In my dream world, I bake daily, drink coffee, and write about it. Unfortunately for me, this pays no bills. So, to make myself feel better, I create moments when I can pretend I am the embodiment of slow living. Often this means throwing myself a tea (coffee) party at 3pm on a Saturday...which is exactly what I did this week.
A good tea party requires:
- miniature pastries of french or english origin;
- favorite mug & side plate; and,
- a peaceful frame of mind
Having three out of four by 10am, I set about making #2 on my list of necessities. As you may have noticed, I am not a big tea drinker. This is more a testament to how much I love coffee, rather than not liking tea. Regardless, exchanging coffee for tea does have an effect on what pastries I incorporate into my teatime (teatime sounds much better than coffeetime). I'm a cake person and an even bigger coffee & cake person, which made the decision pretty easy - madeleines are french, mini sponge cakes! Madeleines technically fall into the cake category and get a bad rap for being messy & difficult. I believe this to be unjust and this recipe proves it. These madeleines are spongy, moist, and delicious, and they can be made as complicated or simple as one pleases.
Vanilla Bean Madeleines dipped in white chocolate & pistachios
(makes one dozen)
2 eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons lemon zest
1/2 cup flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 oz. butter
chopped unsalted, roasted pistachios
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray and lightly flour a madeleine pan.
- In a glass bowl, melt the butter.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whip attachment, beat the eggs and sugar on medium speed until pale and thickened (approximately 5 minutes).
- Add the vanilla bean paste and lemon zest.
- Remove the bowl from the standing mixer and set aside.
- In a separate bowl, sift together the flour and salt.
- Gently fold the flour into the egg mixture in thirds.
- Add the butter and fold until just incorporated.
- Spoon batter into madeleine molds until filled.
- Bake for 13-16 minutes or until they are golden brown and spring back when touched.
- Allow to cool 10 minutes before removing from the pan.
- Melt the chocolate and cool to room temperature.
- Dip the cool madeleines in the chocolate and place on a piece of parchment. Sprinkle with nuts or jimmies.
- Let the chocolate harden before removing the madeleines from the parchment paper.
- Enjoy with coffee and/or tea!
(Inspired by Judy Farris' French Butter Cake recipe)