I love madeleines. They are so much more than just tiny cakes. Baked in little metal moulds in the shape of sea shells, these petite cakes are transformed into the most precious bite-size dessert that would find their place at even the most elegant of tea parties.
These chocolate madeleines were everything chocolate madeleines are supposed to be; light, moist, intensely dark and chocolatey with just a hint of sweetness. With an extra layer of decadence in the form of shaved dark Valrhona chocolate, they were even more perfect if improving upon perfection’s even possible with these babies.
Just a little note about prepping the madeleine moulds; i greased and dusted them with cocoa as per the recipe for the first batch and found that while the madeleines did pop right out of the moulds, the little groves weren’t that noticeable and dusting the moulds with cocoa were just a lot of unnecessary work. Just greasing them works just as well. Oh also, take it from me- use a piping bag to pipe the batter into the moulds. It’s hell of a lot easier to gauge how full they are, rather than spooning them in by the teaspoonfuls. Trust me, i had one too many overflowing madeleine moulds.
In other news, Jane of Passionate About Baking who bakes such incredible stuff has tagged me to spill 7 random facts about myself so here it goes..
- I’m Roman Catholic and while it’s common practice for infants to be baptized when they’re a few months old in church, i was baptized ten days after my birth in the hospital. I was born three months premature (yeah i just couldn’t wait to see the world) and my parents and doctors weren’t sure if i would make it.
- I started writing with my left hand as a kid. Although i’ve since switched to my right hand, i’m more comfortable doing some things like eating with my left.
- I was once asked by a doctor if i was being abused because my knees and shins had such horrible bruises. I wasn’t- i’m just quite the klutz and bruise very easily. I suppose it doesn’t help that i have tons of scars on my legs and feet- the most recent one when a knife fell off the counter top (yeah i’ve had better days in the kitchen).
- The worst thing i’ve eaten is Bertie Bott’s Vomit jellybean. Most horrid thing ever, way worse than the fried crickets and worms i had in China and anything ginseng combined. Just thinking about it makes me feel a little sick.
- Grease is my favourite movie ever (i got to see it on Broadway!). Followed by Singing in the Rain (the dvd doesn’t compare to watching it on stage at all- the Australian cast was fantastic), the Hard Die series and Chocolat.
- Until i was nineteen, you couldn’t pay me enough to step into the kitchen to do anything- i loved food, just wanted nothing to do with how it got onto my plate. I hated Home Economics although i always thought my Home Ed teacher did a really good job of keeping a neutral expression every time she made her rounds to taste our dishes- mine especially.
- Best thing i’ve ever eaten? Ayam buah keluak (buah keluak, for the unintiated, is a black nut from Indonesia. It’s usually soaked overnight before the shells are partially cracked to remove the black paste. The paste is then mixed with minced shimp before being stuffed back into the shells and cooked with chicken curry). Just as a comparision, i’ve had some really good stuff like foie gras, sashimi that practically melts in your mouth and an incredible burger in New York that was totally worth the three trips we made but ayam buah keluak totally knocks their socks off. It’s so good i could eat it every damned day (Mum, are you reading this?).
So there you go. I’m not tagging anyone in particular but feel free to pick it up if you wish.
Black Chocolate Madeleines [From Carole Walter’s Great Coffee Cakes, Sticky Buns, Muffins & More]
160g unsalted butter
1/4 cup honey
3/4 cup plain flour, spooned in and levelled
2/3 sifted cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2/3 cup caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup shaved chocolate
- Preheat the oven at 175C. Grease a madeleine tray generously with melted butter and set aside.
- In a small saucepan, combine the butter and honey over low heat till the butter melts. Set aside till the mixture cools to room temperature. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cocoa and set aside.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs for 2 minutes on medium speed. Add the castor sugar gradually, beating until the mixture is pale and thickened, about 2 minutes, before adding the vanilla in.
- Decreasing the speed to low, alternate between adding the flour mixture and butter mixture, starting and ending with the flour mixture in three additions and beat till just combined. Increase the speed to medium and mix for another 10 seconds. Let the batter stand to thicken for about 10 minutes before folding the shaved chocolate in.
- Fill the madeleine moulds to about two-third full. Bake for about 12 minutes or till the madeleines are springy to the touch. Let the madeleines cool a little before tapping the moulds on the counter- they should pop right out. Makes 68 small madeleines