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Madeleine Madness

A few weeks ago, I was sitting in a lovely park with some French friends, eating lunch and enjoying the early Spring feeling. The topic of conversation turned to what I was going to do with myself whilst living in France.

“Umm, learn to speak French?” That was my hesitant answer, as I honestly haven’t got a plan and blurted out the first thing that came to mind – what I needed to do was learn to speak the language.

But what was it that I actually wanted to achieve here? What could I do that I could take away from this experience when I returned to my homeland?

This is what my French girlfriends said, “You should learn to be a pastry chef. Learn to make French pastry, then go back to your country and set up a business.”

I laughed at this idea, because I, for one, have a real problem with self-restraint around food! And I have a feeling that being in a kitchen with French pastry is a recipe for disaster where my waist is concerned! So I passed it off. Maybe, I said.

But then last week, another of my lovely friends tells me that she wants to find the perfect madeleine recipe. A madeleine is a classic fluted cake, dainty and elegant. Often flavoured with lemon and containing little surprises, such as chocolate chips. As I am always one for a challenge, I decided I would embark upon this mission with her (and I’ve never even tasted a madeleine before!! Ha!). But the curiosity within me was aroused and before long, I was the owner of a few shiny new madeleine trays and some other little gadgets for the kitchen and I was away!

A few batches later, all with different recipes, I am finding myself LOVING baking in my French kitchen. Perhaps my French friends were onto something when they suggested learning the art of pastry making? What do you think?

First ever batch of madeleines!

First ever batch of madeleines!