Little three-bite savory delights, perfect for a party!
It started with a trip to King Arthur Baking in Norwich. I was meeting my friend Suzy for lunch at the cafe, and had a couple of things to pick up from the baking store, primarily the organic white whole wheat flour I frequently use. Of course, whenever there, I need no excuse for a stroll through the aisles of the shop (now widened to accommodate social distancing). I came across a beautiful Madeleine tin with its little shell-shaped forms. It reminded me of my mother’s, although this one was a bit larger. Mom’s pan made 12 of these buttery little cakes, but this shiny new version made a bountiful 16.
A new toy!
I don’t know what happened to Mom’s tin, but I thought it would be fun to get my own and fiddle with her recipe. Lunch was leisurely, long, and perfect, and I returned home with my gathering task completed as well as a new pan to play with.
A simple recipe
A classic Madeleine recipe is simple. Eggs, well beaten and the only leavening, flour, salt, sugar, and melted butter. Mom always used a little lemon in hers, and some vanilla. She beat the eggs for seven or eight minutes, until the mixture was very high in volume and well ribboned when dropped off the beater. A careful folding in of the dry ingredients and butter, and the tin was filled with little dabs of this light and airy batter. In just a few minutes, they were finished, brown and crispy in the edges of the shells, the traditional “hump” on the top side, and beautifully fluffy on the inside. Perfect for afternoon tea!
Let’s make this savory
But what about a savory version? Many things came to mind, and while I was thinking about it, that new bag of organic white whole wheat flour was calling my attention. A healthier version perhaps?
The herb garden is a jungle of scents right now, especially my rosemary. My starting point, I thought an Italian spin on things would work. I ended up making two batches, one with sun-dried tomatoes and herbs, the second with black olives and herbs. They were both delicious, but we all liked the black olive version best!
Keep the eggs, but make a few other changes
Local, organic eggs stayed in the recipe, but I made other substitutions. I swapped out the whole wheat flour for the original white. While I was tempted to use regular butter in these, I decided on a really fruity olive oil instead to enhance the Italian flavors, and I kept my fingers crossed it would work!
The result was delightful, and will make an appearance at our next gathering! You can use any herbs you like in this, and add a little Parmesan or non-dairy cheese as well. The hump was not as pronounced, but it didn’t matter, the cakes were tasty and satisfied all.
And if you don’t have a Madeleine pan, you can use a mini muffin tin!
Savory Olive and Rosemary Madeleines
- 113 g. organic white whole wheat flour (about a cup)
- ½ tsp. sea salt
- ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp. minced fresh rosemary
- 1 tbsp. minced fresh parsley
- ¼ cup chopped black olives
- Zest of one lemon
- 4 large organic eggs, room temperature
- 1 tbsp. organic white sugar
- 1 tsp. lemon juice
- 2 tsp. Dijon style mustard
- ½ cup fruity olive oil
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and brush your Madeleine pan or mini muffin tin with olive oil.
Sift the flour, salt, and pepper into a medium bowl. Add the herbs, black olives, and zest. Set aside.
Place the eggs in a stand mixer and start beating on highest setting for four or five minutes. Add the sugar, lemon juice, and mustard, and continue beating for another three or four minutes. The mixture will be really thick, pale, and fluffy. When dripped from the beater, the batter will leave a ribbon that slowly disappears. Of course, you can use a hand mixer as well, but it will require just a bit more patience on your part! Put on some lovely music, and beat away!
Gently fold in the dry mixture a little at a time, taking care not to deflate the eggs. Just a sprinkle at a time. Then drizzle the oil in several batches around the outside of the batter and fold that in too.
Fill each cake mold about halfway with about a tablespoon of the batter.
Bake for about 14-16 minutes, until firm and starting to brown. Remove from the oven and let cool.
From Mom’s recipe box:
Beat four eggs and 2/3 cup of sugar to fluffy, about six minutes. Add a tsp. of lemon juice, 1 tsp. vanilla extract, and beat another couple of minutes. Sift in and fold, a little at a time, 1 cup cake flour, zest of a lemon, 1/2 tsp. salt, then drizzle in a stick of slightly cooled melted butter. Refrigerate for a half hour, then brush Madeleine pan with more butter, fill the wells, and bake for 15 minutes or so.
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