While I’m visiting my family in Japan, I’ve asked several blogger friends to blog-sit for me and today’s sitter is Biren from Roti n Rice.
Biren currently lives in Twin Cities, Minnesota, but she grew up in Malaysia where home cooking was an eclectic mix of Chinese, Malay, and Indian cuisines. After moving to the US and having her own family, she started baking and cooking more diverse recipes. On her blog, she shares Western, Japanese, and other East Asian cuisines like these delicious Chicken Curry with Kaffir Lime Leaves and Tau Sar Bao and Matcha Anpan.
When you visit her blog, you will realize that her recipes are very nicely sorted and organized in different categories. Her attention to detail has made it very easy to find recipes you are looking for. She has a wide range of recipe collection spanning over 300 tasty recipes. Check out her blog for tonight’s dinner ideas after this post. 😉
Now please welcome Biren with these easy and delicious Lavender Madeleines.
On behalf of Nami, I wish all fans of Just One Cookbook Irasshaimase or Welcome to the “store”! My name is Biren and I blog at Roti n Rice. Today, I am honored to be “blog sitting” for Nami while she visits family in Japan. Like you, I am usually the visitor coming here to get a glimpse into the Japanese home kitchen afforded by this blog to the English speaking world. I am sure you will agree with me that Nami does a fantastic job of sharing her food and culture with us.
Although Nami and I have only met virtually for about a year and never in person, it is as if we have known each other for a while. Our passion for food and family brings us together. I have two teenage boys myself and Nami enjoys reading about their antics when they were her children’s age. On the food front, I enjoy an eclectic mix of cuisines in my home cooking and easy Japanese food is in that mix. Onigiri, miso soup, grilled fish, and tsukemono are some of my go-to dishes when pressed for time to lay a meal on the table. Ocha-zuke is comfort food for me.
However, I also do enjoy a little baking and since Nami has always said that she does not have too many baked desserts here, I have decided to share one with you today. Madeleines immediately came to mind when I was planning for this guest post. These little cakes are in keeping with the Japanese’s love for all things dainty and the philosophy of Hara Hachi Bu (腹八分) – eating until you are 80% full.
Madeleines are mini sponge cakes with a distinctive shell shape. They are made famous by Marcel Proust in his novel Remembrance of Things Past where the madeleine episode has been well quoted. A pan with shell-like indentations is needed to make these cakes. These pans can be purchased at specialty kitchen stores.
If you have never eaten madeleines, I urge you to give these a try. They are pretty easy to make and relatively fuss free. I mixed in some culinary lavender for added flavor and fragrance. Lavender also reminds me of summer days ahead…
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour (plain flour)
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp kosher/sea salt (I use Diamond Crystal; use half for table salt)
- 1 Tbsp culinary lavender (crushed to release its fragrance)
- 2 large eggs (50 g each w/o shell) (at room temperature)
- ⅓ cup sugar
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup unsalted butter (8 Tbsp; melted)
- ½ Tbsp unsalted butter (for greasing and dusting pan)
- all-purpose flour (plain flour) (for greasing and dusting pan)
- confectioners’ sugar/powdered sugar (optional)
- Grease a standard size Madeleine pan well. Dust with flour. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). For a convection oven, reduce cooking temperature by 25ºF (15ºC).
- Sift together all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix in lavender. Set aside.
- Beat sugar, eggs, and vanilla together until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
- Add flour mixture and melted butter.
- Gently fold in flour and butter until well incorporated. Tip: For a more pronounced “hump” appearance, cover batter and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Then spoon batter into prepared mold, leaving batter mounded in the center.
- Spoon batter into each mold cavity until almost full.
- Bake for 12 to 13 minutes or until the edges are golden brown and the centers spring back when lightly touched. Do not over bake.
- Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes in pan. Turn the pan over and give it a light tap to unmold.
- Cool on rack, shell side up. Dust with powdered sugar and serve with tea or coffee.