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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Madeleine C'bon - Pierre Herme's Apricot Caramel Madeleine

Madeleine 3

Madeleine 1

Yes, I am forging ahead, yet again with Pierre Herme's recipes. I can't seem to get enough of it - not so much because he is THE pastry guru but because there are so much to discover in terms of technique and methods in the recipes documented in this particular book, Le Livre des fours sees et melleux de Pierre Herme . In my last post, I was exposed to the methology of using cooked egg yolks in a butter cookie recipe to achieve a crisp texture. Today, just as I thought I have understood enough about madeleines, the famous little French cakes that have come to be associated with Proust, I find interesting elements in Pierre Herme's recipes that started me wondering and thinking about these scallop shaped snacks again. After I had acquired my very expensive madeleine pan in Paris, I milked it as much as I could by making madeleines, here, here and here...

As pretty as they may look, they were, honestly beginning to bore me... the crumbly, not very moist texture did not exactly stimulate moreish inclination. The 2 elements in this recipe that made my eyes pop were : the incorporation of inverted sugar and caramel. Most of the other recipes I had worked with looked more like a straight forward sponge formulation.

Inverted sugar, for those who may not be familiar, is actually sucrose broken down by water to form Fructose and Glucose. These are smaller molecules and are known to be sweeter. The products made with inverted sugar tend to retain their moistness and softness better. Professional bakers normally reach for a product known as Trimoline when the recipe calls for inverted sugar. I, however, did not bother with that and just used Glucose to substitute the inverted sugar.

I will have to say that this is by far, the most tender and moist Madeleine I have made. I was at first concerend that the recipe, with so many sugar components, would be too sweet but suprisingly, it wasn't. Addition of the glucose does yield a more tender and moist crumb. The caramel (I cheated by using bottled Dulce de Leche), I thought ,gave more body and creaminess to the little cake. This was then balanced by the bits of fruity apricots.

Madeleine 2
One word of caution about baking a madeleine - make sure you work with the right baking temperature. When the temperature is too low, the batter will fail to 'swell' and you will not get the famous hump on the cake. Not only that but the crust will remain moist. When you have the right temperature, the levening agent will puff the cake correctly to yield the hump. In addition, the crust will be dried out a little to offer a nice textural contrast to the tender crumbs.

For me now, this is THE madeleine recipe for me.

Madeleine 3(250)

36g                            Castor Sugar
10g                            Invert Sugar (I use glucose)
1g                              Vanilla Essence
65g                            Egg
65g                            Plain Flour
2g                              Baking powder
65g                            Clarified butter/ melted butter
25g                            Dried Apricots

37g                           Caramel ( I used Dulce de Leche)

40g                          Castor sugar
40g                          Fresh cream

Method :
1. Preheat oven (fan assisted mode) to 200C.
2. Sift flour and baking powder together.
3. Dice apricots into small bits.
4. In a mixing bowl, mix eggs, sugar, inverted sugar using a hand whisk until well blended. (do not whisk)
5. Add in Caramel and mix well.
6. Add in sifted flour in 3 additions mixing well after each addition.
7. Add in melted butter in 3 additions, mixing well after each addition.
8. Add in apricots.
9. Leave to stand for 20mins.
10. Place batter into a piping bag and pipe into a buttered and floured mandeleine pan.
11. Bake at 200C for 7 mins.

Caramel :
1. Place sugar in a heavy saucepan. Wet the surface of the sugar with just enough water. Heat sugar until melted and turns brown (3-4 mins)
2. Remove from heat and carefully add in cream and stir until smooth. Leave to cool down.


Edith said...

I have been dreaming about Madelines for the last couple of weeks. Even checking out to get a silicone mould but some how, it got procrastinated. Now this post is definitely nudging me.

Anh said...

shirley you are on fire with these cookies! Can I come over? please?

Lisa said...

Those madeleines look so golden and fluffy. You really did a great job making them. I have a sweet treat linky party going on at my blog till Monday night and I'd love it if you'd come by and link your madeleines up.

Joyti said...

The way you described this madeleine has convinced me. It sounds incredible. And the moisture and flavor from the caramel - and the apricots - sound SO delicious!

Jo said...

Shirley, the madeleines look gorgeous and summery flavours too! Are you using a metal mold or silicon ones? Thought of buying some to try baking some of this. Hmm but that means having to find space in my limited storage for another baking pan. Sigh!

penny aka jeroxie said...

Super pretty. Can you bake me some when I fly back for a visit?

Trissa said...

You make madeleines even more beautiful than the Paris pastry shops Shirley! You are so lucky to have bought the Pierre Herme book - I wonder if they have one in English! I've got one in French but have been too lazy to try to translate - your posts are giving me inspiration.

Lee said...

Hi Shirley, sure looks good. Classy too.
I guess 5 pieces will do me fine, with iced coffee, ha ha.
You sure can bake them.....good for you!
Have fun and keep well.

Quay Po Cooks said...

Shirley, I am convinced! Gorgeous photos of your lip smacking madeleines. Got to ge hunt for the moulds now and try this out.

Anonymous said...

Ditto Edith's comments. What type of moulds did you use? Silicon or metal ones?

like you'd said, invert sugar is basically formed from the hydrolysis of sucrose, basically boiling sugar in water with some acid. a tinge of lemon juice added should do the trick! :)

Thanks for sharing the PH recipe. yours turned out so much prettier than those from "Le livre des four secs et moelleux de Pierre Herme". I really adore the pronounced line effects.

Honey Bee Sweets said...

I have been thinking about baking Madeline lately but just didn't want to go with the usual flavors. Your caramel and apricot flavor seems really inviting! Will try!

daphne said...

the caramel in this won be over. I'm often not sure about madeleines- because they can turned into sponge cakes if cooked wrongly! yours look perfect and one day..just one day... i will have the guts to attempt!

Sasha (Global Table Adventure) said...

You had me at madeleine. I wish I had a mold... and a bigger kitchen to store it in :)

tigerfish said...

That does sound technical. :O

I like the addition of apricots.

pickyin @ LifeIsGreat said...

1. The way you're baking through this book makes me wish I can read Chinese. :(
2. In my recent baking class in HK, the pastry chef said we can use corn syrup as inverted sugar and don't need to bother getting glucose. True ah?

Unknown said...

I adore fruits in my baked goodies, with caramel also nothing more i need! looks gorgeous!

Yummy Bakes said...

Shirley, these Madelines are very nice and yummy.

Noob Cook said...

they looked really pretty and elegant. perfect tea time snacks!

maameemoomoo said...

Sigh. Do u know i've not baked madeleine before? And here u are tempting me with the caramel version!


Cooking Gallery said...

Your madeleine looks so pretty! Just perfect!

Anonymous said...

Love madeleines. They're delicious. Lavender makes great ones. The bakery's in Mid Valley mall.

Alice said...

i have to try this! i have the mould but havent used til now :)
thks for sharing...

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Hankerie said...

Hi Kok Ken, I like your madeline. I also made some madeline past few months ago. :)


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