It’s the latter part of February, but we still sit under those leaden skies and cold light. All quite conducive to staying in and potting around a nice warm house!
This is a recipe that I came up with on a quiet afternoon. It’s based on a few signature ingredients that I thought would complement each other. Simple as that. The cakes themselves are a combination of traditional madeleines and olive oil magdelenas.
I also added the cardamom as I thought its citrus resin flavour would work well with the fresh lemon and the spiciness of the olive oil. The result? Well, very happy to report – they taste just great! Now, I fully accept that these are a bit far away from “proper”madeleines, but a little creativity in the kitchen from time to time surely cannot be a bad thing?
To make 18 madeleines:
• 2 eggs
• 80g grams white caster sugar
• zest of one lemon
• 2 large pinches of cardamom, finely ground
• pinch salt
• 110g grams plain flour
• 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
• 85 grams olive oil
Put the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, cardamom and salt in a bowl. Whip for 5 minutes until the mixture becomes light and thick (an electric beater is easiest!).
In a separate bowl, combine the flour and baking powder and sift. Add the flour mixture to the eggs and stir lightly with a spatula until combined.
Add the olive oil and incorporate using a spatula. Let the batter rest in the fridge for 4 hours.
Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F). Place spoonfuls of the batter into madeleine moulds and bake for 15 minutes, until the “bumps” have appeared and the cakes are golden.
Once cooked, remove from the oven. When the silicone tray is cool enough to work with, press each madeleine out of the tray and move to a cooking rack. Just before serving, dust the shell side with icing sugar.
Worth making? I was very pleased with how these turned out. The freshness of the lemon and the cardamom work well together, and the olive oil keeps them very moist. What I did notice is that these cakes were actually at their best the day after baking – so once they are cool, leave overnight in a sealed container (with a slice of bread if you find them a little dry on the outside). The next day, they will be soft and fragrant when you come to eat them.