I knew it was going to be hard to pack up and move home from France. I dreaded it the whole year.
The number of times I packed and repacked, moving things from one bag to another and tossing items into an ever-fattening garbage bag... why did I have so much stuff?
The amount of food and kitchen related objects in my bags was slightly embarrassing and I'd rather not tell you how many pairs of shoes and clothes I threw out to make space for cake trays and spices. One of my favourite souvenirs (and one of 3 cake molds I successfully brought home) is my madeleine tray.
Madeleines - betchya can't just eat one.
I learned to make these madeleines during my first month living in my village. One of my students shared with me her mother's recipe, and taught me the tricks to making beautifully light and soft little cakes.
I made these a lot back in Canada. It became automatic - the routine of buttering and flouring the mold, filling it, baking, pop them out and repeat, repeat, repeat.
I really like them with some lemon zest or dried lavender added in. There are so many flavour options to try - you'll just have to make multiple batches too!
To obtain the little characteristic 'mounds' on the madeleines, be sure to let the batter rest for 30 minutes in the fridge. During the first 5 minutes in the oven, heighten the temperature up to 400C, then lower it back to 350C for the remaining oven time.
175 g caster sugar
225 g flour
100 g melted butter
2 tsp baking powder
Beat the eggs with the sugar by hand using a whisk for about 5-10 minutes. The mixture should become airy and mousse-like.
Sift the flour and baking powder together. Add to the sugar-egg mixture, followed by the melted butter. Mix well using whisk.
If adding a flavour/mix-in (vanilla, lemon zest, lavender, chocolate chips, etc.) do so now and whisk to combine.
Leave the mixture to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350C
Butter and flour your madeleine mold. Fill the molds with a dollop of the batter so that it sits in the middle, but does not touch the edges of the shell shape.
Bake in the oven for about 12-14 minutes, until the cakes have puffed up and are starting to lightly golden. Remove cakes immediately from tray the wire-rack to cool.