Those who know me already realise that I am obsessed with those delicious little pillows of joy called Madeleines. Having tried many recipes over the years I always come back to the same one, Stephanie Alexander’s recipe of honey madeleines in her wonderful book The Cooks Companion. These need no accompaniment but should you wish to over indulge they do go splendidly with Lavender ice cream, another recipe inspired by Stephanie Alexander.
Lavender Ice Cream
1 litre milk
1/2 cup lightly packed unsprayed lavender flowers
8 free – range egg yolks
330 ml honey
600 ml cream, not ‘ thickened cream’
Warm the milk with the honey in a saucepan, then pour it over the lavender in a bowl. Leave the lavender to infuse until the milk is cold. Overnight is best.
Beat the egg yolks well and then strain the cold lavender milk into the egg yolks and beat gently to combine. Return to a clean saucepan and over a low heat stir constantly until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Immediately pour in the cold cream and stir to combine. Strain into a bowl and set aside until cold. Churn in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions, and freeze.
Makes 16 – 18
90 g unsalted butter
1/2 tablespoon honey
75 g castor sugar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
pinch of salt
a couple of drops pure vanilla
90 g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
a little extra soft unsalted butter
a little extra flour
pure icing sugar
Over a low heat melt butter with honey. Let cool. Combine eggs, castor sugar, brown sugar, salt and vanilla in a food processor. Add flour sifted with baking powder, then add cooled butter and honey. Allow this batter to rest for at least 1 hour, if you have time, overnight is best in the refrigerator.
Coat the madeleine tins with the soft butter and dust with flour. Rap tins on edge of sink to knock off excess flour. Put in the freezer until needed. This is important and a tip no one ever tells you about. The madeleines will cook much better if the both the tins and the batter are cold when putting them in the oven.
When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 185C. Spoon the cold batter into the cold tins and bake for 10 – 12 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack and dust with icing sugar. Eat warm with the lavender ice cream.