Thursday, June 30, 2011

Chocolate Marble Madeleines

Have you had a good madeleine lately?  I have.  These little cake-like cookies seem to be invading grocery stores all over the place nowadays and although I don't eat store-bought cookies, they actually look pretty decent.  When I was thinking of the different types of madeleines I've had--vanilla, lemon, chocolate, orange, spice & even honey--I realized that I had never seen or tasted a chocolate marble one.  In this country we seem to like marbleizing all sorts of baked goods and since I like "playing" around with cake batters, this became my goal.  I turned to the dozens of cookbooks in my possession for inspiration, because some of my favorite authors also happen to have some of my favorite recipes for these spongy cookies.  After trying a few methods, I decided on the tried-and-true creaming method to produce a light, cakey, fragrant and lovely madeleine.  This is my second recipe for The Monthly Cookie and I'm very happy to share these with you.



The Chocolate Marble Madeleines.





The Ingredients
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 tablespoon milk, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 2 madeleine pans with 3" wells (12 shells per pan/plaque)


Note: Madeleine pans come in several sizes & shell shapes, so pay special attention to use the ones stated above.



This is room temperature butter.  It should still be cool, NOT warm.  If you press your finger into it, it should leave an indentation.  You shouldn't be able to push your finger through the entire stick without some effort.  Most people make the mistake of thinking that "room temperature" butter means, oily or mayonnaise-like butter.  It is not!






Cream the butter in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium speed.  Slowly add your granulated sugar down the side of the bowl.  You want to beat this for a good 3 minutes, scraping down at least once or twice, until your mixture is light & smooth.




This is what your butter & sugar should look like when it's well creamed.




Add your eggs one at a time, making sure there are no bits of shell (this is best accomplished by cracking one into a bowl & then proceeding).  Let each egg beat well into your mixture before adding the next one.  Make sure you scrape your bowl at least twice during this process.




Sift your flour, baking powder & salt into a bowl.  Reduce your speed to low and add these dry ingredients carefully.



Combine your milk and extracts, then add these to your batter.  Mix well.



The finished batter!  Make sure it is evenly mixed.



Divide your batter in half between two bowls.  Sift your cocoa powder (this is Valrhona) into one of the bowls.





Cocoa powder always clumps, which is why it's imperative to sift.  Push these lumps through the sieve.  Blend the cocoa into the batter carefully.  You want it to be fully absorbed & mixed



One side is plain, the other is dark & chocolatey.  Let the batters rest for 30 minutes.




❧❧❧❧❧
Preheat your oven to 375°F  
❧❧❧❧❧





This may cause controversy amongst you purists.  Many master bakers will butter & flour their madeleine pans, some with clarified butter & others with room temp butter; some may even chill the pans beforehand.  I simply spray the pans with baking spray (the type with flour) and proceed.





Place half of the plain batter into one pan and half the chocolate batter into the other pan.





Divide the remaining batter over the pans, alternating flavors.



Take 2 toothpicks & begin to swirl the batter in each well, so that you get nice marbling.  Try to leave it mounded in the center.




Place these into your heated oven & bake for 10-12 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking.  The edges will begin to get golden and the middles will form a nice dome. 



Piping hot right out of the oven.






When they come out of the oven, immediately flip the pans over a cooling rack & tap out the little madeleines.  They should come out quite easily if you used the baking spray with flour, but if you're having trouble, pry them out with a toothpick.




I don't need to tell you that these pair well with tea.  This is my idea of a little luxury. Simple & delicious.




Madeleines are best served the same day they are baked and some will insist that you serve them within hours, but they're still good the following day.  Although sifting confectioner's sugar over them is very traditional, I much prefer them plain.  Here I've stacked them on a vintage cake stand.



Even though these madeleines are a bit unconventional, they really are delicious.  I'm not sure what it is about the combination of chocolate with just a hint of almond, but rest assured, it's a good one.  If you want to make more that the 2 dozen, simply repeat the recipe instead of doubling it.  We all know that Marcel Proust wrote about madeleines in  À la recherche du temps perdu (In Search of Lost Time), but something tells me that he never had the pleasure of eating a chocolate marble one.  Tender, spongy, cakey & delicious.  My very own, Chocolate Marble Madeleine.  Cheers!


8 comments:

  1. I know a lot of folks who don’t eat eggs (they’re allergic, for health reasons, or concerns about animal cruelty). Here’s an awesome site that gives tips on cooking and baking without eggs: http://EggFreeLiving.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you John! I'm going to look at it. Yes, I know plenty of people with allergies, friends who are vegan & I personally only buy cage-free, organic eggs from my local farmer's market--I know my farmers & their practices!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wow this is awesome! We love food blogs. Wish you lived out in L.A...you would be a total asset to our team!

    Mmm...Madeleines...
    -Brioche

    ReplyDelete
  4. Merci beaucoup Brioche Pastries! I'm going to have to stop by again, the next time I'm in Los Angeles and buy some of your delicious brioches!

    -David

    ReplyDelete
  5. David, I just have to say that these look SO good!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Evan,

    Your comment reminded me to make some soon. It's been awhile since I had a batch warm from the oven.

    It's on my to-do list now.

    ReplyDelete

Thank You for Posting!