For the past couple of weeks, the pots and pans in my kitchen have been clinking away with their own 'chicken-dance', and the steam from the hob greets me in the mornings as I prepare food for The Baby, such ungodly hours at times, yet the harmony was inevitable. My kitchen has been busier than ever. It was pure bliss to be a housewife once again, albeit for a few days, a week at the most. The whole island is still celebrating the remnants of Chinese Lunar New Year, and although I happily did the on-calls, I also welcomed the 'post-call' breaks in between this holiday seasons. Time well shared with loved ones, cooking savoury dishes and baking sweet treats with a running toddler who keeps coming 'to help' in Mommy's forbidden kitchen.
I wanted to be adventurous. I wanted to go beyond the mundane weekly dishes that I seem to prepare nowadays, out of necessity, as we have to eat, right? I decided once and for all to inaugurate the shiny new Kenwood Chef that The Husband bought for me last year, but only arrived in the shipment couple of weeks ago. And for those of you KitchenAid lovers out there, take heart, my loyalty with The Chef knows no bound:-) Given that it was such an auspicious baking ritual, note to self, it has to be a recipe worthy of the event, and after some mind-boggling decision making (yes, I am so fickle!), I decided to try out a recipe that I have never baked before, yet is so dear to me.
The nibbles with strong coffee. A hurried snack from the corner shop in Madrid. A stashed away bagful of these scallop-shaped treats from the local Delifrance on my on-call days, and the nights. So I quavered. Would a homemade madeleine let me down, and together with the disappointment, also banish away all the romantic memories I associate with it?
This is when the cookbook collections come handy. (note to Husband: Please ignore all the cookbooks scattered everywhere, and please don't roll your eyes if I buy some more, as they are useful, dahling!). Hidden amongst all the baby books and toys are my Australian Women's weekly cookbooks, they are gem I tell you, don't snigger at their thin volumes as the recipes do produce wonders. Never let me down. So far.
Within minutes, some gorgeous madeleines were ready. Piping hot, soft and fluffy. The Husband was well impressed, and kept singing praises of The Chef (not me, but the Kenwood that he gifted!), and dare I say, they will give Delifrance a good run for their money, in my humble opinion:-). I sneaked a couple of pieces into The Baby's yogurt as a parfait snack, and she thoroughly enjoyed it like a true foodie.
I thought, it would be a crime if I don't share it with you, so voila, recipe and all for you to try. Like now. Quick. It will be the best 20 minutes well spent making them. And the best thing is, they look so gorgeously delicate, and just a bite would conjure up images of a walk down the cafes at Champs-Elysses on winter days. Now, that is irresistible.
recipe Australian's Women Weekly cookbook
makes standard 20 pieces
2 large eggs
2 tbsp icing sugar (powdered sugar)
2 tbsp castor sugar
1/4 cup plain flour
1/4 cup self raising flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1. Preheat oven at 180C.
2. Beat the eggs, castor and icing sugar on high speed until pale, fluffy and triple in volume. Add the vanilla extract.
3. Sift the flours and salt directly onto the egg batter. Beat until all the ingredients are incorporated.
4. Whilst the mixer is running, pour the melted butter gradually until it is well mixed into the batter.
5. Spoon the batter into the greased madeleine moulds.
6. Bake them for 10-12 minutes until the edges are golden hue.
Note: Although the traditional cast-iron madeleine mould is recommended for the authentic crisp at the edge look, do not shy away from using silicone madeleine moulds. I used silicone mould and have no complaint about it:-)