Jun 18, 2009

Brown butter madeleine

Whenever I see madeleines, I think of the scene from My lovely Sam Soon when Sam Soon is telling Henry the story of a Madeleine. Henry doesn't speak Korean and Sam Soon's English is very limited. She's describing the story of madeleines..and in the end, she tells Henry, madeleine is a sexy cookie. It's a very cute scene.

Anyway..back to the food. This is a recipe I found from 101 cookbooks. I have only made madeleines twice..the last time I used a recipe from Cook's Illustrated. This recipe definitely has more flavor because of the brown butter, but the Cook's Illustrated recipe is much lighter in texture. I think overall, I like this recipe better, but I would love to be able to combine the two. For now, here's the recipe.

Brown butter madeleine
from 101 Cookbooks
Makes makes 2 -3 dozen regular madeleines

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter (6 ounces)
2 tablespoons softened unsalted butter (for greasing pan)
3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
a pinch fine-grain sea salt
2/3 cups sugar
zest of one large lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
powdered sugar
a bit of extra flour for dusting baking pan

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Melt the 1 1/2 sticks of butter in a small pot over medium heat until it's brown and gives off a deliciously nutty aroma, roughly 7-10 minutes (see note). Strain (using a paper towel over a mesh strainer) - you want 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.

3. 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 (see note).

4. 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).

5. 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.

6. 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 (see note).

7. 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.

  • *The original recipe says you need to brown the butter for about 20 minutes. It only took me 7 minutes to obtain a caramel color and the bits were already starting to burn.
  • *Make sure you grease your pan liberally into all the crevices of the madeleine pan.
  • *I attempted to use a measuring cup to fill the pan in the beginning, but because the batter is so thick, I had a hard time not overfilling it. I ended up using a spoon, it was much easier for me.



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