My friend Jen (yes, we Jens roam in packs) has something of a madeleine addiction, and for the last two years she has been angling for a madeleine baking day. For reasons that range from pregnancy (The Other Jen) to ludicrous travel schedules (This Jen), The First Madeleine Baking Bash has alluded us…until now.
The stars aligned and on Saturday, March 29, we cracked open the KitchenAid and, using a recipe The Other Jen found online at Chez Pim’s, we went to town. The following documents The Baking Bash as we attempted to convert grams to ounces, and discern just exactly how brown is butter before it’s simply burnt.
First…our baking assistant Chef Lydia. The whisk was a big hit and, yes, we washed it after after she sucked on it:
Beurre noisette a.k.a. browned butter. Pim’s recipe calls for browning it in the microwave. I was dubious, but we tried it. After three minutes, we had terrifically melted butter with no sign of burning milk solids, so I finished it in a pan on the stove over low heat. No biggie:
Infusing the browned butter with Lady Gray tea leaves. The recipe calls for an Earl Gray, but we opted for a feminist take. Eggs wait prettily in the background:
Whisking the eggs and sugar using a double-boiler method:
Whipping the daylights out of the egg mixture (with honey added). Also, a lovely glamor shot of the KichenAid:
The egg mixture has tripled in bulk. Note how it ribbons back into the bowl, a sign of the batter’s readiness:
Adding the cooled browned butter to about a cup of the egg mixture to aid incorporation. We didn’t get all the tea leaves strained out, but decided we liked it that way better. More “rustic.” (Read: we couldn’t find a fine enough sieve):
Flouring The Other Jen’s pans:
Piping the madeleines:
Hot out of the oven. Our proudest achievement? The humps:
Hot tea, madeleines and a side of forsythia:
- Again…glee that our madeleines humped!
- This recipe, while intimidating at first glance, is actually very straight-forward. Pim lays out the steps in an easy-to-follow manner, so don’t let grams and French terms scare you.
- While the scent of the madeleines was perfumey from the tea infusion (and thus, worrisome to The Two Jens), the taste was less intense and very balanced.
- You can eat one…maybe two. But they are very rich. Far less “popable” than the Starbucks variety. Which is probably a very good thing.
- Everyone in The Other Jen’s family loved them (especially her father-in-law who popped over the next day for any extras lying about). Many raves all around. My mom loved them, too. The only dissenting opinion was my dad’s. To quote: “They taste like a wet dog.” Hmmm… My apologies to Pim.
- I want to try different teas. In particular, orange.
- We need to have a Second Madeleine Baking Bash because the consistency was not quite perfect…a little too cakey. Did we overbeat? Was there an improper AP-to-cake flour ratio to make up for lack of pastry flour? Did we rush the chilling process in our eagerness to bake? We won’t know until we try again. Other Jen…are you game?