One of the problems I had during the blogger bake off (other than the serious lack of time and difficulty of recipes) was that it inspired me to make many many trips to the homewares sections of my local department stores to stock up on new and exciting tools to complete the bakes. I wanted to challenge my technical skills and my presentation and this meant I was starting to require some more specialist kit than just a sandwich tin and some pretty cupcake cases. Now this probably doesn't sound like a big issue (other than the obvious toll it took on my bank account) but it led to me ending up with cupboard full of exciting new kitchenware that I just didn't have the time to play with.
When I wanted to make my Rose Madeleines I spent hours deciding on what kind of mould to purchase to give them their beautiful shell patterns but I've barely had a chance to use it since. I love playing with new forms and seeing how different flavours will work together with them so now my little break from cooking is done, I couldn't wait to get in and start experimenting.
These madeleines are light but the cardamom also makes them warming and comforting, perfect for sharing on cosy autumn afternoons with a cup of tea.
A little note - this time I left them overnight instead of for just a few hours in the fridge and it honestly makes such a difference. Trust me that the extra wait and preparation is completely worth it here, these were definitely lighter than my previous attempts and had a much better look with the enormous 'pregnant bellies' madeleines are known for. I was also brave enough to attempt a beurre noisette this time and it was tons easier than I expected from the way I'd seen people getting stressed about it. Just be patient and watch it like a hawk and you really shouldn't have any problems.
Orange and Cardamom Madeleines Recipe
(makes approx 14)
zest of one large orange
1 tsp ground cardamom
100g plain flour
100g caster sugar
1 tsp baking powder
To make the beurre noisette cut the butter into even sized chunks and heat slowly in a small pan until it turns brown. The trick here is (apparently) to make sure it heats evenly and take it off the heat quickly so it doesn't burn.
Whisk together the eggs and sugar until frothy. In a separate bowl mix together your flour, baking powder, orange zest and cardamom then slowly stir this and the melted butter into your egg mix.
Leave this in the fridge overnight (or for as long as you can) to rest.
Lightly grease your madeleine mould with butter and dust with some plain flour (even with my silicone tray I found it useful to do this to stop them sticking when I 'popped' them out of the cases). Add a teaspoon of batter to the centre of each mould (it will spread out, don't worry!) and bake at 200c for approx ten minutes or until lightly browned and risen in the middle.