A week ago I spotted what I thought was a long-lost madeleine pan, so making madeleines became a matter of somewhat and sudden urgency. Classic French madeleines are, of course, buttery and lemony; I wanted to come up with a variation that would be a little unexpected, but still fitting for this dainty cookie-sponge cake hybrid (Oui! Non!). And nothing is more dainty than combining berries and flowers in a tiny pastry.
Behold, my muse for this post! This is the very first rose of the season from my mama's rose garden, which I texted to pretty much everyone I know last weekend. Such a beaut. My mom says I always gravitate toward and snap photos of roses that are a little past their prime, but I really do think those are the best ones.
These madeleines get their true raspberry flavor and slightly pink hue from pulverized freeze-dried raspberries, and I for one enjoy getting the stray raspberry seed or two. Using freeze-dried fruit is an easy and clever (if I do say so myself, heh heh) way to give some natural color to your baked goods, as well as additional flavor. And the floral aspect comes from rose water. Candying rose petals? Heck no, ce n'est pas pour moi! When I asked my sister, who went through something of a madeleine craze in the seventh grade (which is kind of hilariously fancy for a middle schooler), to guess the flavor of the madeleines, her first guess was lychee. Her guess was surprising, but I ended up agreeing that the combination of raspberry and rose created a distinct lychee taste.
P.S. Apparently there is some basketball thing going on? Only kidding, I know it's called March Madness. So far I've been completely uninterested, but now I hope Wisconsin wins, because who can resist the charms of a word nerd? Also, you can make things really weird by serving these delicate madeleines as Final Four snacks (Is that a thing? I'm trying to get at the basketball equivalent of Superbowl snacks. THE END).
Raspberry + Rose Madeleines
Adapted, big time, from Bon Appétit
Makes about 17 madeleines
1 cup all purpose flour
3 tablespoons raspberry powder*
2 large eggs
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons rose water
Pinch of salt
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and then cooled slightly
Powdered sugar, for dusting (optional)
*To make the raspberry powder for this recipe, place freeze-dried raspberries into a food processor or blender and process/blend away until you have a powder. This can also be very easily accomplished by hand: place the freeze-dried raspberries in a bowl and crush with the end of a rolling pin until you have a powder. A 1.2-oz bag of freeze-dried raspberries yields about 1/3 to 1/2 a cup of raspberry powder. This is more than you’ll need for the madeleines; store leftover raspberry powder in an air-tight container for another use (you can easily throw some into quick breads or muffins, or make some whipped raspberry butter).
Preheat oven 375°F. Generously butter and flour a pan for large madeleines (with indentations of about 3 x 1 1/4 inches) and set aside.
In a small bowl, stir together the flour and raspberry powder until completely combined.
In a medium bowl, beat eggs and granulated sugar just to blend. Then beat in rose water and salt.
And dry ingredients to wet ingredients, and stir until blended. Gradually add cooled melted butter in a steady stream, stirring just until blended.
Spoon about 1 tablespoon of batter into each indentation in pan. Bake until puffed and light brown, about 10-12 minutes. Cool the madeleines in the pan for about 5 minutes, and then gently remove from pan. Repeat process, buttering and flouring pan before each batch.
If you'd like, dust madeleines with powdered sugar. Madeleines are best when eaten slightly warm or at room temperature the same day they're made.