I have been wanting to make Madeleines for years, but being restricted to a gluten free diet, I’ve always put the idea into the ‘too hard basket’.
The other day, after continuously being tripped up by the abundance of rhubarb in the vegetable garden, I decided that it was time to harvest it. I have some preserved/canned in the larder, the roses required for my Rhubarb and Rose Petal Jam are a little while off, so just thought that I’d give it away.
I know that it looks like a lot, and I suppose it was. But after I bundled it up, there were only seven bundles – maybe I was a little generous, I don’t know.
Initially I thought that I would just place it all outside the garage with a sign inviting walkers-by to help themselves. But I wanted lemons! I had decided that it was finally time to try my hand at making Madeleines. So after placing three bunches outisde the garage, I took the remaining four bunches and off I went.
Nearby Myrtlebank Roaming Farms have set up, what they call the ‘Bull Paddock’ next to their Farm Shop. The Bull Paddock is similar to their farm shop, except that it has a self serve hot drink and takeaway food set up, along with a food swap for the community so that they can exchange any excess produce that they have grown, and I was hoping that there may be some lemons there to exchange for my rhubarb.
I was in luck, I placed my rhubarb into one of the baskets provided, half filled a small bag with some lemons and headed home.
Back home, I took down the recipe from the book “Douceurs d’anton” [Sweets of yesteryear] by Marie Leteuré, a gift from my beautiful friend Véronique, found, and translated the recipe, and after all these years, I finally got to make Madeleines.
Who would have thought they were so easy to make, and the recipe worked perfectly using my own gluten free flour blend, the only thing that I did change was the amount of baking powder called for, I thought that the 15 grams was a little excessive so reduced it to 10 grams. The are quite sweet, so next time I may also reduce the amount of sugar called for – but would I be doing them a disservice?
Some years ago, after being diagnosed with Coeliac's Disease, I was delighted to find packs of individually wrapped, gluten free, Madeleines in the supermarkets as I traveled throughout France. Let me tell you, they were an absolute treat!
When I returned home from one of my trips I actually purchased a Madeleine tray thinking that I might try and bake some myself, but put it off until now, as I thought they would be difficult to make.
Who would have guessed how wrong I was!
- 225 g butter diced
- 4 eggs
- 230 g sugar
- 275 g plain flour (see below for gluten free option)
- 10 g baking powder
- 1 lemon zested
Melt the butter, either in the microwave or in a bain-marie, then let it cool completely.
Break the eggs into a bowl and whisk them briskly with the sugar until the mixture becomes light and fluffy.
Fold in the sifted flour and baking powder, and leave to stand at room temperature for exactly 1 hour.
Remove the white cream that has formed on top of the butter, and incorporate the buter into the preparation, together with the lemon zest. Mix well to combine, then place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 260C. Butter and flour madeleine tins.
Place a large teaspoon of the mixture into each mould.
Lower the temperature to 240C, put in the oven and bake for 8 minutes.
Once cooked turn the madeleines onto a cake rack to cool.
Continue to bake other batches until you have used all the batter.
- Translated and slightly adapted from 'Douceurs d'antan' [Sweets of yesteryear] by Marie Leteuré p. 98
- This recipe cooked perfectly using my gluten free flour blend.
- I noted the following comment in the instructions (translated for your benefit:
- [if you can, use silicone madeleine moulds, so easy to use].
- [Before cooking, the madeleine dough can be kept for 3 days in the refrigerator; you can therefore prepare a good quantity of dough in advance, and cook the madeleines as you need them.]
- My oven has a maximum temperature of 250˚C, so preheated to 250˚C rather than 260˚C.
- Best baked as required, but that being said, I do find they last well in an airtight container for a couple of days. I just freeze them, and take them out as needed - they don't take long to thaw.
So that is how I turned my rhubarb into Madeleines.
Until next time…