That's right, they're Valentine's Day Madeleines! I did start off referring to them as "red velvet Madeleines", but have decided to switch tags since, upon careful consideration, these aren't really "red velvet" as they lack the usual ingredients of cocoa powder. They're still red, though. Clearly!
To be honest, I only made some of the batch red as an after-thought; the real objective was to try out my new Madeleine pan, purchased impulsively during a recent shopping spree in Balmain.
Most of the madeleines were of the natural hue, as I feared that the artificial colouring may turn people off. To get the red colour, I simply dissolved a bit of powdered colouring in water, and added that to the remaining batter.
That's some powerful stuff! Like love. Okay, I'll stop it.
The natural-coloured ones I dusted with a bit of icing sugar, to great effect:
Making these also presented another opportunity to use my beloved, new KitchenAid. As you can see from the picture below, I added lime zest to the madeleine batter. The original recipe called for lemon zest, but I found that the lime flavour went very well with the honey in the batter. And anyway, green zest is fun-ner than yellow zest!
The recipe was for 12 big madeleines, or 72 small ones, but I ended up with enough batter for 15 big ones, meaning that I had to bake the final 3 in a second batch. And, even though I adhered to exactly the same baking times and methods as the first batch, my red madeleines came out browned around the edges. Definitely not as pretty as the first batch:
First batch on the bottom; the more browned, second batch is on the top.
Perhaps it had something to do with temperature adjustment? My oven has been acting up lately. However, regardless of the disparity in visual appeal, all the madeleines had the same, wonderful lime fragrance standing out against the richness of the butter, eggs and honey. The lime and honey combination is a definite winner; I'm excited to apply it to future recipes. Madeleines are best eaten fresh out of the oven, since that is when they're crunchy on the outside but moist within. They do have a tendency to become a bit chewy after cooling completely, but are still great as a snack. My siblings certainly gobbled them up when they came home from school. There almost wasn't enough for me to make a gift package out of them - for my friend, of course, rather than a genuine Valentine xD
Hope those of us with romantic attachments had a great Valentine's Day!
Recipe for Lime & Honey Madeleines
Adapted from From Donuts to Delirium
Makes 12-15 large madeleines
3/4 cup all-purpose/plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar
Finely grated zest of 2 small limes
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Red food colouring (dissolve in few drops of water if in powder form): Optional
Confectioners'/icing sugar, for dusting
1. In a bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt.
2. In a separate bowl, use an electric mixer or hand mixer to whisk together the eggs, honey, white and brown sugar, and lime zest.
The eggs, honey, white and brown sugar, and lime zest
3. Beat until mixture is creamy and light in colour. Add the dry ingredients from step 1, and whisk until just combined. Pour in the melted butter, and stir in until well-incorporated. Cover the mixture in the bowl with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
The madeleine batter
4. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius (400 degrees Fahrenheit), and place the baking rack towards the bottom of the oven. Grease well a 12 mold madeleine pan. Use about 2 tablespoons of batter for each madeleine, or fill mold until two-thirds full. If you want to make some red like I did, reserve some batter to mix with the food colouring.
Madeleine pan, about to be filled with the chilled batter.
5. Bake for 5 minutes, before reducing heat to 150 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit), and baking for another 5 minutes.
Fresh from the oven.
6. Remove from oven, and remove madeleines either by inverting the pan and tapping it against the counter, or gently prying the madeleines loose (don't burn yourself!)
Serve madeleines warm, dusted with confectioners' sugar. If packaging in plastic, wait until completely cool.