A Cooking Experiment: Madeleines

While staying with my grandmother, my aunt Leslye and I underwent a cooking experiment (my first). My aunt was smart enough to bring madeleine pans and a madeleine cookbook with her, so that was at the center of our experiment. We were planning on making a new type of madeleine each day, but my parents and I went on some day trips, so I only got to make three (my aunt made five different types).

For our experiment, we started with the most basic kind of madeleines, simple lemon madeleines. I expected the recipe to be much more complicated, per typical French pastries (I have now been inspired to attempt other French pastries). The recipe came together quickly in two bowls with the most tedious part being spooning the madeleine batter into a madeleine pan.

Trial 1: Lemon Madeleines

The classic madeleines were an obvious starting point for my aunt and I’s experiment as a good baseline. By starting simple, we could see how the different variations compared to the original.

Notes on the lemon madeleines: The lemon madeleines were very good although a little boring. For a first “trial,” these madeleines were perfect.

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Trial 2: Chocolate Molten Madeleines

As a lover of chocolate (and I mean obsessed), the chocolate molten madeleines were, to me, the obvious choice for the second trial in our madeleine experiment. If you’ve ever made chocolate molten lava cakes (my parents used to consider chocolate molten lava cakes my “signature dish”). These chocolate molten madeleines were almost as simple as the original madeleines, but when it came time to spoon the madeleines into the pan, pressing the chocolate chips into the batter was tedious.

Notes on the chocolate molten madeleines: These madeleines were incredible. We put some of them in the freezer and eating them cold was just as good as eating them fresh from the oven. I think these even compete with the already perfect chocolate molten lava cakes. While these tasted fantastic, we did not let them cool long enough, so these madeleines lacked the structural integrity of the classic madeleines. (Because of this, I also don’t have photos of these madeleines.)

Trial 3: Blueberry Cream Madeleines

On the last night of our trip, my aunt and I decided to make blueberry cream madeleines (the French version of the classic blueberry muffin). As a last hurrah, I was excited to make these madeleines (my grandmother always makes blueberry muffins).

Notes on the blueberry cream madeleines: These madeleines were surprisingly my favorite (I’m usually a sucker for chocolate). The madeleines were also delicious the next morning for breakfast before we headed off to the airport. I plan on making these again with the madeleine pan that my aunt gifted me.

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Notes on the experiment: I really enjoyed working through a series of related recipes to see which one I liked best. At some point, I hope to cook my way through one of Julia Child’s cookbooks (à la Julie and Julia). Also, madeleines are surprisingly simple to make (although it would be hard to make these recipes in larger quantities). It was really fun to work through these recipes with my aunt!

 

 

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