Monday, 7 August 2017

English Cherry Madeleines

It was a little cold yesterday, the skies were cloudy and there was rain in the air - it felt slightly like the start of autumn! - I whispered that by the way, I don't want to wish the summer away just yet - but autumn is my favourite time of year so I'm not to worried about it. However, this weather made me want to stay in the kitchen and bake, to make fruit pies and crumbles, to get the smell of cooking fruits to fill the kitchen, but the apples and blackberries I'm craving, are not ready for picking yet - I do however, have a bowl of beautiful black cherries, so baked cherry cake is my plan - there are not enough for a cherry pie.

So Cherry Madeleines it is - little cakes that shouldn't be confused with the french shell shaped madeleines, these are our English version and conjure up a sense of nostalgia whenever I make them. They became popular post war in the late 50's - bringing to mind bunting and picnics in the park, afternoon teas and special days, back when times seemed simpler. They were usually coated in a red jam and drenched in desiccated coconut. But, I no longer keep a packet of dried coconut in the store cupboard - and so I have made my own version - bringing these individual cakes into the 21st century - they make a nice change from a cupcake.

It's a recipe similar to a sponge cake mix and you will need some dariole moulds or if you don't have any you could use some ovenproof espresso cups or small muffin tins at a push.

Recipe - enough for 10 dariole size cakes

100g butter - plus some for buttering the moulds
100g soft brown caster sugar
100g self raising flour
2 eggs
large pinch vanilla powder
dash amaretto - approx 2 or 3 teaspoons
15 juicy black cherries

Pre-heat oven 170C / Gas 3

Butter up all of your moulds and arrange on a firm baking tray. Cut all the cherries in half and remove the stones. Place 3 cherry halves into the base of each mould - cut side up. Cover with a cloth and place to one side whilst you prepare the madeleines mix.

Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. I like to get a bit of exercise making these cakes, so I always make them with just a bowl and wooden spoon, but if you want to use your food mixer that's fine. When you ready, whisk the eggs together in a separate bowl and add them, a little at a time, to the butter mix. Add a little flour every now and then to stop the mix curdling. Once all the egg is incorporated you can fold in the remaining flour, the vanilla powder and a dash or two of amaretto.

Divide the mix evenly into the dariole moulds and place in the oven for 20 minutes until golden on the top and springy to the touch.

Once the moulds are cold enough to handle, run a small butter knife around the edge and turn out onto a cooling rack - you may need to slice a little off the bottom so they sit evenly.

Serve as they are, warm or cool, with cream poured over or with just a dusting of icing sugar.

I love the look of these little cakes - so picture perfect!

Have a great start to your week
Love Lizx

 Cherry Madeleines