OK, I admit it, I'm on a roll with lavender. So the two day old lavender macarons which I featured in an earlier post are now down to 5- no, I didn't eat them all, I gave many away. They worked their way into this photograph because the whole lavender theme was going on.
Please, even if you think you would only use lavender in a bath, have a go baking with it. It is very subtle as long as you use it sparingly.
The French traditionally dunk madeleines into a big wide cup of coffee, perfect if they are a day or more old, but honestly who has cake in the house for more than a day. For the record, we (well not strictly me, as I'm Scottish) English have Madeleine's in our name- those yummy little sponges baked in dariole moulds, coated with raspberry jam and desiccated coconut.
You will need a custom madeleine tin (shown above) to get the size and shape, silicone ones are also available, I think. Some recipes suggest buttering then freezing the pan- you'll be lucky to get the pan into a side-by-side freezer! No problem if you have a freezer drawer.
This recipe is based one from Mary Berry- so what can go wrong, I ask.
Preheat your oven to 200°C/400°F or cook in lower Baking oven of aga, or roasting oven with cold shelf.
Grease the tray or use a spray like baker's joy. What DID I do before I discovered that product?
150g/5oz unsalted butter melted and allowed to cool slightly
150g/5oz caster (bakers) sugar
3 large eggs
150g/5oz self raising flour
50g/2oz ground almonds (almond meal)
30g lavender honey or indeed any delicate honey.
Icing sugar for dusting
Melt butter in saucepan and leave to cool while whisking sugar and eggs to a pale, thick consistency preferably in a stand mixer. The volume will have increased hugely and the whisk will leave a trail. Fold in the flour and ground almonds with the melted butter, alternating in two additions. You are trying not to knock out all that air. Lastly spoon in the honey. Spoon into the pan- avoid temptation and don't overfill. Two thirds is fine, otherwise they lose their shape. You will have to do it in two batches as it seems excessive to buy two pans given the number of times you will use them. No harm will come to the mixture by standing for another 10 minutes. Your mother may have told you that it had to go into the oven pronto but modern flour and raising agents are a lot more stable.
Check them after 10 minutes. When cool dust with icing sugar. If, like me, you love all things almond, sprinkle flaked almonds onto the mixture before cooking.