Sunday, March 23, 2014

espresso madeleines

i've been nursing a cough-cold for a few days and being cooped up in my apartment made me a bit stir-crazy. i needed a little kitchen time to distract myself from the growing pile of tissues and ricola wrappers and fast-emptying purell bottle. since i've been keeping well-hydrated with lots of hot water and tea, i thought it'd be nice to bake something that would go well both: madeleines, the perfect shell-shaped tea cake-cookie.

now, what flavor should i make? of course i could go traditional with a classic honey madeleine, but i was in the mood for something more creative. i've made chocolate and lemon before, but i wanted to save my lemon for brewing. i considered earl grey but didn't have orange zest (i think i would have missed it if i omitted it). lavender? too floral. apple cinnamon? too autumn-y. i was starting to turn back to a basic honey until i landed on espresso! how did i not think of this sooner? espresso madeleienes were just the thing to quell my need to bake and my recent coffee obsession.

i used a recipe from pastry studio and made 15 madeleienes (5 less than the recipe says). the espresso flavor wasn't as strong as i would have liked, so next time i might up the espresso powder to a full teaspoon or more. other than that, the cake-cookies came out great--perfectly domed on the back and nicely defined shells on the front; just dense enough for a good bite and to pair with a hot drink.

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:: espresso madeleines ::
(recipe adapted from pastry studio)
makes about 20. (*i made 15)

6 tablespoons (3oz) butter
3/4 cup (3 3/4 oz) flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
2 eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup (3 1/2 oz) dark brown sugar (*i used light because it's what i have)
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 teaspoon instant espresso powder (*i would add more for a stronger flavor)

preheat oven to 375ºF. generously butter madeleine mold pan(s) and lightly dust with flour.

melt the butter, remove from 
the heat, and set aside to cool.

sift together flour, baking 
powder, salt, and cinnamon and set aside.

beat the eggs and sugar until the mixture has tripled in volume and forms
 a thick ribbon. slowly beat in the vanilla and espresso powder until blended.

using a large rubber spatula, fold the flour mixture into the beaten eggs 
in 3 equal additions.  then fold in the cooled melted butter in 3 equal additions until thoroughly blended.

fill the wells of the prepared madeleine pan(s). bake until the cakes spring back when touched, about 10 –12 minutes (*mine were done at 11 minutes). remove from the oven and let them cool for 1 minute, then tilt the pans to dislodge them. cool completely on a wire rack.

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