July 30, 2013 · 9:45 PM
I have a confession to make: I don’t think I have ever had madeleines (before now, and except for these flavored ones I made a while back). I often see the packaged ones in grocery stores, and while I instinctively knew I would like madeleines, I also knew the packaged cakes would not be worth buying.
Madeleines are quite simple to make. I don’t know why I don’t make them more often! The hardest part is waiting overnight for the batter to rest before baking them.
I can now say with certainty that I like madeleines! They are very flavorful for not having any added flavoring (such as vanilla). I also like that the recipe only makes 12 little cakes, so you don’t end up with way too many.
If you are interesting in trying this recipe, you can check it out here at the USA Today site.
While I did not test the theory, my sister informs me that letting the better rest overnight is important. Having an impatient 4 year old at home, she baked a few right after mixing the batter then baked the rest the next day. The ones baked the next day had a much better texture than the ones she baked right away.
I made a couple of adjustments: I reduced the amount of baking powder by 1/16 teaspoon and I used 103 grams of egg. The recipe calls for 83 grams of egg, which ends up being about 1 and 1/3 egg. I used two whole eggs to get my 103 grams.
The adjustments were close, but not quite right. While I got some of the “characteristic bump”, I think it could have been bigger. Also, the texture wasn’t quite right (though I am only guessing about this since my history with madeleines is limited). In the picture below, you can kind of see how the top the madeleine is a little “bubbly” looking on the cake in the upper-left.
My recipe for August will be Apricot Flan Tart (page 141). I will share my results with you on or about August 27th.
June 26, 2013 · 10:00 AM
June’s Bouchon Bakery Challenge recipe was Sugared Doughnuts. The recipe can be found on page 196 of the Bouchon Bakery Cookbook.
Doughnut seem kind of intimidating to make. Not only do you have to work with a yeasted dough, but you have to deep fry it. The deep frying is what seems intimidating to me as I don’t do it very often. The intimidation factor is what led my sister and I to agree to make the doughnuts together when I visited family in Seattle earlier this month.
The dough itself was very easy to work with. It is a brioche dough with a little less butter than normal. Our dough took longer to rise than expected, but my sister and I suspect the yeast rather than the recipe. But it was very easy to roll out and cut into the doughnut shapes.
I am happy to report the deep frying part went very well! We only fried two at a time because it seemed less hectic than trying to do four at a time. The key is keeping the temperature of the oil consistently at 350°F. The instructions in the book were very clear and helpful.
The recipe includes instructions for coating the doughnuts in vanilla sugar. We did the vanilla sugar, but also tried cinnamon sugar and powdered sugar. I can’t decide which flavor was my favorite! They were all good.
These doughnuts were excellent! They were fresh and soft, but the bite had a bit of substance to it. They did not seem overly greasy or oily. The sugar coatings were delicious. I would like to try a glaze sometime.
A big hit!
- If you hope to serve these doughnuts for breakfast, you either need to wake up very early, or switch up the instructions a bit. The instructions have you prepare the dough, proof it in the fridge overnight, then cut the doughnut shapes in the morning, letting them proof for an hour or two before deep frying. I recommend the following: The morning before you wish to serve the doughnuts, prepare the dough. Let it proof in a warm place until it is nicely puffed. Cut the doughnut shapes, then proof in the fridge overnight. You may have to let them rise a bit in the morning, but you will be much closer to doughnut goodness than if you followed the book.
- Many baking recipes state that the item you baked is best the day it was made. In the case of these doughnuts, that statement is very true! We saved a few for the next day and they were not good at all. In fact, they were kind of rubbery. If you don’t think you will be able to eat all the doughnuts in one day, you will be better off freezing some of the unfried doughnuts to make later.
None, because I made these at sea level.
I had a recipe all picked out for July, but then French Fridays with Dorie selected a dessert for July that was kind-of sort-of similar. We don’t need two big desserts in one month, so I will save the tart I had selected for August.
For July, I will make Traditional Madeleines (page 94). I will share my results with you on (or about) July 30th.