Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Dessert to Warm your Heart

Today I want to share a go-to recipe that I use at every Christmas gathering - I love it because it's easy to prepare (you will most likely have all these ingredients already) and always enjoyed by everyone!

Petite Madeleines served with Warm Chocolate Sauce

You will need:
2 eggs
1 cup plain flour
180g unsalted butter
3/4 cup caster sugar
3/4 cup almond flakes*
200g good-quality dark chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup pure thin cream
Icing sugar, to dust

Makes: 24 petite madeleines

1. Preheat the oven to 185°C. Grease and flour a 24-hole mini madeleine pan (or use a 12-hole pan and cook in 2 separate batches)
2. Melt butter in a pan over medium heat and set aside for 2 minutes.
3. Beat eggs and sugar with electric beaters until thick and pale. Fold in the flour, butter and almond flakes*. I have sometimes substituted the almond flakes with some lemon juice or you can leave it out completely.
4. Spread 2 teaspoons of mixture into each mould. Bake until golden (on my oven it takes only 5 minutes!)
5. Cool on a rack and dust with icing sugar.
6. Serve with warm chocolate sauce (place chocolate and cream in a bowl over a pan of simmering water until chocolate melts - stir until smooth) when everyone is huddled around the fireplace (if you have one!)

“She sent out for one of those short, plump little cakes called petites madeleines, which look as though they had been moulded in the fluted scallop of a pilgrim's shell. And soon, mechanically, weary after a dull day with the prospect of a depressing morrow, I raised to my lips a spoonful of the tea in which I had soaked a morsel of the cake. No sooner had the warm liquid, and the crumbs with it, touched my palate than a shudder ran through my whole body, and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary changes that were taking place…at once the vicissitudes of life had become indifferent to me, its disasters innocuous, its brevity illusory…”
Remembrance of Things Past, Volume 1: Swann's Way. Marcel Proust

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