French Madeleines – Preparing the Oven and Ingredients

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 16,945
    Chef Karen Stiegler demonstrates preparing the oven and ingredients for French Madeleines.

    Karen Stiegler: Hi! I am Karen Stiegler and today I am showing you how to make Traditional French Madelines. So let's first talk about preparing the oven, and the ingredients. First of all I want to talk about your oven. Everybody's oven operates sort of a different temperature and just because you preheat your oven to the temperature it says on the outside, it doesn't mean that on the inside it's actually that temperature. So what I suggest is you get one of these, this is oven thermometer. You can buy it at a grocery store, any sort of store that has kitchen supplies as well and put it in your oven and just leave it in your oven. In that way, you will always know what your oven temperature actually is. And it will help in all your baking and cooking. It's a good idea, because sometimes you never know your oven can run hot or cold. So try getting one of those. Now I would like to talk to you about the ingredients and I want to emphasis that there are not a lot of ingredients in this recipe, so you want to get good quality ingredients and first of all we have our butter. We always use unsalted butter in baking and the reason for that is twofold. First of all, it allows you to control your salt and you can adjust it as needed because it's not already in the butter, so you won't get over salted. The other thing is that salt is a preservative. So when the manufactures of butter put salt in it, that means that their butter can stay longer on the shelf and you really want to the freshest, best tasting butter. So when you buy the unsalted butter which is also called sweet butter, that's the best thing for baking. So we have our butter here and we are going to go ahead and start melting these before I move on to the other ingredients. Because we have to melt this and then we have to cool it before we can mix it into the batter. And of course we have a little extra butter that I mentioned at the beginning of the recipe that we are going to use to prepare the pans. So we put our butter in a small sauce pan and then we have our two teaspoons of honey, so we just want to empty that in, okay. And then we can go ahead and put that on stove to melt it. Once it's melted, we want to cool it down because we don't want it too hot when we add it to the rest of the ingredients. So now I want to talk to you about the other ingredients measuring and what not. Okay, so first of all, I have a set of dry measuring cups here and these are different than the liquid measuring cup. So for this recipe we are using the dry measuring cup and this is specifically for flours, and sugars and things like that. The liquid measuring cup is more for milk, or oil, or liquid things. So you want to have the right measuring cups and also you want to have the right kind of measuring spoons. So when you buy flour, it comes in a bag like this from the store and when it's packaged at the factory the flour is put into the bag and it becomes very heavy and dense and packs down and then during shipping and stocking, and shelving and all that, the flour is getting more and more compacted down. But you want a light flour when you make your baked goods.

    So first of all what I recommend is that when you come home with your bag of flour, take it and pour it into another canister or container and that will help to irate the flour and incorporate more air and fluffiness into it just to start with. Then when you are measuring, you want to do two things. You want to avoid measuring by taking a measuring cup and scooping because when you scoop, you are compacting more flour into the measuring cup and making it denser and heavier. So what you want to do is you want to use a large spoon and just spoon it in to your measuring cup and ideally not from the bag, ideally from your canister of flour. If you don't have a canister for the flour, and you can always reach in and fluff up your flour a little bit with the spoon, that also helps. And then you want to take a knife, or some kind of scrapper or spatula and just level off your flour. And there you have a perfect cup of flour. You want to be careful in your measurements, it's really important in baking. So that is how we measure our flour. Now I have here my flour for this recipe and I have my sugar, and I have my baking powder and my salt. And I have a bowl here, that I am going to put it into. But first of all I am supposed to sift my flour for this recipe. So I have my sifter ready. Once again, I am just incorporating more air into the flour by sifting it and this will give us a light and fluffy finished product. So you can sift out, if there is any little bits in here remaining, you can just dump them out. Those are the things you wanted to get rid off. Alright, so we have our whisk and we are just going to whisk in our sugar, we are going to whisk all our dry ingredients together and our baking powder and a pinch of salt. Once again incorporating more air and lightness into the mixture. So now we have whisk together our dry ingredients and next we are going to combine our wet ingredients.