Madeleine. When we hear this word, we can think two ways: One, of the cartoon character that we used to fawn over in our childhood days or two, the beautifully shaped little cake.
Of course, the madeleine that I am referring to is the dainty French cake. Madeleines are made of a genoise batter (sponge) of butter, eggs, sugar, flour and usually flavoured with some sort of scented water. When I was younger, my mother used to buy these from Delifrance in packs of 6. I am not sure if I actually liked eating it, or was purely attracted to the beauty of the dainty cake.
In a recent trip to France, I kept seeing Madeleines packaged in small plastic boxes, calling out to me. I thought to myself “if I want to see if there are more to madeleines than the beautiful shape, the best place would be in France, right?”. I finally bought a small box from the supermarket and prepared myself for the taste test. The madeleine was so light, fluffy and milky. Like a little bit of heaven with little guilt because it is so small. Dipping it into my tea and then into my mouth, a warm fuzzy feeling filled my heart (and stomach).
That is when I decided to try madeleines for myself. Much to my disappointment, I could not find a madeleine tin available and had to opt for small cookie liners. I adapted Keiko Ishida’s Japanese Milky Madeleines which actually use cookie liners instead of the shell mould. The result was pleasing, although I might add orange water or rose water to it next time, just for kicks.
Japanese Milky Madeleines
Adapted from Keiko Ishida’s Okashi, sweet treats made with love
makes 18 cakes
120g pastry flour/top flour
20g rice flour or corn flour
15g milk powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp hot water
100g unsalted butter
50g double (heavy) cream (at least 45% milk fat)
140g eggs (about 3 eggs)
a pinch of salt
150g Japanese sugar( jo haku tou) or caster sugar
Directions:1. Preheat oven to 170°C. Sift together flours, milk powder and baking powder. Combine honey and hot water in a bowl.2. Place butter, cream and vanilla in a heatproof bowl. Place over a pot of simmering water and heat, stirring until butter has melted. Set aside. (I always just microwave at intervals)3. In another heatproof bowl, beat eggs and salt with a whisk until yolks break. Add sugar and place the bowl over a pot of simmering water and mix well. When egg mixture is warm, use an electric mixer to beat on high speed unti light and fluffy. Reduce speed to medium and continue beating for aboutt 1 minute. Add honey and mix well.
Image Credits: Eugenia and junglefrog-cooking.com