines, infused with the fragrant black tea, are also quite popular. However, I couldn’t help changing things up just a bit. I am a huge tea lover so I couldn’t resist infusing my second batch of madeleines with one of my favorite teas. Instead of Earl Grey, I used my Mango-infused black tea. I thought it would impart a sunnier, more spring-like quality to the little sponge cakes. I borrowed Dorie Greenspan’s Earl Grey Madeleine recipe from Paris Sweets and though this version recommended only a 3-hour rest of the batter before baking, I waited overnight hoping to repeat my success with the chocolate version.
The results? The mango tea is more of an essence rather than a dominant flavor in these madeleines but that is also true of the Early Grey variety. Instead, these little cakes are kissed with subtle honey sweetness, prompting me to rename them so as not to relegate the honey to secondary position when they contribute so much to the finished product. Proust described dunking his madeleine in his cup of tea and these are certainly great with the latter but there is absolutely no need—they are spongy and moist on their own. I think you will like them just as much as I do. In fact, this second attempt has sealed my love of madeleines; I can hardly wait to make the next batch. Hmm, maybe savory madeleines are in store for me…
Chef Dennis, thanks so much for allowing me to participate in your guest post series!
- ¾ cup (105 grams) all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon double acting baking powder
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- ⅓ cup (65 grams) sugar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- Grated zest of one lemon
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 5 tablespoons (2 ½ ounces, 70 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 2 tablespoons Mango-flavored tea (or any flavored tea you prefer) steeped in 8 ounces of hot water for 3 minutes
- Sift together the flour and baking powder in a bowl and set aside. Using a hand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs and sugar together on medium-high speed for 2 – 4 minutes, or until the mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in the honey, then the lemon zest and vanilla.
- Using a large rubber spatula, gently fold in the dry ingredients. Stir into the melted butter the two tablespoons of tea before also folding into the dry ingredients.
- Cover the batter with plastic wrap, making sure to press the wrap against the surface of the batter so it creates an airtight seal. Chill the batter for at least 3 hours—this will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Butter your madeleine pan and dust it with flour, shaking off the excess. Even if you have a nonstick pan, it is recommended that you do this. Divide the batter among the molds, filling them almost to the top. There’s no need to smooth the batter, baking will settle it into the molds.
- Bake the madeleines for 11 – 13 minutes (if you have a mini madeleine pan, 8 – 10 minutes) or until the cakes are puffed and golden and spring back when touched. Remove the pan from the oven and rap the pan lightly against the counter to release the madeleines. Cool the madeleines slightly on a wire rack. They are best when still a bit warm or at room temperature. Makes 12 regular-sized madeleines.
I’m sorry to say that I have never made a Madeleine before, but after seeing this delicious post, that has got to change! Now before you forget please head on over to Lemons and Anchovies and say hi to Jean, just make sure to tell her Chef Dennis sent you, and do yourself a favor and spend some time looking through Jean’s posts, I know you’re going to love what you see, and I’m sure you’re going to find many new dishes to add to your Must Make list…….sigh, food is a wonderful thing!
Have a great weekend my friends, and thanks so much for stopping by today!