madeleines au citron

Madeleines are little French cakes, baked in scalloped shell-shape baking moulds. These buttery cakes with the crisp crust on the outside and a tender, moist crumb in the center go perfect for a brunch or with an afternoon tea. The batter can be made in advance, up to two days – preferably they should be eaten straight away, fresh from the oven, but they will still be good for up to a day later.


Makes 48 Madeleines (sized 5 cm diameter, nonstick Madeleine moulds)

  • 200 g butter
  • 60 ml milk
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 130 g sugar
  • zest of two unwaxed lemons
  • 200 g flour
  • 10 g baking powder

Melt the butter, add the milk and the honey and let the mixture cool to room temperature.

Mix together the sugar and the lemon zest, add the eggs and beat until pale and frothy.

Sift the flour and the baking powder for two times and sift it once again into the egg mixture.

Gently add the cool butter to the egg mixture.

Cover the batter with plastic wrap and leave to rest in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 190°C.

Put about a teaspoon of batter into each Madeleine shell, filling them 3/4 full.

Bake the Madeleines for about 10 – 12 minutes in the middle of the oven, until the turn slightly golden brown on the edges.

Transfer the pan from the oven and remove the Madeleines by rapping the pan against the counter; the Madeleines should drop out.

Allow the Madeleines to cool a little bit on a wire rack.

Happy baking!



mini loaves of bread

I love the aroma of a freshly baked bread in my kitchen and for me there is almost nothing better than the taste of a crusty homemade piece of bread, spread with salted butter. To bake your own bread is nothing complicated at all, although it does take a little bit of planning ahead, since the yeast sponge needs to be made the night before you plan baking the bread.

Makes about 20 mini loaves of bread

For the yeast sponge, made the night before:

  • 125 g white flour
  • 150 g water
  • 5 g fresh yeast

Combine the flour, the water and the yeast and mix until incorporated. Cover with a wet towel and let the yeast sponge rest at room temperature overnight.

For the dough:

  • 375 g white flour
  • 150 g water
  • 4 g fresh yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

In the bowl of a stand mixer with a dough hook, combine the yeast sponge with the flour, half of the water and the yeast. Continue to add water a little at a time.

Add the salt and continue mixing on medium speed for about 4 minutes until the mixture forms a rough dough.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead the dough with your hands until the dough is smooth and elastic.

Shape the dough into a ball, then place it in a large, slightly oiled bowl and coat the bowl with a wet towel and let it rice in a warm place until doubled in volume for about 2 hours.

Knock back the dough to deflate it, then divide into 20 equal pieces of about 38 g apiece.

For shaping use your palms; start at the middle and roll the dough outwards. The bread should end up a little fatter in the middle and thinner at the ends.

Place the breads onto a baking sheet and let them rise for another hour.

Preheat the oven to 250° C.

Heat a roasting dish in the bottom of the oven and pour in some water to create some steam, this will help form the crust.

Just before baking, slash the top of each bread two times.

Bake the mini breads for 10 – 12 minutes or until golden-brown. To check if the bread is done, tap the bottom with your knuckles – it should sound hollow.

Cool them on a wire rack and enjoy!

Happy baking!


marshmallow hearts

To be honest, Valentine’s Day doesn’t mean a lot to me. Surely, I like being surprised by a bouquet of flowers, some chocolate or (even more) a cake mould. But it doesn’t have to be on Valentine’s Day. So even though we don’t celebrate this day, I couldn’t resist to make this fluffy and soft marshmallow hearts for my beloved.

Makes about 20 – 30 marshmallow hearts or cubes (Adapted by David Lebovitz)

  • 8 sheets gelatin
  • 140 g corn starch
  • 140 g confectioners sugar
  • 0.8 dl cold water
  • 200 g sugar
  • 100 g corn syrup
  • 4 egg whites at room temperature
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 vanilla pods
  • food colouring

In a bowl, mix the corn stark and the confectioners sugar.

With a sifter, dust a baking tin, about 23cm – 30cm or a square tin about 20cm evenly and completely with a generous layer of the corn stark/confectioners sugar mixture and make sure there are absolutely no bare spots. Set the rest of the mixture aside until using.

In a bowl, soak the gelatin leaves in cold water.

In a small saucepan, fitted with a candy thermometer, mix the sugar, the corn syrup and the water. Place over medium-to-high heat.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, pour in the egg whites and beat on low-speed until frothy. Add the pinch of salt.

When the syrup reaches about 100º C, increase the speed of the mixer to high and beat the whites until they are thick and fluffy.

When the syrup reaches about 118º C, while the mixer is running on high-speed, slowly pour the hot syrup into the whites.

Scrape the gelatin and 2 tablespoon water into the pan that you used for the syrup and swirl it to dissolve.

Pour the liquified gelatin slowly into the egg whites as they are whipping.

Halve the vanilla pods lengthwise and use the tip of a sharp knife to scrape the seeds out of one half. Add the vanilla seeds and the food colouring and continue to whip for 5 minutes, until the mixture is feels cool when you touch the outside of the bowl.

Use a spatula to spread the mixture in a layer on the pan. Allow to dry for overnight, uncovered and in a cool place, but not a refrigerator.

Dust the top of the marshmallows with some of the corn starch/confectioners sugar mixture. Use a pizza cutter or scissors (dusted as well with the corn stark/confectioners sugar mixture) to cut the marshmallows into any size or shape pieces that you’d like and toss the marshmallows in the remaining corn stark/confectioners sugar mixture. Remove the excess powder with a brush.

Enjoy! and Happy Valentine’s Day ♥

snowflake cookies

It had been snowing all day long and the world looks like it’s all powdered. Everything is calm and peaceful and after a walk trough the winter wonderland we enjoy a nice cup of tea and some of these perfectly crumbly and tender almond snowflake cookies.

Makes about 50 cookies:

  • 250 g flour
  • 100 g confectioners sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 100 g ground almonds
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • zest of one orange or lemon
  • 3 – 4 drops of almond extract
  • 250 g cold butter

Mix the flour, the confectioners sugar, the salt and ground almonds in a large bowl.

Add the butter, and rub it in with your fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.

Halve the vanilla pod lengthwise, and use the tip of a sharp knife to scrape the seeds out of one half. Add the seeds to the flour mixture, along with the orange or lemon zest and the almond extract and knead the dough as much as necessary with your hands until the dough comes together.

Wrap the dough in a plastic foil and let it rest in a cool place for about 1 hour.

Roll out the dough between two sheets of baking parchment until it is about 3 – 4 mm thick. If necessary dust the dough with some flour.

Cut shapes with a cookie cutter, then place the cookies on the lined baking tin. Repeat with the remaining dough.

Let the cookies rest in a cool place for about 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180° C.

Bake the cookies for about 10 minutes, use the middle shelf of the oven. Transfer them to a wire rack and let cool the cookies completely.

Cover the cookies with confectioners sugar.

Happy baking!