Madeleines by Laduree

A few months ago, I bought the prettiest cookbook I have ever seen. It is called “Sucré” by Ladurée. For those unfamiliar with Ladurée, it is a maker of cakes and pastries in France, and it is known as the inventor of macaron. As of today, Ladurée is still one of the best known makers of macarons in the world. Anyway, the book is very pretty with padded velvety cover complete with an embossed gold print and gilded gold on the top and sides of the pages. Inside, you will see beautiful photos and recipes for macarons, pastries, cakes, cookies etc.

Yesterday, I decided to make madeleines, a small sponge cake, baked in a shell shape mold. Never had it before, so I gave it a try. They came out GREAT and they tasted AWESOME, soft and moist! Between me and my daughter, we ate 7 pieces for breakfatst…..well they were petite, so I guess it is okay:)

The recipe is very simple and does not take too much time to prep and bake. The only thing to know is that this recipe requires aging the batter for a minimum of 12 hours in the refrigerator. The book does not spell out the reason for aging the batter, but I did some online research and found that aging is required to develop the classic bump that forms on the top once the cake rises.

My medeleines did develop the bump/hump on the top while they were baked, but collapsed after cooling down. Maybe I filled the mold too full?? Nevertheless, they still tasted wonderful:)

For those who want to try this recipe, here it is….

Madeleines (by Ladurée)

Makes 24 individual madeleines or 60 mini madeleines

2 lemons, unwaxed

3/4 cup + 1 tbsp | 160 g granulated sugar

1 1/3 cups + 1 tbsp | 175 g cake flour + 2 1/2 tbsp cake flour for moulds

2 tsp (10 g) baking powder

12 1/2 tbsp | 180 g butter + 1 1/2 tbsp butter for moulds

4 eggs

1 2/3 tbsp (35 g) honey

Equipment

Madeleine moulds

Grater

Pastry brush

Prepare the madeleine batter one day ahead.

1. Using a grater, remove the zest from the lemons. In a large bowl, mix the grated zest with the sugar. In another bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over low heat

2. In another large bowl, place the eggs, the sugar and the lemon zest mixture and the honey. Whip until pale and frothy. Fold in the flour and baking powder mixture. Add the melted butter and combibe. refrigerate batter for a minimum of 12 hours in a closed container

3. The following day, melt the 1 1/2 tbsp of butter, and using a pastry brush, butter the moulds. Refrigerate for 15 minutes to allow the butter to harden. Lightly dust with flour, turn upside down and tap out any excess. If you do not fill the moulds right away, keep them in the refrigerator.

4. Preheat the oven to 390F. Fill moulds 3/4 to the top with batter. Place in oven and bake mini madeleines for 5 to 6 minutes, and individual madeleines for 8 to 10 minutes. When golden, remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before removing from the moulds.

5. Serve madeleines lukewarm. If you do not plan on serving them right after baking, allow to cool and store in an airtight container, so they will stay soft and moist.

Macarons vs Macaroons

I participated an event 3 weeks ago where I presented my colorful macarons to probably about 100 people. To my surprise, only 3 people know and have tried macarons before, but the rest have never seen these colorful confections. Most people mistakenly think macarons are the same as macaroons, which is absolutely not!

Macarons are made of almond flour, egg whites, sugar and powdered sugar. They are made into colorful little sandwiches with filling in between. Perfect macarons will have shiny, domed tops with ruffle “foot” around the bottom edge.

anatomy of a macaron.#shopfesta

Macaroons are typically coconut based cookies and can be covered in chocolate. I read that they are super easy to make and I am planning to make them someday.

Here is comparison diagram I came across from The Macaron Master

the macaron master | learn to make macarons

I hope this explain the differences between Macarons and Macaroons!

Xoxo

Valentine’s Day

Today is a Valentine’s day and I would like to do something special for other people besides my family. So, with a box of macarons, a card and a ballon, Kiara and I stopped by to a lady’s house who is battling with cancer. She is a member of our church and is a very nice lady. We are so happy to see her smile when we came by and Kiara really enjoyed visiting her too. I would like to do this more often, not only on a Valentine’s day, but at least once a month. I encourage you all to do the same. Let’s share love to other people around us!

Matcha Ice Cream

I love matcha ice cream, pair it with macaron..it is wonderful!!

So..since I bake a lot of macarons, I will have a lot of stock of egg yolks. I have made creme brulee with them and they are wonderful! But today, I will make matcha ice cream! I saw this recipe on one of my favorites blogs: Evan’s Kitchen Rambling. The original recipe is from “The perfect scoop” by David Lebovitz. I was so excited when I read the recipe because I don’t need to have an ice cream machine, and it is super easy! I have all the ingredients in my fridge and I just bought matcha powder from Seoul market 2 weeks ago, so I am set to go!  Here is the recipe:

Matcha Ice Cream

1 cup milk

150 g sugar

500 ml whipping cream

pinch of salt

6 large egg yolks

4 tsp mactha powder

Directions:

  1. Warm the milk, sugar and salt in a medium saucepan
  2. pour heavy cream into a large bowl and whisk together with matcha powder. Set a strainer on top
  3. In another bowl, whisk together egg yolks and slowly pour in the warmed milk mixture while whisking constantly. Put the mixture back to the saucepan
  4. Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat, scrapping the bottom as you stir, until mixture thickens and coat the back of the spoon. Clip on candy thermometer, make sure it reads 185°F
  5. Pour custard through the strainer into the ice cream, then whisk vigorously until custard is foamy. Stir until cool over an ice bath
  6. Place the mixture in a shallow metal pan (I use bread pan) and freeze, whisking every couple of hours until frozen and creamy.
This ice cream is wonderful! The texture is creamy and soft. Similar to the one I bought at the Japanese market or Seoul market. We finished them in two days ..well actually should be finished in one day…but I insisted to save some for my photo shots. Here are the pictures! Enjoy!

My new toy: Instagram

I know…you may ask..where has she been?? I know a lot of my friends use instagram to take their pics and they turned out pretty nice too, but I keep delaying installing Instagram on my Iphone. I love my DSLR camera and I use it a lot to take all my macarons and my family photos. So, why bother take photos with instagram if my DSLR camera gives me great photos? Well..I change my mind today. Lately, I have been very busy and don’t have time to prep the background for photo shot on my packaging. So, I decided I will try Instagram and took a quick snap of my packaging sample.. it looks lovely. I LOVE it!! One thing for sure, Instagram saves me time, because I can take photos of my object anywhere (with or without enough light) and I can edit my photo to make it looks really nice. The editing process is easy, fast and if I choose to share it, I can share it right then. Everything is done in less than 2 mins! Love it!

Instagram, however, will never replace my DSLR camera. Instagram will give me a quick solution when I need to photograph my object and share it right away…DSLR camera on the other hand, will give me a more professional and clearer photos. I love both…:)