Friday, May 16, 2014

Recipe: Vanilla Browned Butter Raspberry Jam Madeleines

I have a new discovery, Natalie Eng's gorgeous food blog here. She is a Singapore who splits her time between Singapore and Paris and has apprenticed at some of the top Parisien restaurants. Her cookery is mostly baking, but she has also included some food recipes as well. Her blog is just gastronomy to the eyes, I couldn't believe that she was barely 19 years old and had such a beautiful eye for photography. What a gift.

I sent her blog to some of my friends who are themselves gifted bakers and we all ooh-ed and aah-ed over her talent and beautiful bakes. I've been inspired by several of the items that she has blogged about and when I looked at the recipes, I was even more in love. She weighs everything and has helpfully laid out all the ingredients by weight and all the notes you need to achieve a good result. I love that her batch size is small and well-controlled.

This was the first of her recipes that I undertook to try. I have never made Madeleines but her pictures were so beautiful and moorish that it spurred me to borrow some madeleine pans at once! Browned butter is clarified butter or ghee, basically you heat butter until it starts to show brown flecks, then you skim off those charred and bitter bits and what is left is a golden, hazlenut- smelling concoction that smells divine. It is a great way to spice up your baking.

I love that this recipe uses honey and indeed, her tips, which included wiping the pan after brushing with melted butter and baking at slightly higher heat, did result in great, risen madeleines, although I felt the texture was a bit dense. I wished I had mini Madeleine trays as I think the smaller size helps with both the rising and the bite-size portion control.

I sandwiched my madeleine batter with a little spoonful of raspberry jam, I felt it cut through the butteriness of the batter and gave it a bit of a surprise. These were just delightful to eat warm, with a crisp skin and a soft interior, straight out of the oven. I baked these with K (this recipe is very simple and suitable for kids, especially if you have already made and refrigerated the batter) and the two girls chowed their way through the madeleines and the crumbs.

Since then, I have had a piping bag of madelaine batter in my fridge, as it is such a versatile thing to have lying around. I make the batter and then rest it in the piping bag, I think I could also freeze the batter for sudden desserts. I will definitely be returning to Natalie E's blog for more inspiration to bake and more deliciousness.

Vanilla Browned Butter Madeleines:
(adapted from the Le Meurice)

90 grams browned butter
15 grams honey, I used the best quality I had
70 grams eggs
25 grams milk
65 grams sugar
5 grams vanilla bean paste
100 grams T45 flour, I used regular all-purpose flour
4 grams baking powder


1. Make a browned butter and strain out the burnt fats using a muslin cloth. Add in the honey and stir to melt it. Set aside to cool slightly.
2. Whisk the eggs, milk, vanilla paste and sugar together.
3. Sift the flour and baking powder together.
4. Add the dry ingredients into your egg mixture and mix gently till well combined and then add in your browned butter. Mix till just homogenous. Cling wrap upon contact and leave in the fridge to chill for about 1 1/2 - 2 hours.
5. Preheat your oven to 230C without ventilation. Grease your madeleine molds lightly and wipe down with a kitchen paper to remove any excess oil. Fill each mold with 6g of batter and bake for 2 minutes or till the humps have appeared. Open the door, rotate the tray and let some steam out, and finish the baking in the last minute.
6. Unmold immediately and serve warm with a cup of tea and an assortment of jams.
7. Note: if you're using normal madeleine sized molds, fill them with 25g of batter and bake at 210C.

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