Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Frog'n it Up

So, Ive been baking a bit. I meant to do like a proper post on the Madeleines I made but I wasnt thrilled with the results of the recipe. Also I didnt get any pictures for that nice bloggy touch because I furiously shoved the first batch into my face before the second batch even went into the oven. So obviously they werent inedible. The problem was the lack of nice shell, they were pretty cakey all round, and it lacked the quintessential Madeleine bump in the back. And that simply SHALL NOT DO! I will keep working on this until I have the ULTIMATE MADELEINES!! Anyway here's the recipe I tried, for memory's sake.

“She sent out for one of those short, plump little cakes called petites madeleines, which look as though they had been moulded in the fluted scallop of a pilgrim's shell. And soon, mechanically, weary after a dull day with the prospect of a depressing morrow, I raised to my lips a spoonful of the tea in which I had soaked a morsel of the cake. No sooner had the warm liquid, and the crumbs with it, touched my palate than a shudder ran through my whole body, and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary changes that were taking place…at once the vicissitudes of life had become indifferent to me, its disasters innocuous, its brevity illusory…”

- Marcel Proust, Volume 1: Swann's Way

Madeleines Recipe

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
2 tablespoons softened unsalted butter for greasing pan
3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
a pinch salt
2/3 cups fine sugar

zest of one large orange and a squeeze of the juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
a bit of extra flour for dusting the pan

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Clarify the butter! CLARIFY! Melt the 1 1/2 sticks of butter in a small pot over medium heat, just under boiling, until it's brown and gives off a deliciously nutty aroma and you can see the casein deposits on the bottom. This should take roughly 20 minutes. Strain (using a paper towel over a mesh strainer or a coffee filter over a jar or in my case a Golden Griddle napkin over a tea strainer). Make sure to leave the solids behind. Cool the butter to room temperature. By doing the butter first you can complete the rest of the steps while it is cooling.

While the melted butter is cooling, use the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to grease the madeleine molds - get in there and make sure you get in all the ridges. Dust with flour and invert the pan tapping out any excess flour. Lanha uses "cooking spray" with flour to simplify this part.

Put the eggs with the salt in the bowl of an electric mixer with a whisk attachment. Whip on high speed until thick - you are looking for the eggs to roughly double or triple in volume - approximately 3 minutes. Continuing to mix on high speed, slowly add the sugar in a steady stream. Whip for 2 minutes or until mixture is thick and ribbony. Now with a spatula fold in the lemon zest and vanilla (just until mixed).

Sprinkle the flour on top of the egg batter, and gently fold in. Now fold in the butter mixture. Only stirring enough to bring everything together.

Spoon the batter into the molds, filling each mold 2/3 –3/4 full. I use a small cup filled with batter to keep things clean and manageable, it is easier than using a spoon.

Bake the madeleines for 12 - 14 minutes (7-10 minutes for smaller cookies), or until the edges of the madeleines are golden brown. Remove from oven and unmold immediately. Cool on racks and dust with powdered sugar.

Makes 2 -3 dozen regular madeleines.

Last night after a long bike ride I came home too PUMPED to sleep so I decided to make Cory something he could eat after work. Surveying the fridge and finding a few eggs and some serioulsy sad green onions we bought at the farmers market I decided quiche was the only way to go. And I got to use my new $5 tart pan! WeeeeEeeeEE!

I just used a simple pat in the pan dough from The Joy of Cooking which took about 5 seconds to pull together and it was soft, golden and delicious. For the inside I decided I would pluck a few leaves from my Cinnamon Basil plant. It looked so nice when I poured the egg mixture into the crust with all the little purple and green onion ringlets floating it looked like the background of a Klimt painting. I'm a nerd. The entire quich was gone by the time I got off for lunch today so I guess it was good! The bastard!

Kara's Cheddar, Onion and Cinnamon Basil Quiche


1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter or shortening, softened and cut into 8 pieces
2-3 tbsp milk or cream

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Whisk the flour and salt together in a bowl or process in a food processor for 10 seconds. Add the butter and mash or process until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Drizzle milk or cream over the top and stir or process until crumbs look damp.

To shap the curst for a pie or tart, pat the dough evenly over the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch tart pan. To bake, thouroughly prick the bottom and sides with a fork. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. If you will be filling the crust with an uncooked mixture that requires further baking, whisk together 1 large egg yolk and a pinch of salt and brush the warm crust with this glaze, then return to the oven until glaze sets, about 2 minutes.


1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup milk
3 eggs
1/2 small onion, chopped fine
6 small green onions, chopped fine
6 small cinnamon basil leaves, sliced very fine, a chiffonade if you will
1/8 tsp grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
Hearty amount of black pepper!

Turn oven down to 375.

Sprinkle cheese onto the bottom of the crust. Whisk together all the rest of the ingredients until no streaks of egg white remain. Pour the mixture evenly over the cheese in the pastry shell. Bake until the filling is puffed around the sides and a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean, 30-40 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing.

1 comment:

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