I've never even thought of the division in desserts in this way, but looking at my plate, I was thinking that I must definitely be the cakey type. It all started when I was a little girl. At the family Kaffeeklatsch, I never went for the pretty and fancy cakes, the involved ones, with soft layers and creamy fillings. If the dessert wasn't just plain cakey, then I just ate a ham sandwich.
I even feel the same way when it comes to French desserts. I admire all the beautiful creations in the Paris pâtisseries which look like little art pieces. I also love the fancy macaroons in every possible color. But in the end, they are all just too sweet, too soft and too sticky for me.
However there is something else in France, and that is a Madeleine. A tiny sponge cake in the shape of a scallop shell, it was supposedly invented by an eighteenth century French pastry chef named, surprise, Madeleine.
Although I've never read anything by Marcel Proust, I've heard that Madeleines will always be connected to his crazy long, 3000 page novel “In Search of Lost Time” where he dedicates several pages to this bite-sized cake.
A cute little Madeleine is golden brown on the shell side, and buttery yellow on the opposite. Pretty to look at, light and airy, it's not too sweet and perfectly well, cakey!
Orange Zested Madeleines
adapted, with a few minor changes, from my cousin Carol's recipe
You do need a non-stick Madeleine mold pan
2 large eggs
1/3 cup sugar
2 tbs honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
Zest on orange
3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
4 tbs unsalted butter, melted
additional cold butter for mold
Beat eggs and sugar in a bowl for about 4 minutes until pale yellow and thick. Mix in honey, vanilla and orange zest. Sift flour, baking powder and salt into bowl, gently fold in the dry ingredients. Add the cooled and melted butter, gently folding into batter.
Press plastic wrap directly onto surface of batter and chill for at least 3 hours (can be made a day ahead).
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and position rack in center of the oven. Using your fingers, rub cold butter into each mold, making sure all the surfaces are covered. Drop one scant tablespoon into each buttered mold. Bake for about 10 minutes to a golden brown and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
Remove pan from oven, invert and quickly knock madeleines out of pan. Serve soon!
PS Cool mold completely before baking again