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November 04, 2010


Is there a reason these *have* to be made in a Madeleine pan? What if you made them in the bottom of cupcake pans, or deviled egg trays (if you had oven-safe ones), or some other kind of forms?

Thanks for this. This, as you know, is my four-year-old's name - spelled the exact same way. She loves these cookies and I've been promising her we'd make them! Now I have no excuse!

Jane: Want to borrow the pan before I return it?

Leah: No reason beyond tradition. I've considered making them in cupcake pans myself, though they won't have the same visual grace. Deviled egg forms are a good idea. I've heard of people just using a loaf pan like a regular pound cake. In that case, you'd probably want to double this recipe and increase the cooking time substantially.

I've never made these either. Maybe because I do not have a madeleine pan. No. That would interfere with my trifle bowl which I've used once, blow torch that I've used twice, and an apron that I've never used...they sure look/sound good, though.

After discovering my oldest childs love of these cookies during a Starbucks run a few years ago, I foolishly shelled-out $20 for the special pan to be a good Mommy and make them myself. However when I researched for a recipe, I found one that called for a pate a choux dough...and realized the $2 for a pack of three at Starbucks would be MUCH easier for the occasional treat. The special pan went into the dark, quiet corner of my pantry.

But now, I'll have to dig for that pan again. Your recipe sounds great and soemthing I can handle.

Ah, madeleines... I have my own "Proustian memory" of these... Waaaaaay back when I was doing my finals at university in Scotland (studying French and Spanish literature), I was a somewhat ... er ... unconventional (some would say lazy) student. So, after others had hosted special "Zola revision afternoons" or "Machado revision breakfasts" etc., I volunteered to do the "Proust revision afternoon" at my place. Friends brought class notes, their own detailed notes from their research, their appreciations of Proust's first tome ("Du côté de chez Swann" - amazingly, I had actually read the damn thing, and found it, surprisingly given my usual dislike of pretentious, bourgeois navel-gazing, rather haunting) and I provided homemade madeleines and lime-flower tea (disgusting stuff in my opinion, quickly replaced with the less Proustian but more pleasant Earl Grey). But of course, true to form, I had to add my own character to the madeleines - so I put food colouring in them, ending up with pastel green, blue, pink, yellow, orange... We had a wonderfully elegant afternoon (though I'm not sure we got much work done). I passed my finals, I did my essay on Proust and have always had a soft spot for him, the most Victorian author of the 20th century (which is why we studied him in 19th century literature instead of 20th, even if he wrote in the 20th).
Hope you appreciate my (probably not very good) attempt at Proustian sentences - long, complex, difficult to follow.
If you get the chance, read the book (at least the first one) and, if you don't read French, I would recommend the first (1920s?) translation of it, by someone called Crieff I think, it's much more in line with the original than any modern version I've seen...

Those loose ridiculously delicious! I look forward to your continued Concord Shop partnership!

All of this reminds me that maybe we didn't send a thank-you note for the cake pedestal you purchased for us on our wedding 10 years ago? Anyway, thank you. It remains one of my favorite one-use tools, too! Though I keep saying it's also a punch or trifle bowl if you turn it upside down and nestle it in the base. Two other things I make a lot.

Madeleines can become a happy obssession! I justify that one-use pan by making LOTS - I use Paula Peck's recipe, which calls for clarified butter - SWOON! (And the ridges do make for a nicer crust.)

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