Sunday, July 21, 2013

Mini matcha and earl grey madeleines

Madeleines have been on my list of things to bake for quite some time now. For some strange and incomprehensible reason, these dainty little treats have intimidated me. In my mind, the simpler the recipe is, the more difficult it is to make the treat. I guess because it is so simple to make, people become overconfident and can easily mess up. However, madeleines require such few ingredients and really are so simple to make. I don't know why I was so scared.

My brother was coming home for a day after traveling for six months, so I decided it would be nice to treat him to an afternoon tea. This was the perfect excuse for me to finally make madeleines. I also have to admit that I have been sucked into the vortex that is…matcha. Matcha is simply a green tea powder and it adds a wonderful earthy depth to anything you put it in. So for this afternoon tea, I made matcha madeleines [and also earl grey madeleines]. 

Seeing as I only have a mini madeleine pan on hand, I was forced to make mini madeleines. At first I was a bit frustrated with this, but when the madeleines came out of the oven, they were just the cutest little cakes ever. They don't have the brightest green color. In fact, I like the earthy, slightly pale green color they have. If you wanted to make them more vibrant, I suppose you could add some green food coloring. 

One more thing that I didn't do and what I would recommend for you to do is to add some milk or lemon juice to the batter; maybe about 1 tablespoon because the cakes were just a tad on the dry side. Other than that, they were delicious. The matcha flavor came through just enough to not be overpowering. The earl grey was also so floral. I think I prefer the earl grey to the matcha, but they were both delicious. If you are ever in the mood for afternoon tea or want to make use of your matcha, I highly recommend making these madeleienes. 

Matcha [and Earl Grey] Madeleines
makes approx 50 mini madeleines

Base batter
2/3 cup all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir to combine.

On a stand mixer, or with a hand mixer, combine the sugar and eggs. Beat the mixture for 5-6 minutes, or until thick and pale. Once pale, add the vanilla. (At this point you would want to add about 1 tablespoon of milk or lemon juice.

Gently fold in the flour mixture into the egg mixture. Then add the melted and cooled butter. Mix until all the ingredients are incorporated thoroughly. 

Now, divide the batter in half into two medium bowls. In one bowl, add 1 1/2 teaspoons of matcha. In the other, add 2 teaspoons of finely ground earl grey tea leaves. Cover the bowls with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 hours. This step allows the madeleines the form their signature humps. 

After the batter has been refrigerated for long enough, preheat the oven to 400°F. Spoon the mixture into greased pans. Fill them about 3/4 of the way up, approximately 1- 1 1/2 teaspoons. Flatten the tops just slightly. If you overfill the pans, the batter will spill over and the madeleines will bake into each other. Bake the cakes for 8-10 minutes, or until the edges are just golden brown. Cool completely. Once they are completely cooled, just tap the pans onto a sheet tray and the madeleines should pop out easily. 

These little cakes are so delicious when dipped into a nice cup of hot tea. Any tea is fine. Choose your favorite. The earl grey madeleines are so wonderfully floral and the matcha madeleines are extremely rich and earthy. I really do hope you enjoy them!

As always, Happy baking!!  


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