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Chocolate Dipped Orange Madeleines

Servings: Makes 24 madeleines

Definition: [MAD-l-ihn; mad-LEHN] A small, feather-light, spongy cake that is eaten like a cookie, often dipped in coffee or tea. Madeleines are baked in a special pan with scallop-shell indentations; the finished cakes take the form of the shell. In his landmark novel Remembrance of Things Past, French novelist Marcel Proust immortalized the madeleine when he wrote, "I raised to my lips a spoonful of the cake . . . a shudder ran through my whole body and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary changes that were taking place." Sounds as though he rather liked it.

Copyright (c) 1995 by Barron's Educational Series, from The New Food Lover's Companion, Second Edition, by Sharon Tyler Herbst

In this recipe for madeleines, the wonderful scent of fresh orange and the delightful flavor of bittersweet chocolate adds to the already marvelous taste of this buttery and light cookie.

4 oz. (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 large eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tablespoon finely minced fresh orange zest
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
7 ounces high quality bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

3-4 ounces white chocolate, melted

1. Beat the eggs and sugar in a large bowl until tripled in volume and a thick ribbon is formed when the beaters are lifted. Stir in the orange juice and zest.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt until well blended. In alternate turns, fold the flour mixture and cooled butter into the beaten eggs, mixing well after each addition.

3. Cover and refrigerate for 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C) and generously grease two 12-mold madeleine pans. Liberally dust the molds with flour and pour out the excess. Drop the batter by the tablespoonful into the center of each prepared mold, leaving the batter mounded in the center of each mold. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the edges are golden brown and centers spring back when lightly touched.

4. Remove the pans from the oven and firmly tap each pan to release the madeleines. Transfer to wire racks to cool. Line two baking sheets with waxed paper and place wire racks in pans.

5. Place chocolate in small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on medium (50% power) for 1 minute. Stir. Microwave 30 seconds more or until chocolate is softened. Stir until smooth.

6. Dip each madeleine into melted chocolate, coating bottom third of madeleine. Shake off excess chocolate and place on wire rack. Repeat with remaining madeleines. Let dipped madeleines stand at room temperature for 1-2 hours or until chocolate is set.

Makes 24 madeleines.

If desired, drizzle melted white chocolate over some of the madeleines.

Source: DianasDesserts.com
Date: April 20, 2003