if you ask me, marcel proust was nuts. he went on about madeleines, or at least that is how the story goes. after baking them with this recipe, i can only ask why? what is so wonderful about madeleines?
this week, the tuesdays with dorie bakers made the madeleine recipe from the baking with julia book. to see the recipe, buy the book or visit the blogpage of our hosts for the challenge, katie and amy of counter dog.
so what is my problem, why am i hating on proust and his beloved madeleines? they are not very exciting. kind of dry actually and a little flavorless too. then again, that is what most genoise cakes are, dry and flavorless. made that way to soak up the flavor from the fillings and booze that they sandwich together in multilayer cakes served by the slice. these little buggers didn't just ask to be dunked in tea, they begged!
to make it interesting, i made two batches. the first batch i flavored with freshly grated lemon zest and the second, with some cocoa powder and some cinnamon. neither batch was worth indulging in if you ask me. i brought them to a meeting and shared them. the tasters enjoyed them and several dunked them-confirming my theory on the dryness. would i make them again-not likely with this recipe. while all madeleine recipes call for whipping eggs and sugar until the ribbon is formed, most have more than just flour a touch of butter and a little vanilla for flavor. my own recipe includes coconut and is much moister and more flavorful than these.
the instructions from the recipe call for greasing and flouring the plaques. not a good idea. if anybody ever asks your opinion, tell them to just grease the pans or simply brush them with melted butter. the flour and grease form a coating that stays on the madeleines and gives them a white washed effect. it isn't noticeable on the lemon ones but it sure is on the chocolate ones. believe it or not, the cleaner pan of the two in the photo, just used grease-no flour at all.
when sitting side by side, you can easily tell which had flour in the pans.