Dear Ideal Reader, or so states assignment #4.
Yes, I blog for myself. But I also like the idea of blogging with someone else in mind.
However, when I heard the term ideal reader, nobody in particular came up, not even any defining characteristics. I realize this is because, quite simply, my ideal reader is probably you.
What I really want is for you to be interested (even only mildly) in what it is that I’ve baked, or even in what I’m writing (as unlikely as that may be).
It doesn’t matter whether or not baking is something you do at all just so long as perhaps I make you somewhat hungry or moderately inspired to bake something yourself. Or buy something. Or something like that. (Or nothing really at all; I do have low standards).
(Besides, if you’re reading this I think you’re quite a nice person already, so I’m rather fond of you!)
Assignment #3 was to follow five other bloggers. Here are some people that I’ve recently begun following, who I’m particularly excited about (though there are so many more!)
- From-the-ground-up blog: Boonie Adjacent – The tagline is “turning home into a homestead, one day at a time.” Well written posts on a number of interesting projects, including small scale agriculture and fermentation (!) such as miso.
- Science-y blog: Picture It – Somehow affiliated with the chemistry department at the University of Bristol, there’s quite a bit on food chemistry–really interesting and fun to read!
- Baking blog(s) (How could I choose just 1??):
- Beslington of Baker St – A bit of a newer blog, I’m excited to see what other “classic” baked goods he turns out, such as his Victoria sponge…
- Morning Brew and Tea – So many delicious things that I’d like to try to make! A lovely baking blog with nice photos and interesting recipes.
- foodlikecake – I love cake. So, enough said. But this blog is also simple and sweet and straightforwards.
- Photo blog: Chemistry – While there are only a couple posts at the moment, this looks to be very clearly and conscientiously designed, and the photos, beautiful.
- Culture blog: Hallyu Stranger – Again, only a couple posts so far, however this blog on her exploration of Korean culture has so far shown itself to be very thoughtful, not at all culturally insensitive, and, I think, a good read.
And now, onto the recipe…
I’ve still yet to make successful madeleines.
Or at least I think so…I’ve never had a madeleine made by anyone other than myself (there may be a deficit of good and affordable bakeries where I live), and from what I’ve heard, madeleines are terribly divine.
These are not quite.
They are not bad, but they are not spectacular in the way I hoped they would be.
I think the flavour inspiration came from a soap–at least that’s what it sounds like to me, but all I ended up with was the bitterness of the grapefruit instead of its floral notes. Perhaps rubbing the zest in sugar would have helped a bit?
It’s likely just our oven, but I found a higher temperature was better as I prefer more browning.
Lastly, these madeleines did not take on the distinctive shape with the hump in the middle and sharp edges. Instead they rose in a sort of sloppy, non-committal manner, giving them the atmosphere of a cake forced into a madeleine’s clothes. Part of the blame could possibly be attributed to the leavener in the original recipe. Keller/Rouxel add some baking powder, 1/2 tsp, which I, perhaps not very wisely, had decided to eliminate.
A final note: the recipe was intended for 12 madeleines. I made 16 slightly smaller ones due to the pan I have.
Grapefruit rose madeleines
Adapted slightly from Thomas Keller and Sebastien Rouxel’s Bouchon Bakery. Expect to see more of them in the future, including their infuriatingly precise quantities. My condolences if you don’t have a scale. Potentially makes 12-16 madeleines.
80 g whole eggs (which is approximately 1 and then some)
55 g or 1/4 c + 1 1/4 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 small capful rosewater
zest of 1/2 grapefruit
66 g butter
9 g honey
68 g or 1/4 c + 3 1/2 tbsp all purpose flour
Whisk the eggs, salt and sugar together in a glass bowl over a pot of simmering water. Continue to whisk until eggs are warmed and sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat continue beating away until pale, thickened, and the volume has doubled. Beat in the rosewater and grapefruit zest.
While this is happening, gently heat the butter and honey together in a pan until melted. Set aside to cool until only just warm.
Sift half the flour overtop of the eggs and gently fold in. Repeat with the remaining half. Slowly pour the melted butter overtop and fold until combined. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
The next day
Preheat the oven to 375F. Butter and lightly flour a madeleine pan OR brush the pan with melted butter and chill to allow the butter to set.
Using two spoons, scoop a generous tablespoon of batter into each mold.
Bake for 7-8 minutes until the tops are lightly golden and spring back when touched.
Immediately unmold by turning pan upside down over a wire rack, and rapping the bottom of the pan.
Turn the madeleines over if needed so that the “shell pattern” side faces down, and align the grooves with the wire rack – I started doing this after finding that the wire rack left “grill marks” in the top of the madeleines.