Monday, February 2, 2009

//My Madeleine

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Madeleines are the consummate breakfast and/or light dessert cookie. Petite in size, springy like angel food cake, they're rich but not saccharinely sweet to the point of nausea. Just three of these cookies ought to be enough to satiate even the most die hard sweets fanatic.

They key to making a proper Madeleine is in the preparation. I can't emphasize that part enough. For starters: Three to four eggs (which give the sweet its illustrious, deep golden color) are combined with 2/3 cup of sugar and then beaten on high for several minutes so that the batter may triple in volume. You'll know you've reached optimal consistency when your electric beaters leave ribbons of batter behind after being pulled out. It's also equally as important that you delicately fold the 1/2 cup melted (cooled) butter and flour mixture into the egg portion until just barely mixed, otherwise the batter will collapse, the wheat gluten will toughen the dough, or a whole host of other disasters might occur.

I used Joy of Baking dot com's recipe (here), but made a few modifications.

1.) I used my new pixie muffin pans instead of a standard Madeliene pan;
2.) I separated the batter into three portions and added two drops of purple and blue food coloring, just for variety.

Additionally, I wanted to practicing some plating techniques. I created a blueberry sauce, which I then poured into a condiment bottle for easy drawing.

Quick 'N' Easy Blueberry Sauce:

* One pint fresh blueberries
* 1/3 cup of sugar
* 1 tablespoon of water
* ~ 1 tablespoon of flour

Mix all of the ingredients in a sauce pan and heat on medium-high until the fruit's juices have been released and the sauce starts to thicken. Remove from heat and then let cool completely. I'd advise straining the mixture through a fine sieve before bottling it, otherwise seed or bits of pulp will clog the tip. Once the bits pass through, the built up pressure will be expelled and thus create... a mess.



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The other 41 Madeleines eagerly await their respective turns to be plated.

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Since I used pixie muffin tins, the recipe could have easily yielded between 60-70 Madeleines, instead of 12-24. I stopped at four dozen.

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When making Madeleines, it's crucial that you butter and then dust the pan(s) with flour. Failure to do that will result in crusty cookies that have to be peeled out of the pan. Don't be afraid to get your hands greasy! Get in there and make sure every centimeter of the pan is coated.

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It doesn't hurt to sketch out your food-art design with actual pen and paper, first.

2 comments:

  1. Those don't look like french fries from who knows when!

    ReplyDelete