This is the first full page cake portrait that greets my taste buds upon perusing Jane Asher’s book entitled Beautiful Baking. This Victoria Sandwich is layered to overflowing with sweetened Whipping Cream and slices of fresh Strawberries. A classic feature of an Afternoon Tea. Hmm delish!

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Did you know that it is less expensive to order books online than to just cross the street for a convenient visit to your local bookstore? I certainly didn’t. What can I say, I’m still old school. I only have a few cake books in my “Kitchen Library” so I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of these two! Party Cakes by Mich Turner (Little Venice Cake Company) and Simply Spectacular Cakes by Peggy Porschen (Peggy Porschen Cakes).

I have a fixation on European baked goods, cake creators/decorators and pastry chefs so these will be great additions. I plan to recreate some of my childhood favorites from the UK and to work my way through these books and show the results right here so roll on July 3 (their arrival date)!

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.

This is my first food blog and I am strangely nervous. I have read, followed, and secretly admired many but never thought of having my own until I was encouraged and cajoled by a fellow blogger pal – The Accidental Natural. So here goes.

Although aptly named I have never made neither a Madeleine nor a Macaron. I have yet to even taste a Madeleine but imagine that it would be devine and I am determined to experience the real thing. But until then both I and this online test kitchen will rely on David Lebovitz, and others, for a guided taste tour.

However, I did have the pleasure of tasting vanilla, caramel, and pistachio Macarons at Paillard Café in Quebec City…and I am in love. So, the first and second recipes that I will tackle will be for both of these dainty treats. I have already sourced a regular non-non stick Madeleine pan (Williams Sonoma) which I am picking up tomorrow plan to pick up asap. I will be back with some photos. Wish me luck!