Tuesday, April 6, 2010

French Daydreaming

Each time the wind starts blowing in Seattle it takes me back to Southern France and the Mistral. And I think how funny- the wind in France is more than just weather-it's an emotion, it's a story, it goes deep into your soul. At least for me it does. So right now I want something that will transport me to the South of France, walking down a dirt path through the olive groves to a place where Vincent Van Gogh could have easily sat and sketched for hours. I can feel the wind whipping through my hair and I see the dust down the road forming little twirling dust devils. The sun is warm on my face and the wind feels like the spirits of Provence whirling and dancing around me and taking me into their hearts. Lately I feel like all I am doing is daydreaming of Paris and Provence....so to honor those dreams I give you Lemon Madeleines-so French, so sweet,so wonderful to nibble on while I continue with my daydreams. Where are you today, what are you daydreaming about ?

Lemon Madeleines
from New American Table by Marcus Samuelsson
*I took Chef liberties today and instead of using my madeleine pan I used tiny little muffin cups !

Zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 1/2 teaspoons honey
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 vanilla bean
4 large eggs
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (plus more for the pans)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
Preheat over to 400 F.
In a small saucepan, bring the lemon juice to a boil over medium heat. Add the lemon zest and simmer for 2 minutes then add the honey and simmer for another 3 minutes. Add the butter and stir with a heatproof spatula until melted. Use a sharp knife to slice the vanilla bean lengthwise and use the back of the knife to scrape the seeds into the pan. Set this mixture aside to cool slightly.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and both sugars. Add half of the butter mixture to the bowl and stir to combine. Add the flour, baking powder and salt to the bowl and mix. Finally, add the remaining butter mixture and fold until combined.

Fill each of the madeleine molds about 2/3-3/4 full with the batter (slightly less than 2 tablespoons per mold). Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the madeleines are golden brown around the edges. Remove them from the oven and turn the madeleines out onto a wire rack to cool.
Makes 25-30 madeleines

"If a little dreaming is dangerous, the cure for it is not to dream less but to dream more, to dream all the time". Marcel Proust


  1. I find myself daydreaming of Italy and staying in a villa in the hills over Calabria. My thoughts move to cheese pies and pasta but I can easily be pursuaded to daydream about the South of France, madeleines and fields of lavender.

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  3. I love your daydream ....have you ever taken any cooking classes overseas...I can see a lovely villa with the winding road leading up to it,overflowing gardens,red ripe tomatoes and learning how to make homemade pasta !

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