"In an old house in Paris that was covered in vines,
lived twelve little girls in two straight lines
They left the house, at half past nine...
The smallest one Madeline."
If you are familiar with this verse, then you will probably also be familiar with this one:
"We love our bread, we love our butter, but most of all we love each other."
Then if you are not, these lines are from the children’s book and cartoon Madeline, created by Ludwig Bemelmans. She was the spirited and feisty Parisian schoolgirl that never played by the rules. And although Madeline the girl has nothing to do with these Orange Madeleines, eating them somehow always reminds me of waking up during the school holidays and watching episode upon episode of Madeline. For some people, memories of madeleines may come from Proust’s evocative recollection of his experience with the little tea cakes in his novel, however for me, it is the cartoon.
Perhaps not quite as profound as Proust, but my memories of watching Madeline evokes just as fond a memory. Many school holiday mornings were spent propped up on our couch, feet just barely hanging over the edge, singing along to the song “I’m Madeline, I’m Madeline…” So every time I take a bite into a Madeleine, I am taken back to those days.
So here is the recipe for Orange Madeleines I adapted from Shannon Bennett's book My Vue. The recipe called for lemon zest and juice, although all I had in my fruit bowl were some oranges, so that is where the adaptation takes place. Other than that, the recipe is fairly true to Bennett's recipe.
(adapted from this book)
makes 30 small teacakes, 18 large
100g cultured butter
125g caster sugar
1 cup plain all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Zest and juice of a half an orange
1 vanilla bean split lengthwise, seeds scraped
pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Brush Madeleine moulds with butter and lightly dust with flour.
Cream the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl until pale.
Add the eggs and beat until combined. If mixture curdles, don’t worry.
Sift in flour and baking powder and mix until the flour is incorporated.
Mix in the orange zest and juice, vanilla seeds and salt.
Place a teaspoonful of mixture in each mould for small cakes, and a tablespoon for large.
Place in the oven and bake for 5-6 minutes (for small) and 10-12 (for large).
Remove from moulds by carefully tapping the underside.
Cool to room temperature on a wire rack and serve immediately, with tea or coffee.