Madeleines – a cake like cookie that shouldn’t be confused with my cousin Madalaine who is also sweet but should never be baked… or well, no. I’m going to let that comment lie. Anyhow, madaleines are one of those things where I always think, wow, that’s so pretty! But, again, never thought I’d actually be baking. Mostly because you have to have a special pan that creates a fluted shell like shape, and it was never important enough for me to actually purchase that pan. UNTIL NOW.
The main characteristic of a madeleine is that when they bake they have a slight hump, which my Bouchon Bakery cookbook says mean they are “pregnant with flavor.” I decide since there are two madeleine recipes that I’ll bake both because they are essentially the same recipe although one calls for pistachio paste. Cue the screeching brake noises! Pistachio paste? Definitely not something I have in my refrigerator! I Google it and see that there are a ton of companies that sell it, but it’s pricey! Anywhere from $16.99-$35.00! Those must be some golden pistachio’s! I decide to go on Pinterest and see how hard it would be to make my own pistachio paste. It doesn’t look hard at all!
The day before I’m going to bake my madeleines I go out and purchase a bag of raw, shelled pistachio’s. I need to blanch the pistachio’s, which is to basically put the nuts in just boiled water and let them soak for a couple of minutes. The blanching makes the green in the pistachio even brighter and also helps loosen the papery skin that’s surrounding the nut. That skin has to be removed before blending or it will affect how green your paste will turn out. Thankfully, my husband decided to help me because, you know, that’s 30 minutes of quality time with moi. Yep, great fun. Once done, you blend them into a paste and voila! Pistachio paste!
But, whoa! It made a LOT of pistachio paste and my recipe only calls for 46 grams or 3 Tablespoons. I’m seeing lots of pistachio flavored goodies in my future. LOL Note- you don’t need to actually blend the entire package of pistachio’s, maybe just a half cup would do the job.
The madeleine recipe is actually pretty simple. I was happy to see that I get to use my just learned Pommade technique again but this time on my eggs and sugar. The thought being that if you warm the bowl before mixing them together that you’ll melt the sugar a bit. Don’t overheat though because you could cook your eggs. Luckily, I did not do that. My egg mixture did seem to whip up nicely after warming, so I guess it worked! Once I make my batters they need to spend the night in the fridge.
You can see that the pistachio batter on the right is a little greener than the other. Before baking I must prepare the pan. Now, normally I’d just spray on some baking spray, but since I’m trying to grow my experiences I decide to brush the madeleine tray with butter as instructed and freeze the tray for a few minutes before filling up my batter. Surprisingly those madeleines popped right out! I think in part because it was a brand new non stick tray too, but you know, we’ll say the butter thing worked too.
If you are trying this recipe at home be aware that this recipe makes exactly twelve madeleines. Not even one more! They baked so nicely and even got that little pregnant hump that is indicative of a good madeleine! yay!
My color could have been a little bit darker but overall I’m pretty happy with them. If you’ve never had a madeleine before they really are like little cakes. Moist and airy and delicious!
Now, I’m a girl that likes a little extra, extra. So I added white chocolate and coconut to the plain madeleines and semi-sweet chocolate with crushed pistachios. Yum!
Purchased for this recipe : 1 Madeleine tray $10.99 and 1 bag of pistachio’s $15.89. OK, I know I could’ve bought the pistachio paste for that price, but it’s all about the learning!
I have to say, I would definitely make this recipe again, although I’d double the batch.
Click this link to purchase! Bouchon Bakery (The Thomas Keller Library)