Have you ever stuck your nose in a bottle of almond extract? Yum...I think that is one of the best smells. If you've had amaretti you know what I'm talking about. Madelines are sort of controversial: cake or cookie? I'm definitely on the cake side. What defines a cookie, to me, is it has a relatively crunchy exterior, and madelines are all cake. Although, a good madeline does have an ever so slightly crunchy, buttery top. Hmmm. Well, they taste good, so that's all that really matters. I've been doing a lot of orange recipes lately because I bought too many one day and had nothing to do with them. I good cook wastes nothing, so I decided to have a heavy orange theme this week. On another note, I will be in New York starting Friday, so no new baking posts until I get back! I will probably put up some pictures of some of the sweets I ate there, but nothing I made. I had some extra time today and made these simple madelines, using my excess orange and that amazing almond flavor.
170 g clarified butter*
200 g sugar
1 cup sifted cake flour
1 tablespoon brandy
1 teaspoon almond extract
Zest of one orange
*To clarify the butter, melt and let it cool. A white foam will rise to the surface. Using a shallow spoon, remove the foam as best you can. It will keep your madelines from browning too much in the oven.
Melt and allow your clarified butter to cool. On top of a double broiler, heat eggs and sugar, until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and transfer to a medium bowl. Whisk until thick, light, and creamy. When cooled, sift in the cake flour, a little at a time. Once flour is incorporated, stream in the melted butter, then the brandy, the almond extract, and the orange zest. Scoop a scant tablespoon of batter into each mold of a greased and floured madeline pan. Transfer to the freezer for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, and bake until the tops of your madelines are golden brown, about 12 minutes.