‘Do you really have to turn everything into chocolate?’;– well, as a matter of fact, I don’t, but for all intents and purposes, I absolutely find it much too difficult to resist not to. Not that I had ever tried hard enough, I must accede. And having had worked on quite a bit of brownie orders over the past week (and not having any leftovers) certainly didn’t help with the chocolate craving, though it probably explains my bake-anything-chocolate-but-brownies specification. I wanted something with a deep chocolate flavour, yet light, and not overwhelmed by copious amount of chocolate filling or frosting. Most importantly, I wanted it fast.
And thus, my nifty and tiny 2-dollar madeleine pans (which I had purchased long ago, and completely forgotten about) came to the rescue that afternoon. Along with a recipe I had bookmarked even way before the madeleine pans came into the picture. Enthusiastic, yes?
You see, I have quite a soft spot for madeleines, but had always put off purchasing madeleine pans here thanks to the exorbitant prices, and have even succumbed to baking them in a most blasphemous yet unarguably adorable form of mini loaves. And though the taste brought me a step closer to home-baked madeleines, one can’t deny that where macarons have the much-lusted feet, and brownies have the much-adored thin crackly crust, madeleines steal the hearts of many with their elegant shell shapes and whimsical humps.
Unfortunately, as much as I was satiated with a chocolate fix that took barely half an hour from start to finish, and was assured that an inexpensive pan could hold its ground standing on the shoulders of classy giants, these chocolate madeleines didn’t quite make the cut for me on the texture front. Whilst they tasted great, and were undoubtedly easy to make, I found them more akin to mini cakelets, as of baking your favourite (cup)cake recipe in madeleine moulds, as opposed to having the spongey, slightly buttery, [almost kuih bahulu-esque] moist texture with the crisp exterior I’m more familiar with in madeleines. Perhaps a short hibernation in the refrigerator, as is usually called for in madeleine recipes, would do the trick. Perhaps I should have gone against my chocoholic guts and stuck to familiar terrains, and opted for a buttery batch of traditional plain madeleines instead. Or perhaps I should just be happy to have found the perfect light addictive snack to dunk into my mug of Milo on a late afternoon.
(adapted from Donna Hay Chocolate; makes 12)
60 grams butter, melted and cooled
1⁄3 cup superfine caster sugar
1⁄3 cup plain flour
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).
In a bowl, whisk the sugar and eggs together until light and fluffy.
In another bowl, sift flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder.
Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture, and fold through with the melted butter to combine.
Spoon the batter into greased madeleine pans, and bake for about 10 minutes, or until the madeleines are set.
Serve plain, dusted with powdered sugar, or drizzled with chocolate ganache.