Monday, November 27, 2006

Madeleine Memories

a bite into an orange madeleine

"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.

Green Tea Orange Madeleines

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.

Orange Madeleines
(adapted from
this book)
makes 30 small teacakes, 18 large


100g cultured butter
125g caster sugar
3 eggs
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.

Orange Madeleines


Belinda said...

I loved reading Madeline! I really must get some Madeleine moulds...

Brilynn said...

I wasn't familiar with the verses, but I thoroughly enjoyed reading this post, I love how associations like that are formed.

Anonymous said...

Those are some gorgeous madelines! I use Shannon Bennett's recipe as well, but I find that the day after I've made them, the surface of the little cakes becomes sticky. Any advice?

Anonymous said...

I just love madeleines! They always seem like I'm getting two for one: cake and cookie.
"We love our bread, we love our butter, but most of all we love each other."

wheresmymind said...

I'm so jealous of the light you get for your pictures...always so bright and natural

Yvo Sin said...

Mm, I've never had madelines but I always see them... at Starbucks. Hehehe. Sounds delish.

jasmine said...

Hi JenJen

I remember the verses and I can still see the drawings. My very good friend's daughter loves Madeline and I used to buy her the videos.

I love madeleines, but they rarely turn out for me. I need more practice...


Scott at Real Epicurean said...

Delicious. The tea looks brewed to perfection (if that's what it is!)

Anonymous said...

They're so pretty! Almost too beautiful to eat.

I said almost.


Helene said...

You know how much I love madeleines... can I have your crumbs! These are beautiful, they would not last long in my house!

Anonymous said...

Your madeleines look lovely! I made a batch but they were quite pale and the little hump not as pronounced. Any tips? My madeleine pan is silicon...could that be it?

Love that cartoon! She and her little friends are adorable! :)

acaligurl said...

i love madeline!!!!! great post. i shall try your recipe!! ;)

Robyn said...

Your madelines look so nice! Love the photos :)

Ziz said...

beautiful! :)

Jen said...

Belinda- It's a great investment and really they are not very expensive... unless you get the silicone moulds, then that might set you back a small fortune. But if you're happy with the tin moulds then it's worth the effort of getting one.

Brilynn- Yes, I have found that I like certain foods because they remind me of something in my childhood. I think I'm just a nostalgic eater.

Ellie- I find that too, and I haven't found a way to counter the stickiness. But most times the madeleines do not last more than one day anyway : )

Tanna- I think that's the beauty of madeleines, they are both cookie and cake.

Wheresmymind- Thanks! It comes from a large sunlit window in my makeshift "studio" i.e. my bedroom. Not the best place to take food photographs, but hey, I do what I can.

Also, I really think Sydney has this particular "light" that is recognisable anywhere. Were just lucky I guess.

Yvo- You need to try them, i'm sure you will love it. I have never tried the ones from Starbucks, but really, making your own isn't too hard and really worthwhile!!

Jasmine- This recipe by Shannon Bannet is quite good and very hard to get wrong. I'm sure your "dud" madeleines are still tasty though.

Scott- Thanks, it's green tea. I wanted to use English Breakfast or Earl Gey, although green was all I had. It still tasted good with the madeleines though.

Ivonne- I know what you mean, I stared at them for a while not wanting to eat them but of course my apetite took over.

Helene- These did not last long at all. I don't think you will be needing my crumbs as you seem to make some wonderful madeleines yourself.

Joey- Perhaps you didn't get the hump as you didn't have enough rising agent like baking powder or soda in your recipe. Other than that I am not sure why. Silicone pans are meant to conduct heat just as well as metal moulds, but perhaps try it in metal ones and see what results you get. Hope that helps.

acaligurl- Thanks, its definitely worth a try!

Robyn- Thanks!!

Alicat- Thanks!!

ilingc said...

I never knew Madeleine :( didn't grow up in Aus.

I love madeleines (even though I've never had any!) They just look so light and fluffy that I can just gobble up 10 of them and not feel guilty about it.

Must stop dreaming about it and make some one of these days..

boo_licious said...

I always associate Madeline with those sweet little cakes too. She was a favourite of my niece who had a doll exactly like her down to her yellow uniform.

Anonymous said...

I love your Madeline Recipe!! I made them last night and they were all gone in a matter of minutes! They're delicious fresh and warm out of the oven!!

Thanks for sharing!! :)