Saturday, December 18, 2010

Recipe for Madeleines

I found my madeleine molds, so there is no longer an excuse not to make them.  The molds are so petite, and the cookies will be extremely delicate.  Hope my cooking skills are up to the task.  The spirit of Proust will guide me.  I think this is an old recipe from the Sunday New York Times, possibly under Craig Claiborne's reign.

4 eggs at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled

1.  Grease well and flour pans for for dozen madelines.  If only have as many pans are avilable, cut the recipe in half and make the second batch after the first is completed.  This is because the butter, on standing, settles and causes a heavy rough bottom layer.  Place racks near the bottom of the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. 

2.  Beat the eggs with the salt, adding sugar gradually until the mixture is pale and very thick.  The mixture drops from the beaters to form a rope that gradually disappears.  Add vanilla. 

3.  Sift about one-quarter of the flour at a time over egg mixture.  Fold it in until no more flour show. 

4.  Add the butter, about a tablespoon at a time and fold it in as quickly as possible.  Fill the prepared pans about three-quarters full, place in oven immediately and bake until brown, about 10 minutes.

Yield:  About four dozen. 

Somewhat intimidating, no?  We shall see what happens. 


zagorskij said...

then i hope you will write what world the madeleines will disclose to you. By the way you know that in the original manuscript there is a correction made by Proust himself, the word 'biscuit', so a generic word, was cancelled and substituted by the word madeleine. So the question is why did he decide to use exactly this particular biscuit? Well to understand it you can move just before the episode of the Madeleine. the mother of the narrator is reading by mouth a text. So she is eating a spiritual food we can say, and what is this text read by the mother's mouth? The text is a tale by George Sand, "Franηois le Champi". In this tale there is an incest story, between a small orphan and a woman who found him , a miller (so she mades flavour, the base of the madleine biscuit). This woman raised up the child as a mother, but she felt in love with him, who will marry her when he will be adult when her husband will die.. So the mother of the narrator is reading a novel about an incest between a mother and a son, so there is possible suggestion about the relation between the narrator and his mother, who reads texts to him. But there is more, try to guess what is the name of this miller.. well her name was certainly not 'Biscuit' but exactly Madeleine. happy reading.

Grapeshot/Odette said...

My goodness! You have gleaned so much from this passage that I am truly amazed. A biscuit is another word for cookie, or dough, so it is interesting that Proust became very specific, but that is like him, isn't it? I never knew the story of Francois Le Champi, but it is certainly intriguing about the mother and the story and how all that comes together and then Proust remembers everything.

I haven't made the madeleines yet, but today I made some
French chocolate "sables," as part of the Christmas baking. As for what the madeleine will disclose, I have few hopes because most of the flavors of childhood I associate with my grandparents and their chicken yard and their fabulous garden, and nothing tastes like those tomatoes or chickens or strawberries anymore, but if it did, it would be a wonderful experience.

Marie said...

it's so fun to make madeleines; i'm always intimidated by the recipes but they alwasy turn out well. the payard chocolate cookbook has a wonderful chocolate madeleine that i made for christmas a couple of years ago. i'm making another batch next week for the post holiday slouching i intend to do!