Whenever my wife and I were in Paris, one of her favorite past times was sitting in a café (on any boulevard really) with a coffee or tea, and a sample of one of the local pastries. With every bite of a different pastry, she would challenge me – subtly of course, to recreate it at home. We’ve even gone so far as to bring the flour home (European flour type “00”), so I really don’t have any excuse not to try making any of those delights here. But, what about the butter? Remember European butter is higher fat than Canadian butter and that higher fat is what makes the pastry taste like the ones you have on a boulevard in Paris.  Well thankfully, we do have the butter available here – Churn 84.  And while I can get Type 00 flour here as well, I didn’t have it for this recipe.  Just good old Canadian all-purpose flour (I’ll try it next time with cake and pastry flour). 

Today’s recipe idea comes from looking at some of our vacation pictures from Paris and of course, the numerous pastries we consumed while there. You haven’t used those Madeleine pans we bought you for Father’s Day, are they okay? Really, am I really going to fall for that?! Of course I am! I’m a man gosh darn it. So out came the pans and in came the searching for the perfect recipe. I wanted one with enough butter to provide the rich taste of an authentic French Madeleine.

The search revealed a number of good recipes from professional sites as well as bloggers I follow. But the one I like best came from epicurious.com. The comments from people that tried it were all positive and all would make it again. So, off we go. You do need a madeleine pan for these. If you don’t have one, go buy one. One is really all you need. Mine has room for me to bake 12 madeleines at a time. It is non-stick, but I still sprayed it first. It’s such a small cake and bakes so fast, you can (and should) take them out of the pan within a minute of removing it from the oven. Then, wipe, spray or butter the pan and go at it again (cool the bottom of the pan by turning it upside down and running cold water over it before buttering/spraying it again). This recipe has Manuka honey and lemon extract (and the free zest that comes with every lemon you buy – it’s free) in it. But you can use orange extract/zest and orange blossom honey as well. The batter needs to rest in the fridge for about 3 hours before using, so it will give you plenty of time to do other things.  The batter transforms while in the fridge to an almost cookie like dough – fantastic chemistry!

Now all I need is to be sitting in a café on any boulevard really, sip my coffee and – when no one is looking, dunk my pastry into the hot coffee. Gasp as it falls apart in my cup – it’s not biscotti I say to myself silently, ever so subtly try and fish it out when no one is looking, really a soggy mess in my cup, then disappearing as soon as the bill is paid and before the waiter comes to clean off the table – tourists, I hear him mutter! No, that never happened more than once or twice with different types of pastries on a busy French boulevard! (Yes I know there was a long sentence in there!) So take a cup of coffee and a madeline to your desk and pull up one of those Paris webcams on your laptop.  You know, the ones that show live street views, and watch the beautiful people go by. Sip and dunk, only you need to know! As always, enjoy!

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large eggs
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons Manuka honey
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tbsp. lemon extract
zest of half a lemon
5 tablespoons unsalted Churn 84, melted, cooled

Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium size bowl
Using an electric mixer, beat eggs and sugar in a large bowl until pale yellow and thick, about 4 minutes depending on how powerful your mixer is
Beat in honey, vanilla, and lemon extract
Gently fold in dry ingredients
Add 5 tablespoons melted butter and gently fold into batter
Press plastic wrap directly onto surface of batter and chill for at least 3 hours – the batter will change from fairly liquid to almost a solid
Position a rack in center of oven and preheat to 400°F
Lightly brush or spray madeleine molds with butter/cooking spray
Drop 1 tablespoon batter into each mold
Bake until golden and a tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 10 minutes
Remove pan from oven, invert, and quickly knock madeleines out of pan
Serve warm – with coffee, latte, espresso of course (or tea!)

Madeleines 2


Madeleines 1