Friday, April 6, 2012

Lime-Lavender Madeleines: An Easter Treat from the South of France

For those of you who are wondering, what exactly is a madeleine?  You'll probably recognize them as those somewhat stale, overly sweet, kind of cake-like, shell-shaped treats that you find at your local Starbucks and Costco. Originating from the Lorraine region in northeastern France, madeleines are usually more sponge-like cakes. Much lighter and fluffier (and buttery!) in their native country, madeleines are delicious to eat alongside your morning/afternoon cup of tea or dipped into your cafe créme.

I adapted a madeleine recipe I found in one of my old Gourmet issues and changed it to suit my purposes. To me, nothing shouts spring and the memories of southern France than lavender.  I have no idea why. But the delicate purple blossoms and light floral scent that is not too sweet or cloying just embodies the warmth of the healing spring sun.  Known for its medicinal and herbal properties, lavender has been used for various things such as burns, insect bites and more commonly to relax the mind and induce sleep. Paired with the sharp, cleansing citrus zing of limes, it perfectly offsets the herbaceousness of the lavender.

The sugar and butter gives the madeleines a natural caramelization alongside the edges and has a slight crisp when you first bite into it.

This recipe is the perfect way to start off your Easter morning while the kids are all outside hunting the eggs all of the adults hid earlier in the day. Brew up a cup of your morning joe, dunk your lime-lavender madeleine, bite, and slowly savor the morning sun on your face and the taste of spring and Provence on your tongue.
View of sunflower fields from the train going through Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region.
I hope that everyone has a safe and wonderful Easter with their families and loved ones! I know that I am looking forward to some glazed ham and deviled eggs alongside with a light snack of these madeleines with tea to unwind while everything cooks in my kitchen.

Makes 16

2 large eggs
1/3 cup granulated white sugar
1/3 cup organic agave syrup
Zest from 2 limes
1/2 tsp lavender, crushed
Pinch of salt
1/8 tsp baking powder
1 cup flour
1 stick (8 tbsp) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

2 tbsp powdered sugar
1 lime, juiced
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. In a large non-reactive bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar and agave syrup. Add in lime zest, lavender, baking powder and salt. Mix again.

3. Slowly add in flour. Whisk until incorporated before adding more. Slowly add in butter, whisking it all in.

4. Butter each mold to avoid any issues of sticking. Fill each madeleine mold with the batter to the top. Bake for 14 minutes until lightly golden on top with a nice caramelized brown crust along the edges. Always remember to butter the mold before doing the next batch.

5. While madeleine is baking, whisk together powdered sugar and lime juice in a small bowl. Put aside until ready to use.

6. Take madeleines out and let cool for a few minutes before popping them out. While warm, immediately brush the tops with the lime glaze. Let cool completely.

1 comment:

  1. I'm not a fan of madeleines or anything of the sort, but these might actually be good with the lime and the lavender. I miss the south of France!!!