I must be highly suggestible. Within hours of dining on charcuterie, pork belly, boudin blanc, beef daube and steak frites at the superb Bistro Guillaume, my French cook books were all lying open on various flat surfaces around the house. Since our wonderful French dinner, I've rustled up a batch of Chocolate Mousse and made these delicate little tea-time cakes. I'm even considering changing one our hens names from Whitey to Fifi. Now all I need is an outrageous French accent to complete the scene.
Lemon and Brown Butter Madeleines
40g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
100g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
100g caster sugar
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
icing sugar for dusting (optional)
Preheat oven to 170°C. Grease a 12-mould Madeleine tray with butter.
Sift the flour, baking powder and sugar together into a bowl. Beat the lemon zest, vanilla bean, egg and milk. Fold in the dry ingredients using a metal spoon.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over high heat. When nut brown, add to the mixture and whisk well.
Spoon the batter into a piping bag and pipe the mixture into Madeleine moulds and bake for 11-13 minutes or until golden.
Turn out of the moulds right away and let them cool on a wire rack. Dust with icing sugar before serving.
Best eaten on the day they are made, with a cup of tea... Proustian-style.