I lot of you have been waited for this post. And if you haven’t, you just didn’t know you were. Too be honest, there is nothing difficult about madeleines, if anything they are pretty versatile, orange, lemon thyme, lavender honey, chocolate. You name it. What is difficult is making sure to purchase the right pan and grease the pan in a way so the madeleines don’t stick. (This way they come out looking like gorgeous shells, not mutilated cookie specimens. I mean we need to make Proust proud…)
I use the recipe off of epicurious, but I like them a tad bit more lemony, so I add just a little lemon juice, like a teaspoon. It brings out the flavor of the zest. These one’s are not too sweet, highly addictive and the perfect accompaniment with tea, or just fresh from the oven (for some reason they hardly ever make it to tea.)
As I mentioned before, the pan is important. The pan really is the reason for these cookies, they create the shape, and equally attribute for the light fluffy texture. Do not use the silicon pan; it will be hard to remove the madeleines. I used a French tin pan that I picked up from Broadway Panhandler’s. This means I had to butter and flour for each batch. But I think a non-stick pan would work quite well. Just remember: if they stick, this can be a big problem, the shell imprint will not appear and the cookie can fall apart.
Click Here for the Recipe
My Side Note of Madeleines: Oh Proust!
Proust gets a lot of credit for the success for this cookie. And to be honest, I am not sure he deserves it. Why do I say this? Because Proust divulges in many things, not just French cookies. For Proust, many seemingly insignificant objects, food items, art can “déclenche” (to spark in French) a memory. Not just madeleines. So why has the food world harped so much on these few pages? Maybe his oh-so French idealism or his page long sentences intricately weaving food, memory and perception. I would just like to say, Proust is much more than this darling edible golden clam…
But if Proust can make the Madeleine some French fantasy you want to literally eat up, I say, why not? Divulge!