Tuesday, January 11, 2011

TWD: Chocolate Madeleines

So, we got snow! A whopping 3 inches! Aside from the fact that it really messes up my marathon training routines and despite the fact that I HATE being cold... I actually really enjoy the snow. I love watching it fall, I love anticipating the actual amount that will fall (which I'm always disappointed in... wherever I live never ends up getting the amount suggested by the local weather news team), and I love seeing it pile up on the trees and the sidewalks.

And as of yesterday, I have a new favorite thing about snow... I love walking in it! Yesterday was really the first time I've ever walked to work when there was actual snow piled up on the sidewalks. I wore my trail running shoes to work and was digging the sound of my shoes crunching through the snow. Sometimes its the simpliest things in life that can put a smile on your face.

In other news, I finally checked out the Birth of Impressionism exhibit at the Frist Center this past weekend. Admittedly, Impressionism is one of my least favorite art movements, but that almost makes impressionist exhibits that much more exhiliarating! Because, I'm going into it expecting to be wowed by the brushstrokes and the artist's eye to method and detail... but inevitably there's always that moment where I lock eyes on a piece and am moved like I never expected. There were a couple of pieces in the exhibit that did that to me.

One was Wrestlers by Alexandre Falguière. I am a sculpture lover. Sculpture is by far my favorite medium and as soon as I laid eyes on that painting, it immediately made me think of a sculpture. The attention to the muscles and the human body in this painting were as moving to me as they are in sculpture. Which is saying a lot. And of course, it was no surprise to find out that the artist was not only a painter, but a sculpter, as well.

The whole exhibit was amazing (Whistlers Mother! The Birth of Venus!) and I was thrilled by the amount of people that were at the museum. Sure, it makes viewing a little more difficult, but I get great satisfaction moving around shoulder to shoulder with the people of my city enjoying something so remarkable and beautiful.

I found this week's Tuesdays with Dorie recipe to be in the spirit of my weekend visit to the museum. What better treat after milling around amongst Monets, Manets, Degas', Cezannes and Renoirs than a delicate madeline?

These came together so easily, but I must admit.. I've made madeleine's once before (for another TWD a couple years ago) and I'm still regretting the purchase of a mini madeleine pan. It's damn near impossible to not fill that tin up too much with batter. So, my madeleines end up being less than visually appealing blobs instead of cute, dainty shells.

I guess it doesn't really matter though, because they get gobbled up before anyone has a chance to look at them for too long.

Fluff Filled Chocolate Madeleines
Recipe by Dorie Greenspan

First of all, if you're a batter lover... then whoa nelly, this is the batter for you. Seriously, I probably ate about half the batter from the bowl. It was delicious. Light and frothy and chocolate-y. So very good.

I definitely overfilled my mini madeleine pan... but with a regular sized pan I dont think it would be a problem. To be honest, my favorite part of the madelines, were the crispy-ish edges that resulted from overfilling the tins.

The only issue I had was a lot of my madeleines came out with a gross white dusting (from the flour dusting of the pan), so next time I would definitely use cocoa instead of flour to dust the pans. (Of course you were technically supposed to fill these little cakes with marshmallow fluff and dunk in a chocolate glaze. Both of which I skipped. So, if that were the case, the flour coating on the outside wouldn't have mattered).

I do see myself making these again sometime. Or at least making the batter. ;)

Visit Margo of Effort to Deliciousness's blog for the complete recipe.