November 18. The Anniversary of Marcel Proust’s death day in 1922. In Honor of Remembrance of Things Past, here are two madeleine recipes:
2 large eggs
½ cup sugar
5 T. butter, melted & cooled slightly
¾ cup all-purpose flour
1 t. baking powder
Grated zest of ½ lemon
¼ t. vanilla extract
In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk or blend the eggs and sugar until frothy. Add the cooled melted butter, blending well. On low speed or with the whisk, add the flour, baking powder, lemon zest and vanilla until blended. Cover the bowl with a towel and set aside to rest for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 375*. Butter and flour the madeleine molds. Whisk the batter for a moment to remix, then spoon the batter lightly into the molds, filling them three-quarters full. Bake until the cakes are risen and golden, 10 or 11 minutes. If the madeleines start to brown before the crown has risen, open the oven door slightly and continue to bake until they have risen.
As soon as the madeleines are done, carefully remove them from the tins onto a wire rack. Serve immediately. The madeleines can also be cooled on a rack and stored for several days in an airtight container.
Makes about 15 madeleines (25 minis).
From Paris Boulangerie Patisserie: Recipes from Thirteen Outstanding French Bakeries, page 74
½ cup sugar
¼ t. vanilla
6 T. butter, melted & slightly cooled
3/8 cup of flour (the mark just above 1/3)
¼ cup cocoa
- Melt the butter & allow to cool slightly.
- Whisk eggs & sugar until thick & lemon-colored. Add the vanilla & salt.
- Fold in the flour & cocoa, then the melted butter.
- Allow the batter to rest for 1 hour.
- Heat the oven to 425*.
- Butter the madeleine pans then spoon in the batter to 3/4ths full.
- Bake the madeleines about 7-9 minutes; immediately turn out of molds onto cooling racks.
“And suddenly the memory returns. The taste was that of the little crumb of madeleine which on Sunday mornings, when I went to say good day to her in her bedroom, my aunt Léonie used to give me, dipping it first in her own cup of real or of lime-flower tea…And as soon as I had recognized the taste of the piece of madeleine soaked in the decoction of lime-blossom which my aunt used to give me, immediately the old grey house upon the street, where her room was, rose up like a stage set…and with the house the town….the streets along which I used to run errands, the country roads we took when it was fine…the whole of Combray and its surroundings, taking shape and solidity, sprang into being, town and gardens alike, from my cup of tea.”
(Adapted from Swann’s Way, In Search of Lost Time, by Marcel Proust)