Tuesday, April 16, 2013

TWD -- Call me deviant

I confess. I deviated from the recipe for madeleines that was in Baking with Julia. When I saw that Baking with Julia was having us use the genoise recipe, I was suspicious. Although I would consider a madeleine a type of genoise, it is more than that. In my mind, a madeleine should have some baking powder (although I've read there is some disagreement about this), but should definitely have more butter. Three tablespoons of butter can nowhere be enough, when most recipes for 24 madeleines call for a stick and a half, or at the very least nine tablespoons. And, where was the flavor? I remember the genoise recipe as being bland, bland, bland. I wanted my madeleines to have a little kick to them.

So I began cross-referencing. I hauled down "Joy of Cooking" from the bookshelf. I consulted the book "Sweet Life in Paris." I looked at recipes on the internet, particularly Allrecipes.com, where I could look at user reviews.

Although the Baking with Julia recipe seemed to have odd proportions, it also had a major and unforgiveable error in my opinion. The recipe called for 1 cup of confectioner's sugar, yet nowhere did it say where or how the sugar was to be used. Where was the proofreader?! Where was the editor?! If the sugar was to be used as a dusting for the madeleines after they were baked, why one cup? It wouldn't take a cup of the stuff to dust 24 three-inch cookies. By this time I was quite distrustful of the printed recipe and decided to veer off in my own direction.

The madeleines before glazing
Thus, I combined the most popular recipe on Allrecipes.com (which incidentally used confectioner's sugar right in the mix) and the recipe from "The Sweet Life in Paris." The latter recipe called for the grated rind of a lemon, plus a lemon glaze. My combined recipes used a stick of butter for 19 cookies.

Ready to head out the door to the bakery
I was pleased with the results, and so were the volunteers at the bakery where I work who shared the end result. They loved the lemon flavor and thought the shape of the cookies were a joy. I then took a plate to two art teachers with whom I sew, and they liked them. And, one had a wonderful suggestion that I will use next time that I make these cookies. I will use a lavender glaze on them rather than a lemony one. Such a glaze can be made by steeping a little lavender in some hot water, then adding that to the confectioner's sugar. I use this glaze for a lavender pound cake that I make and it's nothing short of wonderful.


  1. Your decision to deviate was a good one. I think this batter is best left to making lady fingers - not genoise or Madeleines...

    Lavender-glazed Madeleines sound like a lovely idea.

  2. Deviation is sometimes good. I didn't use Julia's recipe at all and I am happy with my results too. So fun! Blessings, Catherine www.praycookblog.com

  3. Good idea to deviate! I did not care for the texture of these, though I did like the flavor of the citrus zest and juice that I added. Your tea cakes look beautiful!

  4. SUCH a rebel!! But with good results. Love the addition of citrus.