My tips for Paris and perfecting madeleines

Ahhhh Paris, who does not love hanging out in Paris? Shopping, museums, food and les frenchies biensur; all  adorable and lovely. Whether I go for a day or for 2 weeks, I just love discovering and yes, eating my way through Paris. This past trip the madeleines I ate inspired me to try and make them myself. Today I share from my test kitchen a sweet and a savoury recipe. Let me know what you think? oh and the savoury madeleines are a great idea for upcoming holidays aperitif snack.

PARIS – what can I say about this fabulous metropolis of fashion and food that you don’t already know?

Let me share my 3 golden tips when planning a trip to Paris:

  1. Book your hotel in the area ( arrondissement) where you will spend the most of your time in order to cut back on long metro rides or expensive taxis/uber.
  2. Get your museums tickets in advance and book the 1st entrance time of the day. Or the reverse, get the last entrance of the day. ( in Versailles it is worth arriving at 15H30, tour the garden for an hour and than get in a 10 minute line only ( versus 2hrs when we arrived) at 16H30 to see the castle at ease till it closes at 18H ( last entry at 17H).
  3. Pick the type of restaurant versus the type of cuisine you want to discover: gastronomical, trendy, upscale brasserie, seasonal & organic, casual or traditional. Try to mix it up during your stay, you will enjoy the variety!

YUMMY – I was lucky to try a few restaurants on this trip so I highlight for you the 3 that are definitely worth a visit:

  • Orties – (link here) Chef Thomas, an autodidact, prioritizes working with local, seasonal and foraged ingredients and sources those directly from small growers and producers. His wine list showcases organic and biodynamic French wines.  His unique menu is a seasonal composition carefully balanced and a total surprise dish after dish ( literally, we didn’t know the menu). I was absolutely enchanted by this discovery!
  • Anima – (link here ) This trendy and modern pizza restaurant prides themselves in bringing authentic Italian flavours while aiming for a family style dining experience. I just LOVED that crust, so light and airy. They have a great wine selection as well but you can start dinner with a cocktail if you prefer. I liked it soo much I went twice!
  • GrandCoeur – (link here ) Chef Mauro has 2 Michelin stars in Menton, and this little gem between “bistro chic” and brasserie tucked away in a divine little courtyard in le Marais.  Here Chef Nino showcases balanced dishes with simplicity but full of flavour. Its cosy and very welcoming restaurant is only surpassed by the kind and attentive staff. A must for sure!

MADELEINES – a sponge-cake like biscuit, I guess is the way to describe this shell-shaped threat. Traditionally this is eggs, sugar, flour and butter, add little lemon zest and done. Of course now you can find them in all kinds of flavours as well as savoury versions. Marcel Proust, a famous French novelist, wrote about the unconditional love he had for this biscuit already a 100 years ago. I have to say it was far easier and faster to make than I thought. I am not particularly found of lemon zest in my biscuits so I exchanged it for a little splash of vanilla. My savoury mini madeleines are made with Parmesan cheese and fresh thyme, so perfect with a glass of bubbly. The ONLY downside is you should serve them warm but  you can not make them ahead and reheat. So make the mixture a head of time and bake “a la minute” when your guests arrive.

Sweet and savoury madeleines

Ingredients

for the sweet:

  • 2 eggs
  • 100 gr sugar
  • 100 gr plain flour, plus some extra for dusting
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 100 gr butter, melted and cooled, plus some extra for greasing
  • to flavour: lemon zest or vanilla pod, seeds removed or green match tea powder

for the savoury:

  • 2 eggs
  • 50 gr Parmesan, finely grated
  • 50 gr flour, plus some extra for dusting
  • fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 100 gr butter, melted and cooled, plus some extra for greasing

Instructions

for the sweet:

  1. Whisk the eggs and sugar in a bowl till pale and frothy. Lightly whisk in the remaining ingredients: flour, baking powder, butter and the flavouring of your choice. Leave to rest for 20 minutes. 
  2. Brush the madeleine tray with melted butter, dust with some flour and tapping the excess out.
  3. Pour the mixture into the tray, bake in pre heated oven at 180 C degrees for 8-10 minutes for large and 5 - 8 minutes for small size madeleines. Transfer the madeleines to a wire rack and leave a few minutes to cool slightly and serve immediately while still warm.

for the savoury:

  1. Whisk the eggs till pale and frothy. Lightly whisk in the remaining ingredients: parmesan, flour, baking powder, butter and the thyme leaves, season with pepper. Leave to rest for 20 minutes. 
  2. Brush the madeleine tray with melted butter, dust with some flour and tapping the excess out.
  3. Pour the mixture into the tray, bake in pre heated oven at 180 C degrees for 8-10 minutes for large and 5 - 8 minutes for small size madeleines. Transfer the madeleines to a wire rack and leave a few minutes to cool slightly and serve immediately while still warm.

Notes

on www.leeksandhighheels.com by Sandra Slawinski

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