playing with flour

Month: November, 2012

Lemon and Mandarin Madeleines

So Malta is amazing, although I have to say I didn’t expect anything less. I’m loving being a tourist and exploring some fantastic places and getting to understand all the history here. Unfortunately I’m in my last couple of days before heading home but I am looking forward to being back with my family and friends and to getting back in the kitchen.

When I was at a market in Tasmania I found this awesome tin. I had a few ideas of what I could use it for and one of those things was madeleines. I’ve always wanted to make them but I’ve never had a madeleine tin. I do understand that this isn’t a traditional tin but it is a similar depth and was definitely worth a try. Being the first time I’ve made these I’m not entirely sure they’re accurate but they do taste pretty awesome.

This recipe makes soft buttery sponge cakes with a lemony scent and they’re perfect straight from the oven. I decided to dip the cakes in a mandarin flavoured glaze to give them some extra sweetness and a bit of texture. I did find that after a while they became a bit dense and weren’t as enjoyable but they were still delicious with a cup of tea or coffee.

Some tips I found out while researching how best to make madeleines: make sure you butter your tin well (I used a pastry brush dipped in soft butter) and don’t overfill them. The longer you let the batter rest before baking the better, at least four hours is good, overnight is even better. Once you have filled the tins tap them on bench to get out any air bubbles and preheat your oven properly before baking. If the madeleines don’t come out of the tin easily use a toothpick or a spoon to help them out.

Lemon and Mandarin Madeleines

120g salt reduced butter
Finely chopped/grated rind of 2 lemons
3 eggs
100g caster sugar
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp golden syrup
170g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder

In a small saucepan melt the butter and then add the lemon rind. Set aside until the butter cools but not long enough for it to set. In a large bowl mix together the eggs, sugars and golden syrup on high speed until pale and fluffy (about 5 minutes).

Sift the baking powder and flour into the mixture and fold through gently. Add the butter mix in small amounts, folding through after each addition. Cover the bowl with cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Preheat your oven to 180° and butter your tin well. Spoon the batter into the moulds until 2/3 full and tap the tin on the bench to get out the air bubbles. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden then allow to cool before dipping in the mandarin glaze.

Mandarin glaze

Finely chopped/grated rind of 3 mandarins
100g caster sugar
2 tbsp water

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and heat gently until the sugar has melted. Dip the madeleines into the glaze and allow to set on a wire rack.


Walnut Streusel Mini Cakes

So I owe you all an apology, I had not intended for there to be such a long break between posts. After travelling to Tasmania for my last university placement I had planned to come home and get back to life. Instead, I took a spur of the moment trip to Malta to experience the country my mother’s family is from. For the last week I have been off exploring ancient cities and ruins and meeting relatives I did not know I had. It has been absolutely fantastic and the best part is that I’m not even half way through.

Before I left, in the few days I had at home, I did spend some time in the kitchen and one of the things I made (to give as a thank you present to my wonderful neighbours who looked after my cat while I was away) were these walnut streusel mini cakes. A fragrant and moist coffee cake topped with sweet and crunchy walnut streusel and drizzled with an espresso glaze, these cakes are delicious. They smell fantastic while baking and are the perfect size for afternoon tea. You could make them in a larger loaf pan or even as cupcakes if you prefer, just adjust the cooking time accordingly.

I have a couple of other recipes up my sleeve to share with you while I am away and I promise not to wait as long before the next post! That is, unless I get caught up getting happily lost on this incredible island…

Walnut Streusel Mini Cakes

1 tbsp instant coffee
130g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
220g caster sugar
2 eggs
2/3 cup buttermilk
180g plain flour
40g self raising flour
¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda

Preheat your oven to 160° and prepare your mini loaf pans. Dissolve the instant coffee in ¼ boiling water and allow to cool. Sift flours and bicarbonate of soda into a small bowl.

Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl, add eggs one at a time until mixed. Stir in vanilla and buttermilk, alternating with flour mixture until combined, do not over mix. Fold in the coffee. Pour into prepared pans and top with streusel.

Walnut Streusel

60g raw sugar
60g brown sugar
130g unsalted butter, chopped
100g self raising flour
1 cup walnuts, chopped

Rub butter into flour with fingertips, then add sugars and walnuts. Stir to combine. Spread over mini cakes before baking. Bake for 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out cleanly.

Drizzle cooled cakes with espresso syrup. To make, combine 1 tsp instant espresso with 2 tbsp icing sugar and a few drops of water.

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