First of all, I would like to thank all my blogger friends who left such heart warming comments on my last post that I was brought to tears by so many of them. I appreciate your words of wisdom, encouragement and never ending support. It means more to me than I can describe in words.
My intention was never to write what I did in my last post because though I was in pain and frustrated and very down, I am not the one to admit such things. But for some reason, sub consciously maybe, it all came pouring out. Maybe it was to hear all the lovely words you had to say to me and to let me know that I am not alone. Whatever it was, I’m glad I did share what I was feeling because I got such great advice from others who do this and go through similar things as I do. Thank you all so much. Of course, with such a great support system that I have in all of you, I’m not giving up this blogging gig anytime soon!
So, just a quick post today because it’s time for the monthly Improv Cooking Challenge that is hosted by Kristen Baker of Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker. This month’s theme is orange and cardamom. I have to say, I had many grand plans for this theme, many, many ideas, but feeling the way I did, and with my mobility issues and the whole feeling of despair, I opted for something easier but just as good. Maybe, I will post my other ideas later.
Who doesn’t love a madeleine? I adore these scalloped, buttery bits of heaven. There is nothing better than a warm madeleine, fragrant from the lemon zest and butter alongside a steaming cup of Earl Grey.
Though I prefer my madeleines, unadorned and uncomplicated with just a light dusting of powdered sugar and a hint of lemon, these Orange Cardamom Madeleines are really quite amazing. The underlying flavour is the fresh citrusy flavour from the orange with the hint of cardamom. Cardamom can be quite strong and a little goes a long way, so use a light hand with it unless you really, really love it. I always grind my own cardamom powder because the flavour and aroma are stronger, but you can use a good quality, ready ground powder.
I hope you check out my fellow Improv Cooking Challengers below and their delicious creations.
- 1 cup/150g all purpose/plain organic flour
- ¼ cup/25g ground almonds
- ⅔ cups/120g cane sugar
- 2 eggs, large organic
- 1 stick/115g melted (and browned) butter
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- ½ teaspoon cardamom powder
- 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
- Powdered sugar for dusting
- This recipe is so easy, you can do it with a fork with no need to whip out the mixer.
- If you want to use the browned butter, heat the butter in a small, heavy saucepan on medium low heat.
- Allow the milk solids to start browning being careful not to burn.
- It can burn very quickly so keep an eye on it.
- Remember, it continues to cook in the pan so I take it off while it's just light brown.
- By the time I'm ready for it, it has reached a deep golden brown.
- If you don't want to mess with browned butter, you can use just melted butter.
- Mix the flour and ground almonds together.
- Mix the sugar and eggs together.
- Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and mix well.
- Add the orange zest, cardamom powder and the orange juice.
- Mix thoroughly and then slowly mix in the cool, melted butter.
- The batter will be soft and will need to be chilled for easier scooping.
- Chilling also helps develop the characteristic hump of the madeleine and is a necessary step.
- Chill the batter for at least an hour.
- I've made madeleine batter the night before and is very convenient to have it ready to go in the morning.
- When you are ready to bake, grease and flour your madeleine pans.
- Preheat your oven to 375℉/190℃
- Scoop a tablespoon of batter into each scalloped mould.
- This recipe should yield 24 madeleines and it's easier to have two pans.
- Bake for 15 minutes.
- Check at 10 minutes and then add minutes from there.
- They can burn easily if you don't keep an eye on them.
- Mine were ready in about 13 minutes.
- Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes and them prise them out gently with a knife.
- Serve warm dusted with powdered sugar.
- Some people like glazes and such on them or even chocolate, but I like mine plain.
- You can always drizzle a sugar or chocolate glaze if you like (maybe melt an orange chocolate bar and dip)
Just a note on the madeleine pans that you need for this recipe. If you don’t own one and would like to buy one, I highly recommend ones that are sold at Williams Sonoma, or heavy duty cast iron or aluminium. Don’t buy the non stick, they are quiet terrible and don’t buy cheap ones. You will regret it and then hate making madeleines. I happened to have a gift card from a store that was not Williams and Sonoma years back and so I spent my money buying these non stick madeleine pans. They’re not a cheap make, but obviously now I realise they are not good enough. I sprayed them with non stick and I used shortening and flour one other time, and they are beginning to stick like a big dog! Very frustrating when your favourite cakes don’t come out all pretty and scalloped. They worked fine for about a year or two, but I’ve had them for a while now, but looks like I’ll be investing in some proper ones soon.
My children are off from school next week for Thanksgiving and I’m already getting nervous. I am looking forward to Thanksgiving, a few of my good friends and I are getting together for a potluck Thanksgiving dinner at my house. I am so excited because these ladies are great cooks and we have a great menu lined up. Can’t wait!
I hope to post before Thanksgiving, but that may not happen with the children home and with all the busyness. If not then I will take the opportunity now to wish a very Happy Thanksgiving to my readers and friends in the US. Have a great weekend and a holiday weekend!