David Lebovitz's Madeleines

For me, the month of July means one thing, Le Tour de France. I'm not a cyclist and never will be. In fact, the last time I was on a bike that wasn't stationary I ran directly into a hedge. I started watching the Tour years ago and look forward to it each year. In addition to watching the amazing athleticism of the competitors, I love seeing the French cities and towns the Tour passes through. And while the mountain stages in the Alps and Pyrénées are my favorites, I love the sweeping views of the peloton passing through gorgeous fields of sunflowers and lavender.

So this month's Moveable Feast theme, Summer in Provence, was perfect. We spent a lovely, lazy afternoon enjoying the sun, chatting, laughing, and, of course, enjoying delicious food. A little bit of France in our corner of the world.


For this Feast I made dessert. I found a recipe on Saveur for Lavender Honey Ice Cream. The ice cream was accompanied by a version of madeleines that were made in mini loaf pans instead of the traditional madeleine pan. Years ago I'd watched an episode of Rachel Khoo's Little Paris Kitchen and was inspired to buy a madeleine pan but never used it. This was my opportunity to break it in.

Rather than following the recipes from Saveur or Rachel Khoo I did some research and found a recipe from David Lebovitz. I love his blog, I follow him on Pinterest, and I have his cookbook, My Paris Kitchen. He has a couple of madeleine recipes online but I selected the one on Tasting Table. After watching the accompanying video I was convinced to make this version because he came up with a technique to get the madeleine's signature hump.

The signature hump

I was apprehensive because I wanted to triple the recipe to make enough for our Feast. Recipes sometimes warn to not multiply a recipe because the alchemy of baking doesn't always translate. I didn't have time to make separate batches so I held my breath and prayed it would work. And it did!

This is my new favorite recipe. Madeleines are perfect little treats - not too sweet with a lovely, cakey, buttery texture. Next time I'm going to experiment and add a little lemon zest to the batter but the recipe itself really needs no additions. I can't wait to make them again!


Madeleines

Modified very slightly from David Lebovitz on Tasting Table

2 large eggs, at room temperature
½ cup granulated sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
10 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon honey
Powdered sugar for serving

Place the eggs in a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment.  Whip on medium-high speed, adding the sugar a little at a time, until all the sugar is incorporated.  Turn the mixer to high and whisk until the eggs have doubled in volume, 3 to 5 minutes.

Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and stir in the flour, baking powder, salt and vanilla extract. Cover the bowl and allow to rest for at least 30 minutes and up to an hour.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. (Remove and reserve 2 tablespoons of the butter for brushing the pans.) Add the honey and cook, stirring until smooth, about 1 minute more. Remove from the heat and allow to cool, about 30 minutes.

Stir the butter and honey mixture (rewarm to liquefy if necessary) into the batter until smooth. Cover the batter and allow to rest for an additional 30 minutes or up to an hour.

To make the madeleines, preheat oven to 400°. In madeleine molds, brush indentations with the remaining 2 tablespoons melted butter. Using a tablespoon (I use a little cookie scoop), fill each indentation in the molds three-quarters full with batter. Tap the pan on the counter to distribute the batter evenly (I found this step wasn't necessary. The batter spread in the baking process.). Bake until deep golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, allow to cool for 30 seconds, and then tip them out onto a cooling rack.

Dust with powdered sugar and serve. Madeleines are best when served still warm but are delicious when cooled (as evidenced by the empty platter at the end of Feast).


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