Photo by Jen
Evil Cake Lady
The question of the week was "Are these real madeleines?" Jen, for example, said she had never tried a madeleine before, so she has "no idea if this is true to the original or not," but it is a "lovely soft little chocolate cake," so that's good enough for her, especially since the madeleines are "easy enough to make and pretty quick." (You'll notice that she made full-sized madeleines, which accounts for their being quick and easy.) She also discovered that the unbaked batter tastes like "soft serve ice cream." An added bonus.
It seemed to Catherine that an authentic madeleine would be made with almond meal. But she acknowledged that she was no expert in the arcana of madeleine-making, especially since she had only one single madeleine mould. So she made just a few madeleines that looked like madeleines; she filled up her mince pie tray with the rest of the batter. Without "the traditional shell shape," these looked like "cake blobs. Delicious but meaningless." But is anything delicious really meaningless? That is my existential question for the day.
Raymond may be the Alpha font of madeleine knowledge, since he says he has "made many different kinds of madeleines over the years," his favorite being "the classic lemon flavored Commercy madeleine." His "only complaint about madeleines is that they go stale so quickly." He liked these chocolate madeleines (and, I'm guessing, the fact that they don't get dry and stale), but would not bother brushing on the glaze next time: he'd either "dunk them in the chocolate glaze or skip it altogether and just dust them with cocoa."
Faithy had some doubts about whether you could call these true madeleines because they were "humpless"--they came out of the oven without the "characteristic hump" of traditional madeleines and they "tasted more like chocolate cake than madeleines." They actually reminded her of whoopie pies, and so she decided to sandwich them with ganache. Doubts about this madeleine's authenticity fell by the wayside after she tasted them. "I would still make it again anytime since they are easy to make, delicious, and easy to eat too in bite size."
Vicki didn't much care if they were true madeleines or not. She didn't even much care if they were baked or not. Like all of Rose's cake batters, "why bother baking them at all? Just hand out spoons and sit around the mixer bowl like a fondue pot." But she did bake them, in both regular- and mini-sized versions. There were "more casualties among the mini." On the other hand, that meant "more to pop into my very willing mouth." They are "lovely little morsels."
Rachel's "adventure into madeleine land definitely ended well," even though she used mini-cupcake pans instead of madeleine pans and even though she dipped the cupcake-madeleines into the ganache instead of glazing it on. (No stray bristles on your madeleines that way). They were delicious, and easy to make, although that could just be because "compared to the complicated dance of supervising college applications while not being overbearing makes most things look simple by comparison." Yes, I remember that dance.
Next week: The Pomegranate Winter Chiffon Meringue Pie. A perfect choice for Minnesota, and probably some other states and provinces, since we're supposed to have our first winter snowfall tonight. Note Rose's new information on how to unmold a meringue pie.
The countdown: Only 4 recipes left, one from each major category of the book--pies, cakes, cookies, and breads. You can do it!