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Rose wedding cake by Diana Henry-Make your own wedding cake

Rose wedding cake by Diana Henry Photo: PETER CASSIDY

Serves 25

Telegraph UK online ~ Making your own wedding cake could not be simpler. Diana Henry decorated this wedding cake using a mixture of crystallised petals from large ivory roses and whole miniature roses. This icing looks best with ivory, cream, pale yellow or peach-coloured petals. The miniature roses are not edible, so remember to warn guests. The iced cake can be brought to the venue on its stand, with the crystallised petals in an airtight box. Apply them a couple of hours before the wedding.

The first Madeleine recipe I posted was provided by the Williams Sonoma store (a version of their online recipe) and I had declared that I would also try out David Lebovtiz’s version…and try them I did. They were a revelation. I now realise that my first Maddies were waaay too brown (may be due to the brown sugar caramelizing in the baking pan? Not sure).

This second attempt produced flavourful, lightly browned versions. I am so proud of me! I made a few minor changes and next time I’ll add a few more but these were simply great.

Lemon-Glazed Madeleines ~ Adapted from David Lebovitz’s recipe

24 cookies

If you use baking powder, they may take another minute or so to bake since the batter will rise higher. They’re done when the cakes feel just set if you poke them with your finger. Avoid overbaking them, look for light browning on the edges at pan level. I baked these in the middle of my oven. FYI Lemon glaze can be omitted.

Ingredients
3 large eggs, at room temperature

1 tsp clear Vanilla Essence/Extract (optional)

2/3 cup granulated sugar/superfine sugar

rounded 1/8 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking powder (optional)

zest of one lemon

1-2 tablespoons of lemon juice (optional)

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature

Glaze
1 cup (150g) powdered sugar

1 tablespoon freshly-squeezed lemon juice

2 tablespoons water

Next Steps

1. Brush the indentations of a madeleine mold with melted butter. Dust with flour, tap off any excess, and place in the freezer.

2. In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, whip the eggs and sugar for 5-8 minutes until frothy and thickened. Stir in Vanilla Essence/Extract (optional).

3. Sift the flour, baking powder (optional) and salt and use a spatula to fold in the flour mix into the batter. (Rest the bowl on a damp towel to help steady it for you.)

4. Add the lemon zest and juice to the cooled butter. Fold butter mixture into the batter, in approx. 4-5 portions. Fold just until all the butter is incorporated.

5. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. (I left mine for 6 hours but this is not necessary).

6. To bake the madeleines, preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

7. The batter will be relatively firm. Get a teaspoon and a cup of water, wet teaspoon before each scoop (makes it easier to slip the batter off the spoon). Place enough batter in the center of each indentation to fill it to 3/4. DO NOT SPREAD IT.

8. Bake for 8-9 minutes or until the cakes just feel set. While the cakes are baking, make a glaze in a small mixing bowl by stirring together the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and water until smooth.

9. Remove from the oven and place the madeleines on a cooling rack (you can use a fork to gently loosen them). The moment they’re cool enough to handle, dip the scalloped cake top in the glaze or you can also turn them over to make sure both sides are coated and shake off any excess. After dipping, rest each one back on the cooling rack, scalloped side up, until the cakes are cool and the glaze has firmed up. Bon appetite!

Storage: Glazed madeleines are best left uncovered, or not tightly-wrapped; they’re best eaten the day they’re made. They can be kept in a container for up to three days after baking, if necessary. Freezing is not recommended since the glaze will melt.

Chocolate Cherry Bread Pudding

Long story short, I have a biase against any meal that includes recooking bread in any way except toast. Bread pudding was an especially repulsive concept to me as I assumed that it would be soft and slimy much like the scum produced on the surface of hot milk. DOUBLE YUCK! But I was recently fervently encouraged to taste Bread Pudding.

I knew that I would absolutely HATE it. Sigh. I literally took as small a serving as I could and added a touch of Creme Anglais. I figured that I could comfortably consume this small serving before my gage reflex kicked in.

I returned to my table and figured what the hell lets get it finished. I scooped up some of the pudding with the Creme Anglais and popped it into my mouth. I was immediately sorry that I hadn’t taken more. It really was GREAT! It had a nice texture and was deliciously rich without being overly sweet. It was gone way too quickly.

I was hooked. I sent my appreciation and compliments to the Chef and decided that I would try to recreate this dessert when I returned home. I looked through recipe after recipe and came up with one of my own and took it to work for a bake sale fundraiser and it sold out and I also gave some to one of my taste testers, The Accidental Natural, and she loved it too. So, if you have the chance to visit Queen’s Landing ask for Chef Carol’s White Chocolate Cherry Bread Pudding, you won’t be dissappointed.

White Chocolate Bread Pudding with Cherries (this is a version of my recipe which was sourced from Epicurious.com et al)

For bread pudding

  • about 1/2 pound brioche or challah
  • 5 ounces fine-quality white chocolate
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 large whole eggs
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

For poached cherries

  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup dried tart cherries
  • Accompaniment: whipped cream, Creme Anglais or Vanilla Icecream

Make pudding:
Butter an 8-inch square glass baking dish. Cut enough bread into 3/4-inch cubes to measure 6 cups. Chop chocolate.

In a small heavy saucepan bring 1 cup cream just to a boil and add chocolate. Remove pan from heat and let mixture stand, covered, undisturbed. In another small heavy saucepan bring milk and remaining cup cream to a gentle simmer. In a bowl with an electric mixer beat together whole eggs, yolks, sugar, and a pinch salt on medium speed 5 minutes. With mixer running, add milk mixture in a slow stream, beating until combined well. Whisk chocolate mixture until smooth and add with vanilla to egg mixture. Beat mixture until combined well.

Arrange bread cubes in baking dish. Pour cream mixture over bread and with a spoon push bread down into mixture to coat evenly. Chill pudding, covered, 1 1/2 hours (I don’t think that this is necessary).

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Bake pudding in middle of oven 45 to 60 minutes, or until set and springy to the touch. Transfer pudding to a rack and cool 30 minutes before serving.

Poach cherries while pudding is baking:
In a saucepan bring wine, water, and sugar to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Add cherries and remove pan from heat. Let mixture stand, covered, 1 hour. Drain cherries in a sieve and discard liquid.

Serve pudding with cherries and whipped cream, Creme Anglais or Vanilla Icecream.

I picked up my Madeleine pan today at Williams Sonoma. The assistant offered me a recipe and although I already had one I took it anyway as my research has shown that there seems to be a zillion paths to the perfect Madeleine. The recipe was quick and easy i.e. no resting of the dough etc. So, I used it as a basis but threw in some adaptations along the way.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 egg

1/3 cup brown sugar (instead of granulated)

Grated zest of 1/2 a lemon

5 Tbs. softened unsalted butter

Lemon Glaze

(An add-on adapted from David Lebovitz’s recipe, which will be attempted in its entirety at a future date)

3/4 cup (150g) powdered sugar

1 tablespoon freshly-squeezed lemon juice

2 tablespoons water

Directions:

Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 375°F. Generously butter the molds of a 12-place Madeleine pan and dust with flour, tap off any excess, and place in the fridge or freezer (10-15 mins).

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl and set aside. In another bowl.

Combine the egg, lemon zest and brown sugar and beat lightly. Stir flour mix into the egg mixture until well combined.

Add reserved butter and beat just until it is all incorporated thoroughly. Don’t overmix. Place in the fridge for approx. 10 mins.

Spoon the batter into the prepared molds, filling each one about 1/2 to 3/4 full.

Bake until the Madeleines are light brown around the edges and on the bottom, 12-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and immediately remove the Madeleines from the pan to a wire rack.

The moment they’re cool enough to handle, dip each cake in the glaze, turning them over to make sure both sides are coated. After dipping, rest each one back on the cooking rack, scalloped side up, until the cakes are cool and the glaze has firmed up.

Recipe notes that it makes 12 Madeleines, however I only got 10 taystay cakes! Oh well.