Monday, 25 February 2013

Cornmeal Madeleine with Lemon and Olive Oil

Menton's 80th Annual Fête du Citron or Lemon Festival is in full swing but it's been unusually rainy and cold outside so instead of taking part in the lemony fun, I'm cocooning inside and this requires good quality carbs like Madeleine.

I've flavoured these Madeleine with the fruity olive oil from Menton's own Huilerie St Michel and lemon zest, two flavours that are emblematic of Menton.

And the cornmeal?  Menton is on the border with Italy where polenta is popular and also I happen to love cornmeal.

To prepare these Madeleine you'll use the sponge method similar to making a genoiseDon't panic!  It's easy to do so don't let that prevent you from making them.  Trust me, it'll be worth the extra effort.  The sponge method and a long chill in the fridge will produce a tender, light, delicious Madeline with a high hump on one side which all the best Madeleine should have. 

Cornmeal Madeleine with Lemon and Olive Oil

Makes 12 large or 24 mini Madeleine 

375°F (190°c) 
11 Minutes for large Madeleine
7  Minutes for mini Madeleine

Madeline pan with 12 large indents OR 2 Madeleine pans with 12 small indents each
Hand held or stand mixer
Pastry brush
Bain Marie or double boiler
Pastry bag or plastic freezer bag

2        large eggs
72g    (1/3 cup) granulated sugar

40g    (1/4 cup) medium-grind cornmeal (not instant polenta)
140g  (1 cup) sifted all purpose flour
8g      (2 teaspoons) baking powder
1/4     teaspoon salt

Zest of one lemon

35g    (35ml) 2% milk
50g    (50ml) olive oil

1 tablespoon each of softened butter and flour for greasing the Madeleine pan

1.  Mix together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.

2.  Prepare the sponge.  Combine the eggs and sugar in a large bowl or the bowl of your KitchenAid if you have one.  Set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and stir the mixture until the sugar melts and it feels just warm to the touch.  Remove the bowl from the saucepan and whip the mixture on high until it triples in volume and is pale yellow and very thick.

3.  Prepare the batter.  Sprinkle one third of the flour mixture on top of the sponge and gently fold together until it's almost completely incorporated.  Stir in half of the milk, and mix in the remaining flour mixture in two additions.  Stir in the lemon zest.   When the mixture is smooth and all of the flour is incorporated, gently stir in the olive oil until it's fully incorporated.

4.  Chill the batter.  Cover the bowl with plastic film and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes for up to 3 hours. In the meantime, prepare your pan(s).
5. Brush the indentations with the tablespoon of softened butter, sprinkle with flour to coat thoroughly and tap out the excess.

6.  Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°c).

7.  Scoop the mixture into a piping bag or a plastic freezer storage bag and snip the tip to a little wider than width of your thumb.

8.  Pipe the batter into each of the indentations.  Starting with the tip at the wide end of the indentation squeeze the batter evenly until you reach the small end of the indentation.  When you reach the small end, stop squeezing the bag and pull it up and away from you, back towards the wide end of the indentation.  It's OK to leave a little tip sticking up.

9.  Bake the Madeleine.  Ideally, they should be no darker than light brown.
10.  To remove the Madeleine, tap the pan, Madeleine side down, over a tea towel.  The
Madeleine should fall out easily.  Allow them to cool on the towel with the hump side facing up.

-A fruity olive oil is best in this recipe.  Fructus by Ardoino is one that would work well.

-You can use any grind of cornmeal in this recipe but medium will give you the best texture.  Just don't use instant polenta or your Madeleine will be heavy and dense.
-If you don't have a piping bag you can use a large plastic freezer bag instead.  Just spoon the batter into the bag, cut a hole the same width as your thumb in one corner and squeeze away.

-Be careful not to overheat the egg mixture when you're warming it or you'll get scrambled eggs!

-If you prefer, you can replace the olive oil with a more traditional beurre noisetteYou'll need about 80g of butter to make 56g (2.5 ounces) of beurre noisette.

 -Don't over mix the batter. Treat it gently as though you were making muffins.

-Keep your eye on the Madeleine for the last few minutes of baking.  Remove them before they start to brown.

1 comment:

Hannah said...

Now those really do look perfect- Even Proust would be proud! ;)