Wednesday, June 06, 2007


I had no school today. Yeah for me! But it was kind of a crumby day none-the-less :( Why? You ask. Well, my sister is off on a school camping trip for the next 4 days... and my dad volunteered as a chaperone, so he's gone away too :`( *sniff*. Well, at least my mom and other sister are around so I won't be too lonely. But my sister was at school until 3pm and mom was working until 4pm... and to make the day even drearier (if that's possible) it rained constantly. After having a lovely week of sunny weather, I was not in the mood for a soppy Tuesday. The only solution to the rainy-day blues is baking!

I always like to have a warm cup of tea on damp days like this. With tea in hand, even looking out the window at the rain can be kind of soothing. But something was missing... hmmmm. What could it be? Why of course! I needed some warm goodies to go along with my delicious Orange Poeko. I was flipping through this new cookbook I bought at Chapters last week (Baking Williams-Sonoma: The Best of the Kitchen Library) and I stumbled upon a delightfully elegant recipe for this dreary Tuesday. Not only were they Madaleines... but with a citrus twist! (see I knew that madaleine pan I bought from Daiso would go to good use!)

Honey and Orange Madeleines (Yields 2 dozen)
Courtesy of Williams-Sonoma

- melted butter for brushing
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp grated orange zest
- 1/8 tsp ground allspice
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
- 3/4 cup butter, unsalted, melted but cooled to room temperature
- Vanilla sugar for sprinkling (optional... I didn't use any, I thought that it might detract from the madaleines already beautiful shell design)

1. Preheat oven to 400F (200C). Brush madeleine pan with melted butter; dust with flour.
2. In double broiler combine eggs, honey, sugar, orange zest and allspice. Set over simmering water and whisk until mixture is lukewarm.
3. Transfer to work surface and whip with electric mixer, on high speed. Mixture should look pale yellow, light, foamy and tripled in volume (10 mins). Beat in vanilla. Reduce speed to low and gradually add the flour.
4. Transfer 1/3rd of batter to another bowl and gradually fold in the melted butter. Gently fold this mixture into the remaining batter. Spoon into the madeleine molds, filling almost to the top (you will use up approximately 1/2 the batter for one 12-mold madeleine pan).
5. Bake until golden and springy, 12 mins, rotating the pan halfway through baking.
6. Once baked, immediately invert madeleines onto a wire rack.
7. Wipe the pan, brush it with butter and dust with flour for the next batch. Repeat process for remaining batter.
8. Let the cookies cool completely
Storage: store in airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

If you're looking for an easy recipe, this one's not for you. All that boiling, whipping, folding and seeing as how the pan only makes 12 madelienes at a time (my daiso one only makes 5 at a time!!) you could be in the kitchen for a while. But these madeleines are seriously the BEST COOKIE (or cake... not quite sure) I'VE EVER BAKED! The book suggests that you can store them for up to 3 days, but these treats disappeared in a flash. They were so moist, soft and tender with the most amazing orange taste.

I was delighted to have my orange poeko tea with my honey-orange madeleines. And the aroma that my sister and mother came home too was a pleasant surprise for them. I guess baking can make anyday less ho-hum... and if I can brighten the day of my family, what more could I ask for?

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