My oven is no more. Last week as I was recipe testing, I noticed that the thermostat light did not go off to indicate the oven had reached the right temperature. I also noticed that my food was either coloring too quickly or not cooking well at all. We looked into getting it repaired, but ultimately decided on buying a new one, which is exciting because it’s really pretty! It’ll be installed on Thursday and I can hardly wait!
But what to do when it’s Friday and you want to make a nice dessert for the family?! My solution came to me in the form of French (OK, English too!) inspiration: a beautiful trifle made with French madeleines, cherries, sweetened cream and dark chocolate!
Enjoy and have a delicious weekend!
PS: Oh, and I think this will make a great Valentine’s Day dessert, too! Should you want to make your own madeleines, check out my recipe here.
French Madeleine & Cherry Trifle
100ml crème fraîche d’Isigny
2 sachet vanilla sugar (8g)
1 small jar cherries in syrup, drained (you will need 4 tbsps of the syrup and 6 tbsps of the cherries)
6 Bonne Maman madeleines, chopped (I chopped each one into 8 pieces)
Put the crème fraîche in a bowl and loosen it with a fork. Whip the cream with the vanilla sugar until stiff. Fold the whipped cream through the crème fraîche. Place the chopped madeleines in a shallow dish and drizzle with the 4 tbsps of cherry syrup. To assemble the dessert, place a layer of madeleine bits in each glass. Top with 1 tbsp of cherries and half of the cream. Grate in some dark chocolate and repeat with one more layer, ending with the grated chocolate.
A few weeks ago, I gave you my recipe for madeleines (and even showed you how to make them here). Today, it’s time for a little but most delicious variation. I give you my chocolate madeleines with a bellyful of sweet, creamy confiture de lait! They’re just as addictive as the original. So be warned!
“She sent out for one of those short, plump little cakes called ‘petites madeleines,’ which look as though they had been moulded in the fluted scallop of a pilgrim’s shell. And soon, mechanically, weary after a dull day with the prospect of a depressing morrow, I raised to my lips a spoonful of the tea in which I had soaked a morsel of the cake. No sooner had the warm liquid, and the crumbs with it, touched my palate, a shudder ran through my whole body, and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary changes that were taking place. An exquisite pleasure had invaded my senses…”
That’s how Marcel Proust described the little cakes in his book Remembrance of Things Past. A sponge-like cookie/cake that has its own place in French literature, and is so delicious, too. What’s not to love about madeleines? Did I mention that baking them is a joy? Easy to make, and they leave your house full of the heavenly scent of butter and vanilla. Enjoy! PS: Hope you liked the film — be sure to subscribe!
Madeleines Makes about 2 dozen madeleines
175 g butter, melted and cooled
245g all-purpose flour
pinch of salt (preferably fleur de sel)
200g granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsps vanilla extract
3 tbsp ground almonds
Grease the madeleine tray with butter and dust with flour. Melt the butter and set aside to cool. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Beat the eggs and sugar until thick and pale. I usually do this in my Kitchen Aid mixer but a handheld mixer should work just fine. Add the vanilla extract to the cooled butter. Fold the flour through the eggs and sugar, then fold in the butter and vanilla and finally the ground almonds. Fill the madeleine shells ¾ full and pop in fridge for about an hour. Preheat your oven to 190°C and bake the madeleines for about 8-10 minutes or until the edges are golden brown and the tiny cakes spring back when gently pressed in the center. Cool on a wire rack before serving. You can experiment with lots of different flavors. Lemon zest is very common and used in many recipes, for example.