Sometimes I bake to relax, to stop my mind from spinning round full of thoughts. Flicking through some of my books I came across a recipe that truly got me curious: madeleines with rosewater. Madeleines are such lovely, gentle creations anyway. I like calling them sponge biscuits. The rosewater seemed such a wonderful touch. That made my mind for me. I tried to imagine how I would have felt if I had been served them with tea. And the thought filled me with warmth. There is something about rose water and what it invokes. The danger is that I can never stop eating madeleines when I make them. There is a lot of self-restrain that needs to be exercised.Oh well, life is tough sometimes.
With regards to the recipe, I followed it to the letter. I would like to say that the tablespoon of melted butter to grease the tin seemed a bit much. I had loads left out. I also recommend that you do not fill the tins to the top as the madeleines rise quite significantly.
If you want to recreate them here’s the recipe and steps to follow:
50g unsalted butter, plus 1 tablespoon for greasing
1 large egg
40g caster sugar
Pinch of salt
45g plain flour, preferably Italian 00
1 tablespoon rosewater
Icing sugar for dusting
24-bun mini-madeleine tin
Melt all the butter over a low heat, then leave to cool. Beat the eggs, caster sugar and salt in a bowl for about 5 minutes, preferably with an electric mixer of some sort, until it’s as thick as mayonnaise. Then sprinkle in the flour; you can use a sieve above the egg and sugar mixture, put the flour in and then shake it through. Fold in the flour with a wooden spoon and then set aside a scant tablespoon of the cold, melted butter for greasing the tins and fold in the rest along with the rosewater. Mix well, but not too vigorously. Leave to rest in the fridge for 1 hour, then take out and leave at room temperature for half an hour. Pre-heat the oven to 220oC/ gas mark 7.
Brush the insides of the madeleine tins with the butter set aside before filling them with the mixture. It should be about 1 teaspoon for each mould – not full by any means. Bake for 5 minutes, though check after 3. When ready turn out and let cool on a rack, then arrange on a plate and dust with icing sugar.
Makes about 48.