A few years back my sister, a few friends and I went on a croissant-athon. Basically we looked up all the places in Toronto for the best croissants and biked around the city trying one at each place (we did split them, or else we wouldn’t have been able to keep riding!) and my meticulous sister took notes.
My main criteria is what I call the crunch-to-gush factor.
This is not a technical term.
But it is important. It’s the contrast from perfect crisp exterior to meltingly tender interior. It’s something the french do very well. In creme caramel? Check. Parisian macarons? Check. Madeleines? Check Check.
Madeleines are my new obsession. I decided I wanted to make them for the baby shower I threw last week and so, because I was putting so much work in (aka was having so much fun planning it!) I decided to give myself a gift and buy a madeline pan. And then lie to my boyfriend about when I bought it because he’s threatening to leave because me if I fill our apartment with more kitchen gadgets.
Man madeleines are good! And their good because of the crunch-to-gush factor. The perfect browned edges that lead the way into the most moist vanilla scented cakey center. It’s danm near perfect. And very easy if you have a standing mixer, and of course a fancy madeline pan. I bet you could make these in a mini cupcake holder to, if your really jonesing for them, but there’s just something so wonderful about the little scalloped edges.
Adapted from 101cookbooks
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter (6 ounces)
2 tablespoons softened unsalted butter (for greasing pan)
3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
a pinch fine-grain sea salt
2/3 cups sugar
zest of one large lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
a bit of extra flour for dusting baking pan
Brown the butter: melt it on a low heat until it gets frothy on top, and the milk solids get beautifully brown and it smells like hazelnuts, be careful not to burn it!
In the bowl of your standing mixer beat the eggs on high speed until light and fluffy. Then slowly add in the sugar tablespoon by tablespoon while keeping mixer on high speed.
Now carefully fold in the flour, salt, and lemon zest, by hand.
Then fold in the vanilla and butter, being very careful not to over mix.
Then carefully pipe the prepared molds 3/4 full of batter.
Bake for about 8 minutes or until beautifully golden brown. Most recipes say to pop them out right away but I found waiting a few minutes made them come out easier!