You’ve probably heard that “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade”, right? Well, I haven’t made anything with lemons this time – which is pretty unusual for this blog – but the saying fits perfectly here.
I wanted to bake a special gift for a special young lady (more about that later on this week) and thought that dulce de leche macarons would make her happy. The problem is that my macarons ended up in the garbage can and I got stuck with a batch of praliné. A look at my bookshelf and inspiration hit me: I’d use one of Dorie’s madeleine recipes and add the crushed praliné to the batter. Worked like a charm. :D
Almond praliné madeleines
adapted from Baking: From My Home to Yours
5 tablespoons (70g) unsalted butter
¾ cup (105g) all purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
1/3 cup (67g) sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 recipe crushed praliné (recipe follows)
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a small bowl and set aside.
Working with a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs and sugar until pale and thick, 2-3 minutes. Add the honey and vanilla and beat well. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the dry ingredients and the praliné. When they are incorporated, fold in the butter. Press a piece of plastic against the surface of the batter and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or for up to 2 days (it will firm up quite a bit).
Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF. Butter 12-full size madeleines molds, dust the insides with flour and tap out the excess. Spoon the batter into the molds ¾ full – don’t worry about leavening the batter, the oven’s heat will take care of that.
Bake for 12-14 minutes or until madeleines are golden and the tops spring back when touched. Remove the pan form the oven and release the madeleines from the mold.
Transfer the cookies to a rack to cool to just warm or to room temperature.
Makes 12 – I got 12 traditional-shaped madeleines + 9 scallop-shaped ones
3 tablespoons sugar
¼ cup (38g) unblanched almonds
Line a baking sheet with foil and brush it lightly with oil. Set aside.
Combine the sugar and almonds in a heavy saucepan. Place over medium heat to begin melting the sugar. Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon so the sugar melts and caramelizes evenly. Cook to a light amber color.
Scrape the praliné from the saucepan and spread it about 6mm (¼-inch) thick onto prepared foil. Let cool to room temperature for about 10 minutes. Break the hard praliné into about 3.5cm (1 ½-in) pieces, place them in a bowl of a food processor and quickly pulse until finely ground.