OOh madeleines! I have been obsessing about these scalloped shaped cookies since I noticed the photos in Baking from My Home To Yours. It started innocently enough... some calls around town to locate an actual living madeleine. Nothing. Next I decided " What the hell, I'll just bake them myself." Which brought me to the next obstacle in my pursuit of madeleines, the pan. Another couple of weeks, Christmas list hints, internet browsing, and calling stores and I finally found and purchased a madeleine pan. Now nothing could stop me! Hah! As I was strolling around the mall where I purchased my pan, with pan in hand, a sales girl at another shop said, "Are you going to make madeleines? Cool!" With that kind of encouragement, from a total stranger, I was sure madeleins must be my new calling in life. Maybe a madeleine only bake shop!Yes, madeleine mania was setting in.
I still needed a real life cookie for comparison. I found some packaged cookies by blah blah blah and bought them.
The next morning I woke up and got out my cookbooks, reviewed my bookmarked madeleine websites, and studied the store bought samples. I had to try a few just to get the idea! Eventually I made the choice of earl gray madeleines by Dorie Greenspan.
Everything seemed to be going well. I put on some old episodes of art bell coast to coast and got ready to make the madeleines. I infused the butter with the earl gray tea, prepped the madeleine pan, put the completed batter in the prepped pan, and put it into the refrigerator for 3 or 4 hours. I forced myself out of the house so as not to tempt earlier baking. I preheated the oven to 400 which seemed kind of high... I held my breath and shut the oven door. Gosh I wish I had a little window in my oven!
Still a little suspicious of the 400 degree oven setting I checked after 9 minutes. The madeleines were very dark around the edges and there were no humps. boo. They released from the pan, no problem. But, the little cakes looked horrible! Nothing like my sample madeleine, all golden and shapley, mocking me with it's little hump! The signature shell shape... the whole reason I had to buy a new pan.. was lost in the bubbly, crusty, brown texture. And even worse than how they looked was how they tasted. These were not even close.
So what did I do wrong?
I have since located several madeleine 911 websites where you can get tips, recipes, and lots of sympathy. Well Im not giving up. Heck I now own a madeleine pan. So I gotta try again. This time I WILL go the purist route, no baking powder! One day I hope to create the perfect madeleine with a beautiful little hump. Then I will open the Madeleine only bake shop!
Till next week!!!