Monthly Archives: February 2013

Hey Madeleine-ah!

Freshly Baked Madeleines

There is nothing to beat a freshly baked Madeleine – light, golden, lemony loveliness.

These beauties are so easy to make – all you need is 100g butter (non-salted preferably, melted and allowed to cool for about 10 minutes),100g caster sugar, 2 (free-range) eggs, a lemon, 100g plain flour and 3/4 tsp baking powder – oh, and a Madeleine tin. (See below for Method)

Now you will have gathered that I am a great fan of silicone bakeware, so when I saw Michel Roux showing Mary Berry how to make Madeleines, I thought I would have to try making them, and ordered a silicone tray from Ebay.

It arrived, and looked, well blue mostly.

Silicon madeleine tinHowever, before I had a chance to try it, happened to be in TK Maxx, and spotted a lovely non-stick metal tray and it seemed rude not to, so I bought it too.

Metal Mad tinAs you can see, once washed, I lightly sprayed the tray with Frylight (spray oil) – melted butter would alos be fine, and, dusted half the moulds with flour.
Let the experiment begin.

Method:

Preheat the oven to  200C/400F/Gas 6

Beat the caster Sugar with the eggs til light and foamy, add the juice and zest of a lemon, the melted butter and sift in plain flour and baking powder – whisk to a smooth batter, and then leave for 20 mins or so.

Distribute the mixture evenly between the oiled moulds, and bake for 8-10mins, until golden brown, allow to cool slightly and then eat them all up!

Now I made a double batch of mix, and using the metal and silicon tins simultaneously,  I was surprised to see the difference in appearance of the end result.

Silicon MadsMetal Mads

So, for perfect Madeleines – it’s going to have to be the metal tin everytime. Interestingly, with a good non-stick tray, there didn’t seem to be any advantage to flouring the tray, in fact, I probably wouldn’t bother.

Then, because I loved them so much, I decided to experiment  and using this recipe, made some Chocolate Orange Madeleines .

100g golden (or ordinary) caster Sugar, 2 medium (free range) eggs , 100g melted butter, the juice and zest of an orange, and sift in 75g plain flour, 25g cocoa and 3/4 teaspoon of baking powder. These could be dipped in some melted chocolate too, if you were feeling extra indulgent.

choccy mads

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Red Velvet Cheesecake Swirl Brownies

red velvet 3

Who can resist a Brownie – honestly? And how many times have you been put off a great sounding recipe by the ingredients being stated in ‘cups’ and ‘sticks’ of butter. So I have translated a wonderful recipe from a great US blogger, for use in the UK *. It also gives you a chance to try making something “Red Velvet” without having to make an enormous 3 tier gateau.

*Thanks to Fi, who gave me a set of ‘cups’ for Xmas to facilitate this.

You do however need to invest in some proper food colouring, which comes in the form of paste, and this will give your brownies the lovely rich colour which is the feature Red Velvet – I use this one http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sugarflair-Spectral-Concentrated-Paste-Colour/dp/B005FIWJZQ/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1360182959&sr=8-2 –

Equipment – a 8″ x8″ square baking tin ( http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ready-Steady-Square-Silicone-Mould/dp/B001BKXXTI/ref=sr_1_7?s=kitchen&ie=UTF8&qid=1360183749&sr=1-7) as you know, I prefer silicon, which just needs a light spray of oil, but if you are using a metal one, then line it with greaseproof paper, and then oil plus mixing bowl x 2, food mixer(if you have one) small pan, scales, spoon and sieve.

Ingredients

For the Red Velvet Layer

250g butter
3 ounces (Fairtrade) dark chocolate, chopped
250g (Fairtrade) caster sugar
2 free range eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla essence
Red paste food colouring (see above)
75 g plain flour
1/4 teaspoon salt (if you are using salted butter, then you omit the salt)
25g  (Fairtrade) Cocoa Powder (not drinking chocolate)

For the Cheesecake Layer

250g Cream Cheese, softened (ie leave out of the fridge for several hours)
45g (Fairtrade) caster sugar
pinch salt
1 free range egg
2 teaspoons vanilla essence

First pre-heat your oven to 175c or 165c if you have a fan oven.

Now, first of all please read the method to the end, as this recipe has 2 steps, and the first time I made it, I didn’t notice the 2nd step until I had put the red velvet layer in to bake, and had to whip it out of the oven to put the Cheesecake layer on!

Red Velvet layer: Melt the chocolate and the butter in the pan on the stove, slowly, stirring as you go, and set aside to cool. (I would pour it into a cold bowl/pyrex jug but depends how you feel about washing up!).

red velvet 1

Beat the eggs, with the vanilla and sugar, until thick and a bit foamy, then add the food colouring, dip the end of a teaspoon in the pot, and transfer a lump about a big as a 5p coin into the bowl, and beat until mixed – this should be exceedingly red by now. Mix in the cooled melted choc and butter.

sift in cocoa

Weigh out the flour and cocoa (plus salt if using) and using the sieve, sift into the egg mix, and beat to blend. It will now be a slightly darker red. Pour this into the baking tin.

Cheesecake layer: Then using the other bowl, combine the cream cheese, sugar,salt, vanilla and egg and pour this into the tin, over the red velvet mixture. Gently swirl the topping with back of a teaspoon, so that it is slightly mixed into the top of the brownie mixture.

Then bake in for 50 mins, until golden brown. Allow to cool in the tin, then remove and cut into 16 squares.  I can assure this will not then last very long, well in didn’t in my house!!

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