Sunday, October 11, 2009

Monthly Mingle - High Tea - Lavender Madeleines

Don't you just love high tea? The very words evoke images of fancy hotels, with powdered ladies decked out like perfumed confections sitting around trays of delicate cucumber sandwiches, tea cakes and biscuits and an ornate pot of piping hot tea.

Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen is hosting this month's Monthly Mingle - High Tea. The Monthly Mingle was created by Meeta of What's For Lunch Honey. I have brought along lavender madeleines for high tea, made from Dorie Greenspan's Baking - From My Home to Yours. The recipe is a "playing around" version of Dorie's Earl Grey Madeleines. The lavender flavour is very delicate, in fact so delicate that it is barely there, and comes from lavender-infused butter.

My tip is to realise upfront that the batter has to rest for at least 3 hours before baking, so you need to ensure that you have plenty of time up your sleeve. Apparently the resting time helps the madeleines to take on their characteristic humped shape during baking.

To make the delicate, shell shaped tea cakes, you will need:

75g butter
1 tablespoon edible lavender
3/4 cup plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
1/3 cup sugar
grated zest of 1/2 lemon
2 eggs
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Melt the butter, then stir in the lavender and allow it to infuse for 15 minutes before straining the butter and discarding the lavender.

Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, rub the lemon zest into the sugar until you have a fragrant mixture. Beat the sugar, eggs and lemon zest together until pale and thick. Add the honey and vanilla to the bowl and beat for another minute.

Fold the dry ingredients into the batter, then fold in the butter. Press a piece of cling film against the surface of the batter and refrigerate it for at least 3 hours and up to 2 days.

When you are ready to bake the madeleines, preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Grease a 12 hole madeleine mould and dust with plain flour. Spoon the batter into the moulds, then bake in the pre-heated oven for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown. Remove the baked madeleines from the oven and release onto a wire rack to cool. Dust with icing sugar before serving.


Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Ahh lovely stuff Cakelaw! Combining madeleines with a floral flavour is so lovely and girly! :)

Aparna said...

These are perfect for High Tea. Lavender makes one think of old England.
Thanks for joining us.

veron said...

I have never made madeleines, but everytime a see a post about it I am so inspired to try it. This looks delish!

Anonymous said...

They look delicious and I love the plate you have them on! These would be the perfect thing for high tea.

adele said...

Beautiful. I think Proust would approve. :)

Dee said...

What an elegant tea you made! Your madeleines look positively scrummy and the serving dish is so pretty.

The first time I made madeleines I didn't use any baking powder, and they were completely humpless. I use Dorie's recipe now. I wonder how they'd taste with chamomile?

The Caked Crusader said...

Madeleines are pretty little things and they look even prettier on your cake stand - I could eat them all!

Emily said...

I love madeleines! I'm going to have to remember this recipe for sure. I've had bad luck with them in the past.

Cakelaw said...

Thanks Lorraine - girly is dear to my heart :)

Hi Aparna, thanks for hosting - how fun! Can't wait for the roundup.

Hi veronica, these are my first madeleines too. I have admired them for a while, but just never got around to making them before.

Thanks Jill - I just love those multi-tiered high tea stands.

LOL, thanks Adeele - Dorie referred to Proust too, so I looked up the story and now I get it.

Hi Dee, I think chamomile would work fine - same technique of flavouring the butter. Dorie actually used Earl Grey tea and lavender was a variation.

Hi Crusader, they are so small that it would be easy to do so.

Hi Emily, I have never made madeleines beofre and this recipe gave me no troubles - they rose perfectly.

Jennifer said...

These are so beautiful, and they sound delicious!!!!

Ivy said...

Madeleines is a dessert I always wanted to make but never made them yet. The lavender sounds very interesting but I am confused with the edible type. Are there two types of lavender?

Anonymous said...

Lavender madeleines sound yum!

Cakelaw said...

Thanks Jennifer.

Hi Ivy, I believe that if you don't spray your lavender, it will be edible, but I am no expert.

Thanks Wendy.

Claudia said...

Did you use the leaves or flowers? I've got the leaves right now, though no flowers yet. Want to try using it in some baking. Now, another kitchen tool that is calling me. Madeleine moulds.