I am not one of those people who can go without breakfast; it is a very necessary part of my day and one that I enjoy whether it may be a mere bowl of meusli or the very personal breakfast in bed. Brunch is even better:an excuse to take breakfast to a whole new level, which I am more than happy to do! Open all the homemade jam in the house, chill a bottle of champagne, wait outside the bakery for the freshest baguettes possible, track down the sweetest strawberries and whip loads and loads of cream. Whatever you do, don't get stuck in a rut of sweetbreads, fruit salad and scrambled eggs. The possibilities are vast and these madeleines are a fabulous way to start any morning, especially Easter Sunday.
My love affair with madeleines began as most of my food obsessions did: at Toque! Here, one of the finest pastry chefs in
Keep reading for the recipe and a few more brunch ideas...
I’ve never found any in stores or bakeries that have ever come close to those Toque! madeleines, but I have found a recipe that is worth while making. Actually, they are surprisingly easy to make yourself, but do require the special oval shaped molds with ribbed indentations know as Madeleine pans. I borrowed my pans, but I can see a trip to the baking supply store coming up pretty soon!
I think I’ll have to get the mini molds for old-times sake.
Lemon Almond Madeleines
(adapted from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook)
½ cup unsalted butter, plus more for pans
¾ cup all-purpose flur, plus more for pans
½ cup finely ground almonds
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
¼ teaspoon almond extract
3 large eggs
½ teaspoon salt
In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Set aside to cool. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours and sugar; set aside.
Add the lemon zest and the extract to the cooled butters; stir to combine. In a large bowl, combine the eggs with the salt and whisk until frothy. Whisk in reserved flur mixture to combine. With whisk, fold in butter mixture. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter 2 12-mold Madeleine pans, and dust with flour, tapping out excess. Transfer batter to a pastry bag fitter with a ½ inch plain round tip. Pipe the batter into the prepared pans, filling each mold about halfway. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until the edges of the cakes are golden brown, 12-14 minutes.
Immediately invert madeleines onto a wire rack to cool. Madeleines should be served the same day they are baked.