Elegant, sophisticated, yet so simple, Madeleines.
“If a little dreaming is dangerous, the cure for it is not to dream less, but to dream more, to dream all the time.”
― Marcel Proust, In Search of Lost Time (A’ la recherche du temps perdu)
We’re all in search of something. Whether it’s time, or a loved one, or a lost friend, or just the house keys when you’re rushing through the door and just can’t remember where you put them. In search of answers, of a fading memory, of a treasure, whatever it might be. We’re all searching, we’re all hunters, we’re all dreamers.
Daytime dreams are the most vivid, open eyed dreams that occur when something or someone triggers a memory, an image, a smell and by a process of association, you begin to think about all sorts of things. From there on you’re in dreamland, in a no time space, flying high over your body, lost in-between.
For Marcel Proust dipping a madeleine in a cup of tea fills him with instant joy that makes him indifferent to the vicissitudes of life, it acts as only love acts, “filling me with a precious essence–or rather, the essence was not put into me, it was me, I was it”.
Madeleines, what they can do…
They can help you find time, that time that always seems to slip between your hands. Time to be with yourself, time to be present, not rushing or thinking of what to do next. Time to savour, to smell, to appreciate. Time to go back in time, to a good place, to where you belong.
They have a secret, these mini cakes: the batter needs time to rest in the fridge, (it’s all about time) and you have to play with the oven temperature, very high for the first 4 minutes, then lower it for the next 5 minutes. It’s a thermal shock and it gives them that cute hump.
And I needed a looot of time, since I only have a 20 madeleines mold pan and with that batter I made 70 petites madeleines…do the math if you want 🙂 …
They’re pretty little cakes, the madeleines, almond shaped, with a soft light heart enveloped in a slightly crispy shell. There’s instant coffee in my batter, hence the darker color, which gives the madeleines a lovely fragrance.
They’re cute and fragile, not overly sweet or buttery. They’re perfect with tea, with coffee, by themselves.
I had four, just in between these shots. I stopped, put down the camera, and found my time to enjoy.
Hope you find your time, too.
Adapted from a recipe found on Buongiorno Corriere.Print
- 130 g butter, melted
- 150 g flour type 0 (or all purpose)
- 120 g brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 80 ml milk, lukewarm
- 1 tablespoon instant coffee
- a pinch of salt
- Melt the butter in the microwave or in a bain marie and set aside.
- Melt the instant coffee in the lukewrm milk.
- In an electric mixer beat the egg and the sugar until smooth and foamy.
- Add slowly and alternatevely the milk and the flour.
- Add the baking powder and salt.
- Incorporate the butter at the end.
- Put the batter in the fridge for a couple hours.
- After that time, preheat the oven to 250°C (485°F).
- Generously grease the molds and with the help of two teaspoons, pour the batter, paying attention not to fill the molds completely.
- Cook at high temperature for 4 minutes, then lower the temperature to 200°C (400°F) for 5 more minutes (or until a toothpick inserted will come out clean).
- Let cool and serve.
You can refrigerate the batter overnight and bake the madeleines in the morning.