In The Paris Effect and Paris Ever After, Amy thinks about, talks about, freaks out about, and eats a lot of food. Baguettes, raspberry tarts, croissants – you get the idea. It’s a food-a-palooza.
Now most of these items are rather a challenge for the home cook. I wouldn’t even try them, quite frankly (though years ago I almost perfected a “rustic” baguette).
But that’s not the point of this page. The point of this page is a treat that we see a lot of in Paris Ever After: the extremely yummy madeleine. My lovely publishers had the idea of including a recipe at the end of the book and I’ve put it here too (see below). I often make madeleines myself, at home, so I can promise that they are well within the capabilities of an average cook.
I do have some tips though: It’s really important to allow the batter to rest in the refrigerator overnight (the cakes will rise higher), so don’t skip this step. Also, I recommend the metal madeleine pan over the silicon kind, because you get a better-defined shell shape. Yes, the metal pan means you’ll need to butter and flour each little mold. But it’s worth the time. Think of it as a meditation.
Anyway, here’s the recipe, courtesy of the well-known Paris chef Didier Quémener.
Amy’s Favorite Parisian Madeleines
(from Chef Didier Quémener)
5 oz. butter
4 oz. eggs
5 oz. unbleached flour
1/2 T baking powder
3.5 oz. sugar
1 oz. eucalyptus or acacia honey
3 T whole milk
1 t lemon juice
Preparation time: 15 minutes, plus 8 hours in refrigerator
Baking time: 5 to 7 minutes
Place butter in a saucepan and melt on low heat (do not exceed 165 degrees Fahrenheit).
In a small bowl, slightly whisk eggs.
In a different bowl, sift flour and baking powder together. Add sugar and mix.
Pour milk into a new bowl, then add honey and mix. Add eggs and lemon juice, then mix. Add dry ingredients mixture (flour, baking powder, and sugar), then whisk thoroughly and vigorously for 2-3 minutes. Add warm butter and whisk delicately.
Place in refrigerator in a well-sealed container for 8 hours.
Take batter out of refrigerator. Preheat oven to 475 degrees Fahrenheit.
Butter and flour bottom of madeleine baking pan.
With a wooden spatula, work batter for 5 minutes.
Using a tablespoon or a piping bag (which does the best job), place about 1 oz. of batter in each individual mold.
Bake for 5 to 7 minutes, being sure to never open the oven door while your madeleines are baking. Bon appétit!