Finally! After months of thinking and tinkering, I am so happy to introduce you to the new blog design. It's clean and minimal and I am absolutely in love with it.
For such a long time, I felt unhappy with the way les filles de madeleine looked. When I decided to truly invest in this blog at the beginning of the year and make it my own again, I knew I needed to make some big changes. I focused on finding my voice and improving my photography and I vowed to post regularly, but I never got around to offering it all a decent platform. The new design was already in my head back then, but I didn't yet know how to make it happen. Since I didn't want to sacrifice my content and weekly posts, I couldn't find the time to figure it out either. So I continued to muddle through.
Don't get me wrong. I'm very happy with the way this blog and I myself have evolved these past 8 months. I've come a long way and I'm proud of it. This is why most of my old posts are still here. But I also see that the old design was holding me back. I didn't think it looked professional, which made me feel insecure and sometimes even a little ashamed. It kept me from duly promoting my blog and inevitably, I think those sentiments seeped into the blog posts too, though maybe not in a directly visible manner. I knew I could do better and it was high time to make that happen.
It took me a while to get all of this done, little bits at a time, and it's such a relief to finally get it out in the open. It feels good to no longer be at the mercy of a free wordpress account, with its many, many limitations, and while there will always be constraints, I know my options now are much more accustomed to my style and needs. It feels good to have finally updated my about page and to know that people will now be properly introduced to what this space is really about. And it feels good to know that browsing and searching for recipes has become a lot easier. I am already finding new joy in writing this and I am truly happy with how everything turned out. Better yet, I am proud of it.
Thank you to Charlotte for designing the new logo, to Kurt for helping me with the IT stuff and to Thomas for bearing with me through all the work. Now, let's celebrate! What better way to do so than with my mother's Brown Butter & Honey Madeleines?
• Incorporating brown butter, almond meal, powdered sugar and egg whites, this recipe closely resembles that of classic French financiers ... which is probably why these madeleines are so good. The ratios are a little different, though, resulting in a fluffy and moist madeleine with the wonderful nutty flavors of a financier. Using a rather dark, robust honey will enhance those flavors even more.
• The batter needs to rest in the refrigerator for at least a couple of hours, but overnight is really best. This allows the batter to aerate and stiffen up a bit (it's quite runny), making it easier to work with.
• A madeleine baking tray, with all its nooks and crannies, is notoriously difficult to grease. I recommend using a good amount of cooking spray, but manually rubbing the pan with butter works too. Just be sure that every little crease is buttered. Using silicone madeleine molds can make it a little easier to unmold, but I find that the little cakes don't bake up quite as well in these molds.
Brown butter & honey madeleines
makes ca. 12 large or 16 small madeleines
125 g unsalted butter
50 g all-purpose flour
50 g almond meal
125 g powdered sugar
pinch of salt
4 large egg whites, room temperature
1 scant tbsp honey
1. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, over medium-low heat, brown the butter. Occasionally swirl the pan around to keep the it from burning and wait until brown flecks start to appear on the bottom of the pan. The butter will sizzle and foam before it calms down again and starts to brown. Once the brown flecks start to appear, remove the pan from the heat and pour the butter into a clean, heatproof bowl. Allow to cool completely.
2. Over a medium bowl, sift flour, almond meal and powdered sugar. Add salt and stir to combine. Add egg whites, one by one, and stir until no lumps remain. Stir in honey and cooled butter until fully incorporated.
3. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.
4. Preheat oven to 190°C/375°F and generously grease a madeleine baking tray.
5. Fill the madeleine molds for about 3/4 and bake for 10-13 minutes, until golden brown and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool on a wire rack for 5-10 minutes, then unmold and allow to cool on the wire rack completely.