Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Lime, vanilla and poppy seed madeleines and a very interesting character

Lime, vanilla and poppy seed madeleines / Madeleines de baunilha, limão e sementes de papoula

The young ones reading me today won’t remember it, but back in the 90s a pop group called the Spice Girls became a huge hit and their main motto was “girl power” – I was about eighteen when “Wannabe” was released and, back then, I didn’t think there was anything empowering to women in what the group sang or did (and to be honest I’m 35 now and still don’t get it).

Cut to many years later: because of what I’d been watching, Netflix suggests The Fall, and I got immediately interested in the series both because of its dark nature and of Gillian Anderson – that is how I’m introduced to Stella Gibson, the most feminist character I’d seen on TV shows and definitely one of the most interesting ones. As I watched the five episodes of The Fall – and thought of how much I wanted those five to be fifteen, twenty –, the more I liked Anderson’s character and the more I thought of her as the personification of girl power, so much more than an empty slogan shouted at the top of a hotel in Cannes.

The way Stella behaves and the things she says on the show are truly amazing – I believe she’s sending a message to everyone watching, and it’s a very positive one. That kind of strong female character is a delight to watch and Gillian Anderson is sheer perfection portraying Stella Gibson – the good news is that there will be a second season, so there’s more real girl power coming our way. \0/

And because this is a feminist post about a feminist character, nothing better than a baked good with a woman’s name to go with it.

Lime, vanilla and poppy seed madeleines
slightly adapted from the always stunning Gourmet Traveller

80g unsalted butter
finely grated zest of 1 large lime
65g granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise, seeds scraped with the back of a knife
½ tablespoon light brown sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
½ tablespoon mild honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
115g all purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
½ tablespoon poppy seeds
melted butter, extra, for brushing the molds
icing sugar, for dusting

Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat, add lime zest and set aside until cooled to room temperature but still liquid (2-3 minutes).
Place the granulated sugar and vanilla beans in the bowl of an electric mixer and rub them together with your fingertips until sugar is fragrant. Add the brown sugar, eggs, honey and vanilla extract and beat until light and fluffy (4-5 minutes). Sift over flour, baking powder and salt, add the poppy seeds and fold through.
Fold in butter mixture a little at a time until just incorporated, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate (4 hours or up to overnight).
Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F. Brush twenty two 2-tablespoon capacity madeleine molds with melted butter and refrigerate for 10 minutes. Brush the molds again and refrigerate for another 10 minutes. Divide the mixture between the molds (do not spread it out). Bake until golden and cooked through (8-10 minutes), then immediately unmold onto a wire rack.
Dust with icing sugar. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes 22


Laura (Tutti Dolci) said...

Lovely madeleines!

Lesleyc said...

I loved the series and yes, she was fantastic. My husband hated it - a little too graphic for him! A shame that the leading actor decided to take the leading role in Fifty Shades of Grey.

Patricia Scarpin said...

Lesleyc, I'm glad to hear you like the series, too!
I bet they showered the guy with tons of money, but I agree with you: it's a downgrade for him.

Lily (A Rhubarb Rhapsody) said...

You've got me intrigued about The Fall, I'm going to download it now. I'm sick in bed so I'm desperate for something interesting to watch! I've been on the hunt for a madeleine pan for some time now, they're just not popular here which is such a shame. These look so dainty. <3

Patricia Scarpin said...

Hi Lily, I hope you like the show! And get well soon, dear.

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