one sweet treat: cinnamon doughnut madeleines
I know, I know.
Way to bastardise a classic, Amber.
But these delicate little French cakes (biscuits?), fresh from the oven, doused in cinnamon and sugar, taste exactly like a just-fried doughnut — piping hot in the bag, already marking the pink paper with its spots of grease that you kind of just ignore through those first divine mouthfuls of sweet, tender crumb.
If the grease is on the paper, it’s not in my stomach. That makes this doughnut at least three times healthier than it could have been! I am winning at life!
The batter mixture comes via Martha Stewart: a thick, vanillery almost-dough, for which I translated the ingredients into Australian measurements, halved them, then ignored most of the inconvenient baking instructions. (Seriously, Martha? People have lives.)
Brushing the cakelets, flipped hot from the madeleine pan, with a little extra melted butter, then sprinkling them with a light snowfall of cinnamon sugar was my own idea. Hardly original. Because cinnamon and vanilla (cannelle et vanille) are supposed to go together in a Frenchy — but, more importantly, delicious — way.
These madeleines are best eaten straight away with sticky fingers over a kitchen bench cluttered with measuring cups and mixing spoons and globs of batter. Even in the middle of summer.
But they’re also OK a few hours later, nibbled with friends around a table in the air-conditioning, while you discuss which of the more obscure male celebrities you’d like to stalk and whether antidepressants really work.
There’s something especially wonderful about the authentic shell-shaped madeleine cakes (biscuits?). They’re just plain cute. But if you don’t have a madeleine pan, a shallow patty-cake pan or one of those novelty muffin top pans would function just as well, I bet.
To make a perfectly shaped madeleine, it’s important to grease the pan holes very well and not to overfill them — three-quarters full is plenty, because they puff while they bake, and too much oozing out the sides makes them misshapen and unwieldy.
We wouldn’t want an unwieldy cake (biscuit?) now, would we?
Cinnamon Doughnut Madeleines
1 cup plain flour (I used spelt flour)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
a pinch of coarse sea salt
3 eggs, at room temperature
1/3 cup raw sugar
1 tablespoon firmly packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
115 grams (1 stick) butter, melted and cooled slightly
60 grams extra butter, melted
2 tablespoons cinnamon sugar
In a small bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder.
Then, in a larger bowl, use electric beaters to beat the eggs, sugars, and salt on high speed for at least five minutes or until the mixture has tripled in volume.
Gently sift over half the flour and fold it in with a metal spoon. Add the vanilla extract and the butter and stir to combine. Fold in the last half of flour, then place the batter in the fridge while you prepare the pans and heat the oven.
Thoroughly grease a 12-hole madeleine pan and set it aside. Set your oven to 170° Celsius (about 340°F) and wait 15 minutes for it to heat.
Once the oven is hot hot hot and ready to go, take the vanilla batter out of the fridge and spoon it with a teaspoon into the pans. Yes, a teaspoon. My pan only took approximately two heaped teaspoons per hole/mould.
Place the pan in the oven for eight minutes or until the cakes (biscuits?) have risen and are firm to the touch in the centres (this is how I tend to check most cakes for done-ness — with a brave, enquiring fingertip).
Tip the cakes out onto a wire rack immediately. Using a pastry brush, apply a thin veil of melted butter to the fluted side of the cakes (biscuits?), then sprinkle generously with cinnamon sugar.
Rinse the pan and repeat the process with the remaining batter.
Eat the madeleines with tea. That’s an order. That’s also an anagram!
Makes 24 madeleines.
Categorised as: eat+drink+be merry