Sunday Baking: Chocolate Madeleines & Lemon Poppy Seed Madeira Cake

Part of my weekend plan was a baking project with the wonderful Angharad, who popped round on Saturday afternoon. We got so side-tracked drooling over shiny cookware in Divertimenti (Mum: that link leads you to something for my Christmas wish list!), an unexpected drive-by by TRHs the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh and accidentally falling into a pub and having mulled wine forced upon us, that we exhausted ourselves before we even got the tins out. So, I thought I’d make up for it today, Remembrance Sunday.

Knowing that my landlord George was coming round this morning and that I had nothing to offer him in the biscuit department, I decided to use my spangly new Madeleine tin (fabulous birthday present from my thoughtful friend Cat) to whip up a quick batch of chocolate Madeleines According to le legende Pierre Hermé, one is supposed to chill the mixture overnight before baking in order to achieve the characteristic bumps, but I didn’t have that kind of time so I sacrificed the bumps and threw ’em straight in the oven. A rather pleasing result, made more pleasing by the icing sugar artfully distributed with the shaker (another fabulous birthday present, from m’ good mate Suzzie):

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After a little wander to collect some pottery I had painted a few weeks ago, a saunter around Waitrose and a spot of lunch, I decided to whip up something relatively low-maintenance before heading out to dinner. Happily, I stumbled upon a highly appropriate choice for today, Remembrance Sunday: a Lemon Poppy Seed Madeira Cake. Using the blue poppy seeds I picked up at Divertimenti, I whipped up a wonderfully butter-rich recipe: 250g plain flour, pinch salt, 1tsp baking powder, 2tsp poppy seeds, 225g unsalted butter, 200g caster sugar, zest of one lemon, 3 large eggs, 2tbsp lemon juice.

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It’s ever so slightly irksome that I didn’t have a deep 8″ tin, so I chose a deep 7″ instead. Of course, it needed longer in the oven so the top has coloured more than I think it should have done but it smells delicious and if you look at the close-up hard enough you can see the delightful little poppy seeds nestling in the buttery sponge. Mm.

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Remembrance Sunday. We will remember them.

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