Ross: Oh really? Did she tell you he plays the recorder, recites poetry, and bakes madeleines? Monica: Ohhhh how are they? Ross: Lighter than air… but that’s not the point!
The lighter-than-air cookie from FRIENDS sitcom – is synonymous with France, as much as its wine and garlic or its baguettes and cheese. Favoured by kings and peasants alike and was cemented into French hearts and culture by the French philosopher Proust in the early 1920s.
A young girl called Madeleine, stood in as pastry chef to the Duke of Lorraine and the only thing she knew how to make was her grandmother’s recipe – thus the ‘Madeleines’ was born. King Louis XV first tasted those on a visit to Lorraine and was very much smitten. He gave them to his wife, Marie, who in turn, introduced them to the French court. They took off, quite literally, goes, like hot cakes!
These French butter cakes are popular, delicate and classy. Easily recognised too – with that scalloped shell-shape. This is NOT the fussier and meticulous French recipe, but a simpler one – that makes Madeleines that are lighter than air.
Preheat your oven. Prep the baking pan – the madeleine pan – to make sure that the madeleines don’t stick. Whisk together 1 tbs melted butter and 1 ½ teaspoons flour.
Use a pastry brush to lightly but thoroughly grease every cavity of your madeleine pan. Set aside.
Melt 10 tbs of butter. Set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, whisk together 2 large eggs, 100 gm white sugar, 3 tbs brown sugar, 2tsp vanilla extract and salt. Sift 1 ¼ cup flour into the egg mixture, little by little. You may add 2 tsp lemon zest for an extra flavour – optional.
Drizzle the previously melted butter around the edge of the batter. Drop the batter lumps into the prepared madeleine pan.
Transfer to preheated oven and bake for 9 minutes or until madeleines are light golden brown and spring back when lightly touched.
Remove to a cooling rack to cool immediately.
Best served immediately, but can be stored in an airtight container for a couple of days or frozen for up to 1 month.
Sprinkle madeleines with powdered sugar or dip these in melted chocolate before serving.
By Christ & Co.