a spot of baking


Spent today pottering around the kitchen while B watched football on the telly. Sundays are perfect for a bit of baking – relaxing and not too strenuous, plus there’s the added bonus of lovely smells wafting through the flat. I made some of Ottolenghi‘s Sour Cherry Amaretti as well as Michel Roux Jr‘s Lemon Madeleines – both recipes were relatively easy to execute, the madeleines especially. The first batch of madeleines came out rather dark (burnt) as the given oven temperature of 220°C was far too high so I turned it down to 200°C for the rest and those came out perfect – light, slightly crusty around the edges and intensely lemony. The amaretti were a little sweet for my taste so if I made them again I’d probably cut down the amount of sugar, although I fancy they’d be nice with an espresso as they are.

Sour Cherry Amaretti
(from the Ottolenghi cookbook)
makes about 20

180g ground almonds
120g caster sugar
grated zest of 1 lemon
3 drops almond extract
a pinch of salt
60g dried sour cherries, roughly chopped
2 egg whites
2 tsp honey
icing sugar (for rolling)

Preheat the oven to 170°C. Put the ground almonds, sugar, lemon zest, almond extract and salt in a large bowl and rub with your fingertips to disperse the zest and essence evenly. Add the cherries and set aside.

Using a manual or electric whisk, beat the egg whites and honey until they reach a soft meringue consistency. Gently fold the meringue into the almond mixture. At this stage you should have a soft, malleable paste.

With your hands form the mixture into 20 irregular shapes. Roll them in plenty of icing sugar, then arrange them on a baking tray lined with baking parchment. Place in the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes. The biscuits should have taken on some colour but remain relatively pale and chewy in the centre. Leave to cool completely before indulging, or store them in a sealed jar.


Lemon Madeleines
(from Michel Roux Jr‘s Le Gavroche cookbook)
makes 16 small or 12 large madeleines

2 eggs
1/4 cup caster sugar
juice and grated zest of 1 lemon
2 drops lemon extract
1/2 cup plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
4 tbsp butter, melted

Lightly beat the eggs with the sugar, just enough to incorporate the sugar. Fold in the sifted flour, baking powder, lemon juice, lemon zest and melted butter; do not overwork. Let to rest for 1 hour.

Heat the oven to 200°C. Butter and flour the madeleine molds then using a spoon (or piping bag), three-quarters fill each mold. Cook for 5 minutes for small madeleines and 10 minutes for larger ones; do not overcook as they should remain moist. As soon as they are cooked tip the madeleines out of the molds on to a wire rack to cool. They are best when eaten within the hour.

Lemons on Foodista  Sour Cherry on Foodista  French Madeleines on Foodista

~ by gourmettraveller on August 16, 2009.

4 Responses to “a spot of baking”

  1. Oh that is delicious!I love madeleines.I followed your blog from the foodieblogroll and I like what you have here!

  2. Very pretty cookies! will try these….

  3. uum look they yum! Got to try these

  4. Thanks for sharing.Cheers!

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