I rarely repeat recipes. You won’t catch me baking the same thing twice unless there’s a reason behind it. It’s kind of like those people who don’t repeat outfits, which is weird now that I think about it. The only way I’ll repeat a recipe is if someone requests it and has an incentive, if it’s my bread for the week or the holidays, or if it’s a new and different take on the same thing. That’s it. Like, I may bake a batch of these for a friend because she’s doing my taxes. Or I may bake this cake again for a birthday. I mean, there are certain exceptions to the rule but really, this is how it is.
I think the biggest thing about me not being a recipe repeater is my family’s disappointment. I bake things that they end up liking, they say I need to make them again, and then I don’t. It’s something along the lines of not listening to my parents because they’re my parents. Like, I was going to clean my room until you asked me to, so now I’m not. It’s quite illogical but that’s just how it is sometimes.
The one time I made cinnamon rolls, everyone went crazy and requested them various times. I didn’t make them again, much to my family’s disappointment. Now, before you say “that’s so messed up!” let me explain. I love to bake and I love to feed people the things I make. However, I don’t get to spend my days in the kitchen experimenting. As much as I’d like to, it’s not my reality. When I bake, I bake for this blog. I love posting and force myself to bake something new each time, for content and to push myself to try something new. Most weeks, I only have one day to bake; if any. My family doesn’t understand that. If it were up to them, my blog would’ve ceased at cinnamon rolls because that would be the only thing I’d be baking period.
One thing I think my family doesn’t realize is that while I technically bake for them (and others), I’m really baking for me. I bake what I want to eat. What I want to try. What I want to make. Sometimes that overlaps with what they want, but nine times out of 10, it’s what I want. Baking is my therapy. It’s my “me” time. So when there are various requests for me to make the same thing twice, the therapeutic feeling attached to my baking kind of goes away. I don’t think they realize that.
Enter these madeleines. I’ve been thinking about making a spring themed recipe for the longest. We’ve had a bit of a harsh winter, with all this snow, and I’ve just been longing for a spring anything. I kind of hinted at my spring wishes with the Oreos in these brownies, but that wasn’t enough. Originally, I planned to make a lemon pound cake but my sister gave me the idea to make these instead. At first, I was like “nah” because that meant I needed special pans. I’m all about pans, to be honest. I buy them all the time, despite the fact that I have zero storage space for anything. I went shopping for a couple things the other day, saw the madeleine pans at Marshall’s, and bought them anyway. I couldn’t help it! They were cheaper than anywhere else, so I kind of had to.
I had never made madeleines before, so I was wary the entire time. It reminded me of making pate choux (which I’ve done before, way before this blog), the way the batter/dough firms up after refrigerating but without having to cook it. Another reason I was wary was because I didn’t know how much batter to put in the pan exactly, or that I couldn’t spread it out. It scared me a bit. I had to resist the urge to do it, and was glad I did.
My madeleines came out perfect. They were the right size (er, most of them anyway), and they came out with their little humps. I don’t know the deal behind the humps but mine came out tall and proud, which in turn made me feel tall and proud. My little seashell maddies were buttery and soft, with the right amount of lemon both in and on the cookie. The amount of glaze was just right and did not overpower the cookie. They were fab, and everyone loved them. So much that I got the request to make them again.
I guess I’m going to have to add another exception to the rule!
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- rounded 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder (optional)
- zest of one small lemon
- 9 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature, plus additional melted butter for preparing the molds
- For the glaze:
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon freshly-squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons water
- Butter and flour the madeleine pans. Tap out the excess flour, and place the prepped pans in the fridge or freezer.
- In a large bowl, whip the eggs, granulated sugar, and salt with an electric hand mixer for 5 minutes until frothy and thickened.
- Sift the flour and gently fold it into the wet ingredients using a rubber spatula.
- Add the lemon zest to the cooled butter, then drizzle the butter into the batter, a few spoonfuls at a time, while simultaneously folding to incorporate the butter. Fold just until all the butter is incorporated.
- Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. (Batter can be chilled for up to 12 hours.)
- To bake the madeleines, preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Spoon enough batter into the center of each indentation; enough to fill it by 3/4’s (make an educated guess but don’t stress it too much). DO NOT SPREAD IT.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 8-9 minutes or until the cakes just feel set (9-10 if using baking powder).
- While the cakes are baking, make a glaze in a small mixing bowl by stirring together the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and water until smooth.
- Remove from the oven and tilt the madeleines out onto a cooling rack. The moment they’re cool enough to handle, dip each cake in the glaze, turning them over to make sure both sides are coated and scrape off any excess with a dull knife.
- After dipping, rest each one back on the cooking rack, scalloped side up, until the cakes are cool and the glaze has firmed up.
Recipe barely adapted from David Lebovitz