Before I launch into my explanation of these cute little green tea madeleine, I should explain the "Do you rike... mada-reines?" title of this post. In the 2002 East-meets-West action 'classic', The Transporter, sexy Hong Kong star Shu Qi makes a breakfast of madeleines for the buzz-cut and equally sexy Jason Statham, (go Jason Statham, go!). She gives them to him, and says, "Do you rike... mada-reines?". He eats some, the house gets blown up by bad guys, they run away, have sex, he discovers the meaning of true love, and then they save the world. Or maybe it's some refugees, I can't remember. Either way, 5 stars.
Back in the real world, I made my own East-meets-West madeleines on the weekend. After my yummy madeleine breakfast two weeks ago, I have been filled with the madeleine spirit. As I have previously mentioned, last week I went out and got a mini-madeleine tin and a flat whisk, to facilitate the madeleine-making process. I also trawled through my cookbooks and the internet for different madeleine recipes, which explains the picture below.
9:30am on Sunday morning, my equipment laid out, the flour twice-sifted, and the all important recipe up on my laptop.
I found a recipe for green tea madeleines on Chubby Hubby's blog, which is, in turn, from The Ethnic Paris Cookbook. As I absolutely adore all things green-tea flavoured, I thought I'd better give it a go. These madeleines are quite similar to Nigella's ones, but have green tea powder and bicarb added. So basically, what you do is whisk up eggs with honey and sugar until light and fluffy, then fold through some twice-sifted flour, bicarb, salt and green tea powder. Finally, you pour in some cooled melted butter and fold through gently. (Check out Chubby Hubby's fab blog for the exact recipe.) Check out my new flat whisk! I suppose buying yet another whisk was a bit excessive, but it was less than $10. And it's perfectly designed for folding flour and other ingredients through an aerated mixture without deflating it.
Folding butter into the mixture. Looks a bit feral, but don't let that put you off. Just keep folding. Once it's all folded in you cover it and leave it in the fridge.
According to the Ethnic Paris recipe it needs to sit for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight. However, different recipes give conflicting instructions for the resting of the batter. Nigella says 1 hour in the fridge, 30 minutes at room temperature; the Roux brothers say 30 minutes; and Donna Hay gives no resting time at all. (This further proves my theory that her madeleine are just little cakes, and not madeleines at all. Muahaha.) The last time I made madeleines I didn't bother with the resting time and they turned out fine, taste-wise. This time, I left them for about an hour and a half before baking them. The mixture turned denser and more spongey, and expanded slightly, I think.
I then put spoonfuls of the mixture into the tins (the mini-tin was well buttered, the regular tin is a Baker's Secret non-stick and needed no greasing at all) and then baked them. A word of warning: because of the bicarb, these little babies rise quite a lot, with massively humped domes! (This meant that the larger madeleines took a bit longer to cook all the way through, and started to get a bit dark around the edges. Thankfully, they did not burn). Just fill the tins halfway, if that.
Let them cool for a millisecond before dusting with icing sugar and greedily devouring them. Then save the world. Or the refugees. Or just stay at home.
The little cakes were crunchy on the outside and soft and light in the centre. Mmm! The green-tea taste is quite subtle, but gets stronger after the first few bites. They made a delicious cross-cultural tea-time treat with a cup of green tea.