Saturday, August 2, 2014

Perfect Madeleines

Perfect Madeleines
6 large eggs 
1 1/4 cup unrefined sugar
Zest of one organic lemon, finely grated
1/2 cup milk
about 2 3/4 cup flour plus more for sprinkling
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 3/4 cup melted unsalted butter, hot, plus more for brushing

    Prepare the batter the day before. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs with the sugar and lemon zest, then whisk in the milk.

    In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and stir with a clean whisk to remove any lump. Sprinkle the flour mixture into the wet ingredients, whisking all the while.

    Whisk in the melted butter, cover, and refrigerate until the next day. The batter will keep, tightly covered and refrigerated, for up to three days.

    Two hours before baking, brush a madeleine tray, preferable tin, with melted butter, making sure no excess butter pools in the ridges. Sprinkle the mold thoroughly with flour, then tap upside down over the sink to remove excess flour. After my first batch, I forgot to flour the mold and merely buttered it, which turned out to be enough to prevent sticking. Place the tray in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
    Madeleine mold
Preheat the oven to 450°F.

Pour some of the batter into a piping bag fitted with a plain tip. (To make this step easier, you can place the piping bag in a tall measuring jug and fold the sides over and out to keep it open.)

    Piping bag
    Pipe the batter into the prepared madeleine tray, filling each mold to three quarters. Bang the tray once on a cutting board (or your counter if it's sturdy) to remove any air bubble.

    Madeleine batter in mold
Insert into the oven, lower the heat to 360°, and bake for 12 minutes, until the sides of the madeleines are golden brown and the domes buttercup yellow.
Remove from the oven and unmold immediately: holding the tray with both hands, tilt it forward so the madeleines face away from you, and bang the side of the tray on your cutting board or counter so the madeleines will pop out. Depending on how well-seasoned your tray is, it may take one to three bangs to pop them all out.

Transfer to a rack to cool. The madeleines freeze well in an airtight container.

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