Today, March 20th, is Macaron Day. In bakeries around the world, macaron devourers are ringing in this joyous occasion. Happy Macaron Day, festive celebrators.
But on this special day, I give you no macarons – if you know me, you know that is so not my style. I’m contrary like that.
Rather, I’ll let you in on a special treat that I much prefer: these lovely spring-welcoming Rose Water and Grenadine Madeleines.
When I last discussed madeleines, leaves were falling from the trees, and pumpkin was in the air. On the lips of foodie folk, that is.
I’ve been working on my technique and recipe proportions since then, and I believe I’ve created a real winner. While these madeleines may look similar to those from last October, this batter produced much more consistent cakelets. All the madeleines had lusciously dangerous curves, and there were no large air pockets on the baked cake surface or underside. Perhaps more importantly, they baked equally well in my two different madeleine tins.
I have a tin tin (narf) that I have used successfully for years, and a newer nonstick tin that I bought last year. So far, I’ve been quite disappointed with the nonstick tin in comparison, but with this recipe, both tins produced nothing but aces.
I recently bought a bottle of rose water and decided to make that the star of these madeleines. I realize rose water is reminiscent of soap for some, which is understandable. But it is so light and refreshing in these madeleines that I encourage you to try them, even if the concept of soap cake makes you cringe. After all, it used to be the most popular essence to bake with, before vanilla was readily available.
Complementing the rose water are a few splashes of Rose’s grenadine. While grenadine is awfully syrupy-sweet on its own, it performed exactly as I intended it to here, tinting the cakes with an ethereal hint of fluffy pink color, while adding no flavor to the finished product. You can faintly make out the color in some of these photos; to me, it is the same delicate hue as red grapefruit.
As the weather reached summery temps over the weekend, we soaked up the sun outdoors whilst watching the mountains of snow begin to melt in the yard. These madeleines were the perfect spring cake for such an event, but would look just as nice in a more formal setting – on an Easter table, for instance.
Open windows, sunshine, turning the heat off, long afternoons outside. We started our first seeds, including broccoli, basil, various flowers, and chewin’ tobaccie. Hopefully these seeds have plenty of germination determination.
The biggest achievement of the past week was receiving my bound thesis in the mail. Now I can sit and bat my eyelashes at it for long hours, smelling its new book smell, and admiring its lush green cover. It’s all upwards from there.
Rose Water and Grenadine Madeleines
Makes 24 madeleines, plus a bit of extra batter to slurp
Note: Madeleine recipes like to tell you to blanch your almonds. Well, world, I’ve had enough of your blanching. I like the added color in my finished cakes anyway. But… blanch if you must.
1/2 c. unsalted butter + 1 tbsp for madeleine tins
1/2 c. + 3 tbsp almonds, finely ground
3/4 c. + 1 tbsp flour
1/2 c. + 3 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 tsp rose water
4-5 splashes grenadine
Melt 1 tbsp of butter and brush into madeleine tins. Cool one minute, then sprinkle flour into each mold. Tap in each direction to evenly coat, then tap out extra. Set aside.
Melt butter in small bowl, and cool. Add rose water and 2-3 splashes grenadine.
In a large bowl, whisk ground almonds, flour, sugar and baking powder.
In another large bowl, whisk eggs and salt for two to three minutes until well-frothed. Whisk in half of flour mixture, then butter mixture. Switch to a spatula, and fold in the remaining flour mixture. At this point, mix in additional splashes of grenadine if mixture is not yet a light rosy hue.
Transfer batter into a pastry bag, making sure that the tip is large enough to allow almond chunks to pass through. Pipe batter into tins, making sure not to overfill: 2/3 to 3/4 full should be plenty.
Chill tins in the fridge for two hours.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Bake tins for 8 – 14 minutes, rotating once. My nonstick tin took 9 minutes to bake, and my tin tin took 13 minutes. My advice is to watch your madeleines bake carefully; it’s only a few minutes of your time, but these are important minutes. When the edges turn golden brown, and the center bumps appear cooked (the change is noticeable if you watch them bake), remove pan from the oven. Invert onto a cooling rack, or pry out with a spoon or knife, which I chose to do to make sure there were no cake tears / my tears.
Let cool. Dust with powdered sugar, if desired. These are best eaten the day they are made, as they grow sticky with time. However, I’ve found that the rose water flavor mellows by the second day, which could be a good thing. Store well-wrapped.