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Lime, Vanilla and Almond Madeleines

My first memory of Madeleines is on my family holiday in Ibiza. Bet you didn’t expect me to say that did you?

Well, there was a little bakery next to the hotel that we stayed in every year and most days I would take a wander down with my brother, buy a sweet treat for the family and take it back to the swimming pool.

They sold the most delicious Cream Cakes and Madeleines. I also had fun making my way through large packs that you could buy in the supermarket. I found them delicious – rich and sweet with a fantastic vanilla taste.

So I am surprised that I only baked them for the first time last week. I guess I had never got around to buying the special tin – until Lakeland had an offer on just before Christmas time. I spotted it and thought I’d give them a go.

I also received a great present through the post last week, which spurred me on even more. When I was on holiday in Australia, I baked some Chocoalte Chip Cookies and I was telling my boyfriend’s grandma how much I love to bake. I opened my post last week and she had sent me the brand new ‘Baking Made Easy’ by Lorraine Pascale with a little note saying that she had been watching her new TV programme and that she thought I’d like her book. I do, I love it.

Lorraine has a great recipe for Lemon and Hazelnut Madaleines but I didn’t have any Hazelnuts in the house so I substituted this for Ground Almonds. I also swapped the Lemon for Lime to mix things up a bit.

They turned out well with a lovely zesty lime flavour. I couldn’t really taste the Almond and I have a feeling that it had made them slightly heavier than they were supposed to be so next time I’ll make sure I stick to Hazelnuts.

Ingredients (Makes around 30)

I used sunflower oil for oiling the tin

4 large eggs
100g golden caster sugar
80g melted butter
1/2 vanilla pod, deseeded (you’ll need to use the seeds)
Pinch of salt
100g Nature Friendly plain flour
40g ground almonds
Zest of 2 limes

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 180degrees and oil the madeleine tin

1. Whisk the eggs in a bowl (an electric mixer is very helpful here) until almost doubled in volume
2. Still whisking, tip sugar down the side and keep going until the mixture is light and mousse like. Stop whisking
3. Tip the melted butter down the side of the bowl, followed by the vanilla. Fold the mixture carefully so that you do not knock too much air out of the mixture
4. Add the salt and the flour little by little (I didn’t sift this and it was fine) and fold until a batter is formed
5. Add the ground almonds and lime zest and stir to combine (again making sure that you don’t knock any air out)
6. Pour into the madeleine tin and bake for 10 minutes or until they turn a golden brown colour
7. Unless you have a few tins, you’ll need to empty the baked madeleines onto a cooling tray, cool the tin with cold water, re oil and add the next batch of batter. I did this 3 times

Enjoy with a cuppa or a steaming mug of Hot Chocolate.

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