1.21.2017

User Error

While I love a good clementine, sometimes a three-pound bag has just a few too many.

I really love them in Ottolenghi's Roasted Chicken with Fennel and Clementines, and have made it several times recently.

I would love to make a clementine curd tart, but using 10 egg yolks, tons of butter, and squeezing all that clementine juice? Maybe another time.

Today, I surfed the Web, combined several recipes, added a few of my own changes, and decided to present you with Clementine Madeleines. What could possible be wrong with these?

User error, that's what.

Everything was looking perfect. There was just the perfect amount of batter to fill the molds. And then I went to put them in the oven.

At that very moment, I glanced at the stovetop and wondered why there was a small saucepan of cooled, melted butter.

Sheesh! Butter! Madeleines have butter. My batter lacked butter. So, I scraped the batter back into the bowl, washed and re-prepared the mold.

I poured the melted butter into the butterless batter and, as gently as I could, folded it in. No one likes a deflated Madeleine. Oddly, the amount of batter was almost the same - just enough for 12 Madeleines.

It was reminiscent of having the 9-year old kid next door come over to fix your computer, only to tell you you have an "ID Ten T" error... or, more clearly written ID10T.

At least I didn't need to have that kid come over to tell me I'm an idiot. I can tell myself just fine.

Happily, the Madeleines came out perfectly.

~ David

Clementine Madeleines

for preparing the molds:
3/4 tablespoon butter
1/2 tablespoon flour

1 large egg
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
6 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons flour
3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons superfine sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
finely grated zest of 2 clementines
1 tablespoon clementine juice
confectioner’s sugar, for dusting

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Prepare the Madeleine pan: melt 3/4 tablespoon butter, then mix in the 1/2 tablespoon flour. Using a pastry brush, “paint” the insides of the molds with the butter and flour mixture. Set aside.

Using a hand-held mixer, beat the egg and sugar together until they become thick and pale. Whisk together the flour and baking powder, then sprinkle onto the egg mix and gently fold in. Add the melted butter, clementine zest and clementine juice; gently fold into the egg mixture.

Fill Madeleine molds two-thirds full (a heaping teaspoon), and bake for 11 minutes. When they are golden around the edges, remove them from the oven and let cool 2-3 minutes. Using a thin spatula, loosen the edges and push the Madeleines out to cool on a rack.

Dust with confectioner’s sugar.

Makes 12 Madeleines

30 comments:

  1. You caught me out on this one. When I saw User Error as the title, I refreshed the page, thinking it didm't load properly. Oh dear. Where's that 9 year old kid? I think I need his help.

    I'm sure I've done similar mistakes in the kitchen before, and you know what, it's allowed. Oh that's right, I forgot to put sugar into a muffin mix. So out came the tray, scraped out the batter and mixed in the sugar.

    I bet your madeleines tasted great and anybody that tried them, would love them.

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    1. Haha - Mark said I should change the title! Seems most people are getting past it... at least I hope so!

      It is nice seeing everyone's little errors while baking. My usual is to have wonderful garnishes set aside and then, after dinner is all said and done, the garnishes all lie there unused and unloved... Oh well.

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  2. A good cook rolls with the punches (and the clementines). GREG

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  3. Happens. Your madeleines look beautiful, David!

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    1. Thanks, Liz - I like "User Error Happens" - perhaps that should have been the title of my post!

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  4. cute story and cookies look delicious!! I once put a chocolate cheesecake in the oven only to notice the sour cream on the counter!! Folded it in oh so gently so I didn't disturb the cookies crust. Lucky for me it worked!!

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    1. Was this with your famous chocolate cheesecake, Jill? Glad it worked!

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  5. Great post David, I think we have all done similar things in the kitchen, look at all those cooking shows and sometimes they forget one of the ingredients they were supposed to add. These look delicious, loving everything citrus right now.

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    1. I did it once while teaching a cooking class. It was very embarrassing... it showed me that I can't talk and cook at the same time!

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  6. Mmmmmm....I just got a madeleine pan for Christmas. I haven't used it yet, though. I love madeleines but have never made them because, obviously, I didn't have a mold. I will sub lemon zest for the mandarins since I only have lemons. I have made some goofy mistakes while baking, too. Who knows why hubby used to always forget the baking powder in the cornbread recipe from the Silver Palate cookbook. Then I decided to write, in bold RED marker, on the recipe, DON'T FORGET THE BAKING POWDER! That worked.

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    1. I love that, Caterina! Maybe I should keep a red marker in the kitchen! here is another recipe for madeleines in my site, too - and they use lemon. Let me know how they work out!

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  7. I love how your photos walk it through, step by step!! These look just lovely!! Thanks for sharing! <3 - http://www.domesticgeekgirl.com

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    1. Thanks fro your note, Gingi - I look forward to checking out your blog!

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  8. I think something like that has happened to us all. You rescued your creation and they sound quite good.

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    1. Thanks, Karen - I have to wonder how much better they might have been if the butter went in when it was supposed to! :)

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  9. Ces madeleines sont magnifiques.

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  10. Lucky you remembered when you did! They look delicious.

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    1. True, Caroline - they would have been awful (I think) without the butter!

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  11. It is reassuring to know that even some of my favourite cooks make mistakes sometimes... the kind I make ;o)

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    1. Thanks, Fiona! So nice to hear from you! Hope all is well in Milano.

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  12. Oh my gosh, I get so frustrated when I forget an ingredient, and I must say, it happens often when I'm baking. Good job going with the flow and scooping out the batter and adding the butter. Looks like the result was perfect! I love clementines and I bet the flavor in the cookies is divine.

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    1. It is a really nice flavor, Valentina - quite delicate. I might double the zest next time!

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  13. Oh I would have been so exasperated! Well, probably I'd have realized it AFTER they were in the oven and thrown up my hands. They did turn out beautiful in the end!

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    1. Thanks, Inger - now I am really beginning to wonder if I had left out the butter, might I have invented a new taste treat?

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  14. I agree with Inger! I would have run out of the kitchen! I'm glad you didn't do that! These look really good!

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    1. Oh, Susan, I don't think you would have run from your kitchen. I think you would have uncorked a nice rosé, taken a seat at your kitchen table, and laughed out loud (while intermittently sipping the rosé). Right?

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  15. I'm so glad to know I'm not the only one who does things like this! So glad the madeleines still turned out for you! They sound lovely with the addition of the clementine flavor!

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    1. If you look at the comments, Christian, you can see that we definitely are not alone!

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Thank you for taking the time to leave me a note - I really appreciate hearing from you and welcome any ideas you may have for future posts, too. Happy Cooking!

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