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Monday, January 24, 2011

brown butter cinnamon praline madeleines.

Doesn't the title make you drool already? I swear, it's a crime to even think of such a thing!

What are madeleines, exactly? Tea cakes? Cookies? Cakey cookies?

You know how people buy stuff because they need it to do something they already decided to do? I, very much the opposite, buy baking pans because I don't have that certain shape yet and then, think of what recipes to make. It doesn't help that Daiso happens to stock these madeleine pans at a cheap $2 each either. Of course, because it's not top quality, the grooves on the madeleines aren't very pronounced but the sky isn't going to fall anyway.

So I was blog surfing, as usual, and I came across this recipe for the madeleines. I mean, how could you not notice it! I bet Brown Butter Brown Sugar Cinnamon Praline Madeleines would be even better, if you could even say the entire phrase in one breath. Without the use of brown sugar, these little shells already have so much caramelized flavour, although the nuttiness of the brown butter didn't come through enough for me. Imagine if you substitute brown sugar for boring white sugar! The cinnamon was somewhat absent.

My first batch of madeleines had humps and the second didn't. I don't know what's the cause because there are too many variables. The batter for the second batch was not as cold, I baked it on the bottom rack for the first 4 minutes, the oven temperature dropped a little and I didn't fill them as much as I did for the first batch. But I think the temperature was the main factor.

Being basically a sponge cake in disguise, these are best eaten warm out of the oven, when they still have that light crust I so adore. I also especially love the edges- all brown, caramelized and crispy. After a few hours I bet they'll lose their moist spongy texture and become dry but I'm not letting them stick around to try one! If they do become dry though, they would probably be great dunked into your morning cuppa.

Your coffee would be honored.

Brown butter cinnamon praline madeleines 
recipe taken from vintagetrinkets, adapted from Patricia from Technicolour Kitchen
makes approximately 30 madeleines

105g unsalted butter, browned
157g all purpose flour
¾ tsp baking powder
½ tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
100g sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
3 tablespoons honey
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
140g crushed hazelnut praliné powder

Brown the butter and set aside to cool.
Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt into a small bowl and set aside.
Working with a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs and sugar until pale and thick, 2-3 minutes.
Add honey and vanilla and beat well. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the dry ingredients and the praliné powder. When they are incorporated, fold in the browned butter.
Press a piece of plastic against the surface of the batter and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or for up to 2 days.
Preheat the oven to 200ºC. Butter madeleines molds, dust the insides with flour and tap out the excess. Spoon the batter into the molds ¾ full – don’t worry about leavening the batter, the oven’s heat will take care of that.
Bake for 10-12 minutes or until madeleines are golden and the tops spring back when touched. Remove the pan form the oven and release the madeleines from the mold.
Transfer the cookies to a rack to cool to just warm or to room temperature.

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