Monday, 7 January 2008

Rosebud Madeleines

It was the curled in smallness of these tender sponge biscuits, as well as the fact that they're flavoured with rosewater, that made me name them as I have - Nigella Lawson

The verdict: At long last - a joint effort between Bells and RoseRed! And mmmmm, these were delicious! They are in the biscuits section of the book, but really, they are more like little sponges or cupcakes, particularly if you make them in a "normal" sized madeleine tin.

Unusual or substituted ingredients: Rosewater is the unusual thing. If you can't find rosewater, you could probably use a bit of orange juice and orange zest, or maybe just vanilla essence. The rosewater really does give a lovely scent and flavour though, so try to find some if you can. Bells found some at an Indian groceries shop. Other than that, standard ingredients like flour, butter, sugar and an egg. Interestingly, not much of any of them. We had our doubts as to whether the mix would make the 48 madeleines Nigella says it would. She's obviously used teeny tiny madeleine tins, because we got 12 out of the mix.

Special utensils or cookware: Madeleine tin. Of which I (RoseRed) now have two, given that I'd already bought one and promptly forgot that I had it, so I bought another one - which I will return, as I really don't think I need two madeleine tins.

Repeatability: I would totally make these again. Possibly with different flavours, just to see how they turn out. They'd be great for a girl's fairy party, given they are so pretty, and simple, to make. Just leave yourself enough time - as Nigella asks you to refrigerate the mix for an hour, then leave it out of the fridge for another half an hour, before you actually bake. Not sure why. Not sure why you can't just refrigerate for half an hour and be done with it. Can anyone shed any light on this? At least you can make them the day before - just don't be tempted to eat them all before the event!

Sauciness: Not saucy - pretty! When they're still in the tin, they look pretty bland but flip them over and you have these gorgeous little shell shapes, all golden and delectable!

Overall pleasure level: These were delicious - the perfect afternoon tea fare, which is exactly what they were made for. Simple and delightful!