In an effort to counteract the habit of devouring every meal I eat like it’s the last one I’ll have, I’ve started a foodstagram (food + instagram, clever) and a blog. I’ve always loved cooking and baking. I grew up in a household full of obscure organic vegetables, hummus and multigrain bread. I was that kid at uni who spent all of their first term student loan at Marks and Spencer’s because they’d grown up believing that saffron should be a household cupboard staple.
You’ll be happy to know that by the end of my degree I was heading straight for the Sainsbury’s basics aisle (can we have a moment for 15p packs of bourbons) and buying dried pasta by the kilo. I would literally thank the heavenly lord above when Morrison’s ready meals were reduced down to £1.52 and then hand over a £20 at 3AM for an extra large, meats of the world, pizza. Tragic.
Now that I am a fully fledged adult, I’ve had the time and the free fresh ingredients (thanks mum) to not only rekindle the old love of cooking/baking but even learn a new thing or two.. apparently you can learn things after university, who knew. I’m training myself to slow down, to enjoy. This foodstagram/blog is about finding my cooking feet again, and I am excited to share part of that journey with you.
So here is my first recipe, a simple yet delicious French sponge cake which will both impress your friends and line your stomach before a night out, win win.
Honey and Vanilla Madeleines
What you’ll need:
– 125g butter
– 100g icing sugar
– 40g ground almonds
– 40g all purpose flour
– A pinch of salt
– 3 large egg whites
– 2 teaspoons of honey
– The grated zest of two lemons
– 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
– 1 madeleine pan, these can be found on amazon for less than a fiver, so really you have no excuse.
How you do it:
Heat the oven to 170C (325F, gas 3). Put the butter in a saucepan over medium heat until melted. Continue to cook until golden brown. This is called beurre noisette, it’s something I learned from one of my fancy french cook books. You want the butter to sizzle for a bit so that it starts to give off a nutty aroma. Once it’s the right colour, take it off the heat and leave to cool.
Sift the sugar, almonds, flour, and salt in a mixing bowl. Whisk in the egg whites, honey, lemon zest and vanilla and then slowly add the cooled beurre noisette.
Cover the bowl with cling film and refrigerate the mixture for 30 minutes, this will help the madeleines to receive the right texture when you bake.
After 30 minutes, spoon the mixture into the pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes. Allow to cool completely and enjoy!