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Monday, May 17, 2010

Madeleine Medley Episode 2 - Kumquat Madeleine

Kumquat 6

Kumquat 10

Kumquat 8

Kumquat 11

Kumqat Collage 1

Continuing from Madeleine Medley Episode 1...

" And suddenly the memory appeared. That taste was the taste of the little piece of madeleine which on Sunday mornings at Combray (because that day I did not go out before it was time for Mass), when I went to say good morning to her in her bedroom, my aunt Leonie would give me after dipping it in her infusion of tea or lime blossom. The sight of the little madeleine had not reminded me of anything before I tasted it; perhaps because I had often seen them since, without eating them, on the shelves of the pastry shops, and their image had therefore left  those days of Combray and attached itself to others more recent; perhaps because of these recollections abandoned so long outside my memory, nothing survived, everything had come apart; the forms and the form, too, of the little shell made of cake, so fatly sensual within its severe and pious pleating- had been destroyed, or still half asleep, had lost the force of expansion that would have allowed them to rejoin my consciousness. But, when nothing subsists of an old past, after the death of people, after the destruction of things, alone, frailer but more enduring, more immaterial, more persistent, ,more faithful, smell and taste still remain for a long time, like souls, remembering, waiting, hoping, upon the ruins of all the rest, bearing without giving way, on their almost impalpable droplet, the immense edifice of memory." - Swann's Way, In Search Of Lost Time, Translated by Lydia Davis.

Indeed, how often have I argued with L when he would adamantly proclaim that KL food can beat Singaporean food - hands down - anytime. I used to protest to no avail. Finally one day, I stopped protesting and tried,in my most objective disposition, to explain to him how taste often transcends beyond the tastebuds- for very often our taste preference is already molded by childhood habits, lineage and most potent of all, memories. I remember him relenting a little and got a little pensive. He still likes to take a jibe at Singapore food from time to time but I think he is less vehement nowadays (or so I feel).

Indeed, as confirmed by the above passage, Proust's earlier Madeleine epiphany was really a lineage to his forgotten childhood memories. I do really enjoy reading Swann's Way.The book is so fine, so sensitive, so detailed, it is best read on a lazy Sunday afternoon, when you are not in a hurry to get to anywhere, when you have the time to leisurely peruse and re-visit the sentences to savour the nuances in the convoluted prose. He is especially good at nuancing the seemingly insignificant e.g. he spent literally pages describing about the sensation and the awareness of the drifting state of slumber between dream, sleep and wakefulness. He also struggled over a few pages to rationalise, to understand the sensation he felt when he partake of that spoonful of Madeleine with tea... before eventually confronting his childhood memories...he is one fiercely introspective man!


Coming to the second episode of my Madeleine Medley - I choose to work with the punnet of Kumquats which I had bought from Japan almost a month ago. Suprisingly they kept quite well in the fridge, though I am sure they would have tasted better if I had chosen to eat them earlier. Nevertheless, these Kumquats (the Japanese call the Kin Kan 金柑) are deliciously sweet. I eat them whole with the thin skin. The citrusy flavour is exceptionally refreshing.  The typical Mandeleine uses Lemon zest. I went a little further by pulping the Kumquats and added copious amount of puree into the recipe. This render the Mandeleine moist and tender - and I am sure it is 10X better than Proust's dry, crumbly cookie! hahaha.....and I do prefer this to the Sesame version!


100g                     Unsalted butter
2 large                  Eggs
75g                      Castor sugar
78g                      All purpose flour
37g                      Ground almond
3g                        Baking powder
40g                      Kumquat Puree ( pulped with skin using a blender)


1. Sift flour, ground almond and baking powder together. Add sugar to the sifted powder and mix well.
2. In a mixing bowl, whisk eggs till foamy, add (1) to eggs to blend well. Add Kumquat Puree.
3. In the mean time, heat butter until butter boils and brown.
4. Add hot butter slowly into (2) and mix well until mixture is homogenous.
5. Spoon batter in a greased and floured madeleine mold. Bake for 7mins at 220C.


Quinn said...

I bet you are a Singaporean and your husband is from KL! Although Aaron and I both are from Malaysia, but he comes from a small place, not KL. He always tease me too about the traffic jams and the tolls and this and that and I pick on him having no life because from where he came from, they don't even have Bak Kut Teh! Another question, is madelaine batter supposed to be filled right up to the brim? It's not supposed to have that little hump showing up is it? Or that's the right amount of batter in a madelaine pan? Thanks!

Zurin said...

Ahh I enjoyed this pondering does indeed jolt memories long forgotten n buried in one's childhood......I forgive him (proust) his exaggerated response to the madeleine earlier...LOOOL

the kumquats must have added such a zing and moistness to those lovely madeleines...what a god job u did! :)Nice photoshop in the first pic too! madelines are so pretty and dainty aren;t they? I m tempted to make some if just to enjoy their prettiness. I saw some madeleine moulds at Daiso yesterday n I almost bought it when I remembered how pretty ur madeleines were. :) maybe next time.

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

:), Quinn,yes,L, my BF is from KL and I am obviously from Singapore and am fiercely proud of that as well. The madeleine should not be filled to the brim otherwise, it will spill out to form a rim around the cookie. The BUMP has to be there!!! A madeleine without a bump is not a madeleine. The first time I made it, I didn't get the bump and was so depressed... LOL (don't ask me who has set the standard that there should be a bump)

Zurin, I knew you would like the passage!I am contemplating to buy the book because there are so many phrases that I want so badly to highlight... I am a sucker for words....

Kitchen Corner said...

I've not get this Madeleine mold, really wish to bake it :)

Angie's Recipes said...

Kumquat! It doesn't matter to me the madeleine spilled out or not...they look so good with kumquat!

petite nyonya said...

these are wonderful madeleines. they must be bursting with citrus flavor that will be ever so perfect with tea or coffee. hailing from malacca, having lived for 10 yrs in spore and now back to kl, i have learned to appreciate the uniqueness of each place's food - variety and taste! singapore food does take a while (few yrs) to grow on me. suffice to say that i never wanna eat the factory produced chee cheong fun and yong tau foo there but i am terribly missing the delicious katong laksa, chicken rice and bak chor mee (my fav!)!!

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

Petite Nyonya,if only incorrigible L is as mature as you are!

Edith said...

When comes to food, both my hubby and I adore food from Malaysia. Was able to sample them very often in our carefree diving trips. Now that we have got kids, it is only restricted to school hols and sometime don't even have.

Your recipe looks good. Let's hope my mom still have some on her plants for me to steal some for this recipe. hahhaa

Jo said...

Both my hubby and I are from KL. And after being in Spore for more than 15 years, we still stay Malaysia food is still better. But I guess each has it's speciality to be fair. Anyway your madelines look fantastic and I love the kumquat flavour.

WendyinKK said...

Malaysian food is not as sweet as Singaporean food.
It's a matter of taste.

I've got some friends who are all praise about their mom's cooking, but us guests will just stare and find it hard to ingest.

Pease porridge hot
Pease porridge cold
Pease porridge in the pot 9 days old

Some like it hot
Some like it cold
Some like it in the pot 9 days old.

BTW, I really loves that hump!!!
What else are you coming up with?
I'm experimenting with PakThongKoh and you are doing this with madeleines. It's fun right???

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

:)... Yes,it is fun experimenting in the kitchen. I have one more variation that I want to try. I suddenly realise that I have many Malaysian friends in the blogosphere... almost all who commented are Malaysians - showing preference for Malaysian food. Incorrigible L will be feeling really gleeful when he sees these...

Swee San said...

wow they looked really pretty, nice golden colour..

mr. pineapple man said...

hahaha i love the bump!

Anonymous said...

you've got me wanting a Madeleine pan! great lookin cookies and i absolutely love your gray plate. haha

Anonymous said...

Your pictures are beautiful! Love the big hump you get from your madeleines! Well done!

Trissa said...

Ahh the timeless argument - where the best food comes from - I am sure L will agree - it's from your kitchen!

pigpigscorner said...

haha we always have this food argument with this Singaporean friend of ours, but he changed his mind after a weekend in Penang and also a food tour in KL =P Your madeleines are beautiful! I love seeing those little bumps!

M. said...

both recipes sound fantastic....but I think I will start with this one...I just bought some kumquats at the farmers market...I let you know how they turned out :)

Carolyn Jung said...

I bet these just burst with sunny citrus flavor. I made a cake once that called for pulverizing an entire orange into the batter. It was soooo orange-y tasting. Yum!

Beau Lotus 涟 said...

I was given a fabulous food tour in Penang last year - and can now say that I still prefer food in Singapore :-).

There was too much grease and volume in all the food I've tasted, it was too much after a while.

I prefer the subtler tastes and textures of Singapore hawker food. But that's just me.


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