It always amazes me how much work goes into the holidays only for it to go by faster than a blink of an eye. It seemed this year it went by even faster. But we had a lovely time with the kids and enjoyed a week of just hanging out with them. I look forward to the week between Christmas and New Year’s as it’s just family time. No where to be, perfect.
Of course, now that the holidays are over we faced with bitter, bitter cold. So what better time to bake? Helps keep the kitchen toasty warm. Anything to help keep the heating costs down! One of the gifts my husband bought me was a baking book called Sweet by Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh. He had heard an interview on the radio with Yotam Ottolenghi and found him very interesting. Particularly the flavour combinations he likes to work with. There are several recipes I want to try. A while back I bought a madeleine pan so the recipe I chose to try first is his saffron, orange and honey madeleines.
This isn’t a hard recipe but it does take a little time. It’s also not completely traditional which allows the cookie to last more than a day because let’s face it, my hips won’t appreciate me trying to eat them all before they get stale. My taste buds will but they aren’t the ones wearing the clothes.
In a small saucepan melt 90g of butter (6 tbsp + 1 tsp) of unsalted butter, 2 tsp of honey and 1/4 tsp of saffron threads. The book says the saffron is optional, say what? I’m not leaving that out! Keep the heat low while you are doing this. Once melted remove from the heat and bring to room temperature.
While the butter is melting prep the next ingredients in a food processor. Add 2 large eggs, 75g (1/3 cup + 1tsp) granulated sugar, scraped seeds of about a 1/4 of a vanilla pod and the zest of a small orange. I used a clementine for this. Pulse until it is well blended. Sift together 90g ( 1/2 cup + 1 1/2 tsp) of flour, 1 tsp of baking powder and 1/8 tsp of salt. Add this to the food processor and pulse again until blended. Next add the butter mixture and blend. Scrape into a bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Preheat the oven to 400F/200C and prep the baking pan by brushing the molds with melted butter and dust with flour. I only have one pan so the book recommends washing, drying and reprepping between batches.
Spoon batter in to fill about 2/3s of the mold. This was actually harder than it sounds as the flour sticks to the bottom which makes it slippery and hard to position. Bake 9-10 minutes until golden and sponge like.
While they are baking chop up the pistachio nuts. You only need a couple of tablespoons of the nuts. Melt 3 tablespoons of honey in the microwave. Keep an eye on this as it won’t take long to melt.
Brush the madeleine with honey and dip it in the nuts. This was a classic case of chasing the natural light and losing. I was hoping to get it done before it got too dark. I didn’t win the race! But the days are getting longer so it won’t be long. 🙂
I love how these came out, the flavours were nice and bright. Perfect for a winter’s day.