You are going to need a Madeleine pan for this one. There’s no way around it. It’s kind of like a seashell-shaped muffin pan. I got mine at Cutler’s in Petoskey, which is a kitchen store and, for me, a little bit of Heaven on Earth. I pick out one (or three!) of my Christmas gifts there each year as it is tradition for the women in my family to troll the shops of Petoskey (rather than a mall merci à Dieu!) on Black Friday. I don’t always last the whole day, but I never miss Cutler’s. Two years ago I picked out a Madeleine pan and have been waiting for the just the right occasion to try them out. Fast forward a year and half and now we have Madelyn, my cousin Tracy’s adorable 14 month-old daughter. Besides smiles and an abundance of cuteness, Madelyn has provided the perfect excuse to make a batch or two of these sweet little French teacakes, made famous by Marcel Proust who waxed on (and on) nostalgically about them in Remembrance of Things Past (see http://www.fisheaters.com/proust.html). I don’t know what Proust’s recipe was or if he even had one, but I used the recipe that came with the pan. I ran out of white flour so I was obliged to use some whole wheat as well and they turned out beautifully-still very light and orange-y.
Makes 24 Madeleines
1/3 cup white flour
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/3 cup butter, melted then cooled
1/2 tsp. orange extract
1/2 tsp. orange zest
1 cup powdered sugar, plus more for dusting
Preheat oven to 350°. Spray pan with non-stick baking spray. Sift together flour and baking powder in a small bowl. Set aside and beat eggs, orange extract and zest on high for 5 minutes. Gradually beat in powdered sugar until thick (about another 5 minutes).
Gently fold in flour mixture and then the melted butter. Mix until smooth and spoon the mixture into the pan, filling about 3/4 full. Unless you have two pans (which I don’t), you’ll have to do this in two batches (which I do). Bake approximately 8 minutes or until they look like this (with slight browning at the edges):
Cool in pan about two minutes, then loosen with a knife and invert onto a cooling rack. Once cool, dust with powdered sugar et voilà!
Maybe next year Madelyn will actually be able to eat one. In the meantime, bon appétit for the rest of us!