“I raised to my lips a spoonful of the cake . . .
a shudder ran through my whole body and I stopped,
intent upon the extraordinary changes that were taking place.”
in “À la recherche du temps perdu“
In French writer Marcel Proust’s famous novel, À la recherche du temps perdu (translated to: Remembrance of Things Past), the simple taste of a madeleine cake dipped in tea inspires a flood of nostalgic memories of the narrator’s past. When I made these madeleines from a Bon Appétit recipe of the day, I was instantly transported to a happy place. These light and airy cakes will remind anyone of joyful times. The recipe is simple but the cakes are exquisite. You do not have to use orange blossom honey; any type will do. The batter must be refrigerated for at least 3 hours so it is important to keep that in mind when starting these. Also, you must have a madeleine pan. These madeleines are a perfect accompaniment to an afternoon cup of Kusmi tea from yesterday’s post!
- 3/4 Cup of all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon of kosher salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1/3 Cup of sugar
- 2 Tablespoons of orange blossom honey (you can use any honey)
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon of finely grated orange zest
- 5 Tablespoons of butter, melted
1. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl.
2. Using an electric mixer, beat eggs and sugar in a large bowl until pale yellow and thick, about 4 minutes. Beat in honey, vanilla, and orange zest.
3. Gently fold in dry ingredients. Add 5 Tablespoons melted butter; gently fold into batter.
4. Press plastic wrap directly onto surface of batter; chill for at least 3 hours.
5. Position a rack in center of oven; preheat to 400°. Lightly brush madeleine molds with butter. Place pan on a baking sheet. Drop 1 scant Tablespoon batter into each mold.
6. Bake until golden and a tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 10 minutes. Remove pan from oven, invert, and quickly knock madeleines out of pan. Enjoy!
Recipe from: Bon Appétit
For more information on Proust’s passage: http://www.haverford.edu/psych/ddavis/p109g/proust.html