Monday, August 4, 2008

madeleines and other dainty cakes

Though I have had many good adventures lately, none of them particularly wild, this post was to be about madeleines.

Honey and lavender.
Les madeleines aux miel et lavande. ou di-t-on au miel et à la lavande? je ne sais pas.
One of my friends with whom I did French at school, and went to Montpellier, mentioned recently that she had a recipe for honey and lavender madeleines. As I had been wanting to make maddies for some time, I jumped with enthusiasm, and soon after found myself in Greensborough on a cold morning. Looking for coffee, I saw that the cafés open at 10..
The cake deco shop opens at 9 :)
So I came home coffeeless but with many new clothes and a madeleine tin, and the following weekend there appeared a batch of soft but firm madeleines.

We used fresh lavender from the garden. I suspect it would be prudent to pick some and dry it while it's good. Anyway, it tasted elegant, and not too much to enjoy.

The event that actually spurred me to finish this post, though, was the Vanilla Pod Café where I went to meet a relative in Heathmont the other day. Said relative had to cancel, but I bought myself lunch (ham and cheese croissant, served cheerfully on a wooden board like at Base Kamp, and a side salad that came with some fantastic dressing in a little pot) and then bought some cupcakes to take to my nanna's house.

I wish I had had a camera with me... usually I haven't bothered writing about places if I have no photos, but please, if you are in Heathmont, pop into the Vanilla Pod.
I bought a strawberry cupcake and an orange one to take to Nanna and for ron, a flourless chocolate. All aMAZing. The icing on each adds something as wonderful as the ganache was on my hazelnut gateau.
The strawberry cupcake ($2.50) was pink all the way through with strawberries which must have been folded through the batter, the cake was moist and not too light or dense, and what was the icing? It was like slightly sweetened whipped cream, coloured pink to match the cake, and topped with a gorgeous red half strawberry. Cream cheese icing has never been so good! And dare I say it, would make cream a completely superfluous partner. The orange one was similar, with candied rind as the top garnish.
Flourless chocolate is one of the world's presents that occasionally make me think I could be happy as a gluten-free. There is no way I can possibly do justice with these rambly words. I recommend you find an excuse to visit the little strip of Heathmont shops on Canterbury Road.
What's your favourite cupcake recipe? How can I recreate this perfect slightly sweet icing? Please advise!!


  1. Serving things on little wooden boards is one of THE restaurant trends as of late, methinks. From Base Kamp to DOC to St Jude's Cellars to Cumulus Inc to Vue de Monde, they're everywhere!

    As I've written on my blog, I'm pretty crap at making cupcakes, but I quite liked my last batch. Got no tips re icing I'm afraid! :)

  2. Ohh the madelines look fantastic! And at Concordis we all get SO HUNGRY...hinthint.

    I do confess to blog stalking, apologies! I hate lurkers so from now on I shall comment, really!

    When shall we do Malaya Inn?

    PS. My blog is over dramatised and contains many, MANY posts that I no longer believe/never really thought. It's all a bit of a persona. Just a warning!

  3. Ooo my life is complete, I have been featured on cathy's food blog - i like your photos :) they do those delicious madeleines justice. They were good - especially when they first came out of the oven, mmmmm... love kate