Madeleines

I was having a Eurovision party and I allocated each country performing a number and drew my guests a country at random. I drew France which was admittedly a much simpler option than say Moldova or Armenia of which I know very little of the food culture. I made some Madeleines which I have made many times before as they’re just so pretty and easy to pass around for a little nibble. The recipe is in Rachel Khoo’s book ‘Little Paris Kitchen’ and I believe it’s a good one as the madeleines have got their signature bump. This forms by turning the oven off mid-cooking for one minute and lowering the temperature for the rest of the cooking time. Amazingly, these madeleines were not the only success of the night. The UK actually came second in the Eurovision Song Contest which was a great surprise to us all. I’ve got to say that I think it was thoroughly deserved by Sam Ryder and his brilliant song Space Man.

Makes about 30 – 36

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs
  • 130g sugar
  • 200g plain flour (+ extra to flour the tin)
  • 10g baking powder
  • 1 lemon
  • 20g honey
  • 60 ml milk
  • 200g butter (+ extra to butter the tin)

Method

1.) Melt the 200g butter in the microwave on blasts of 10 seconds until all done. Mix it with the milk and honey.

2.) Measure out the flour and baking powder into one large bowl. Zest the lemon and add the lemon zest to this bowl.

3.) Crack the eggs into another bowl and add the sugar. Whisk until light and frothy. Add the flour mixture in batches and fold into the eggs until all is incorporated.

4.) Cover the bowl and refrigerate for a few hours.

5.) When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 190 degrees C.

6.) Melt some butter and brush the madeleine tin with it. Sprinkle over some flour, Shake the tin, best to do this over a bin or a sink. Tap the end to spread the flour evenly.

7.) Add a tbsp of the mixture to each shell.

8.) Bake for 5 minutes then turn off the oven for 1 minute.

9.) Turn the oven back on again but at 160 degrees C and bake for 5 more minutes.

10.) Take out the tin, place on a cooling rack and let cool before attempting to lift out the tin.

Gougères

These cheese puffs were another small bite I made for my Eurovision party. They were also a good way to use up the rest of the gruyère I bought for the beer cheese sauce. They are best eaten fresh but I just warmed them up in the oven for 5 minutes at 150 degrees C. The recipe is from one of my favourite celebrity chefs – Rachel Khoo – and her book ‘Little Paris Kitchen’ so named as living in Paris, she couldn’t afford much of a kitchen.

Makes about 15

Ingredients

  • 60ml water
  • 65ml milk
  • 50g butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 85g plain flour
  • 35g gruyere cheese
  • 2 eggs

Method

1.) Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C and line a baking tray

2.) Measure out the water and milk into a measuring jug, grate the cheese, beat the eggs into a container and beat with a fork, measure out the butter into a pan

3.) Measure out the flour and melt the butter into the pan.

4.) Once the butter is melted, add the water and milk, the flour and beat, add about 2/3 of the cheese and beat in until melted

5.) Add half the egg and mix, then add the other half and beat until a glossy paste

6.) Put the dough into a piping bag (or into a freezer bag with the corner chopped off to make a nozzle).

7.) Pipe on the baking tray into about 15 walnut sized balls. Don’t worry about getting it perfect. I went back and topped them up.

8.) Wet a finger and pat down the points on each ball.

9.) Sprinkle over the rest of the cheese on the tops.

10.) Bake for 20 minutes.