Soul soothing

Thursday night found me baking again. It soothes my soul. And at the moment I have a soul that does need soothing.

I made some madeleines a few weeks ago and I thought they were delicious. So it seemed like a good idea to make them again. Also I had a meeting with my trainee on Friday morning, face to face rather than virtual and I thought it would be nice to eat these while we worked through personal development plans (PDPs) and other necessary topics.

They came out nice. For some reason these ones seemed sweeter and stickier than I remember from the very first batch. Nevertheless they still retain their orangey 🍊 goodness. They went down well at my meeting and were a nice little afternoon snack before I drove home.

As I write, it’s Saturday and I’m back to feeling out of kilter again. A result of two days of commuting which is exhausting and other mini disasters that are happening in my life right now. Things that are making me question my very existence, who I am and how I am, what I say, what do, what I don’t say, what I don’t do. It is deeply unpleasant and unsettling. I did all that in my 20’s and 30’s but I suppose you are never too old to reflect on your place and space in the world. I also ought to remember the good things in life, of which there are many. Just need to look and stand and sit in gratitude.

This morning after a much needed lie-in , I decided that I’d better get up and try and make the best of the day. I came downstairs to find just one, just one (!) madeleine left on the plate – seems Ignacio took the rest for his lunch at work today. That’s OK, I’m glad he is enjoying them. It did mean that I needed find something else to eat, as in my head I had planned a breakfast of 2 madeleines and a pot of tea. Instead I had a small apple and orange and a bowl of cornflakes with the pot of tea. It was quite filling and fuelled me up for the morning.

My friend from Australia bought me a copy of Middlemarch for my birthday and I have just this week started reading it. I think he enjoyed the book and being lost in another world and thought it might do me good to do the same. He was not wrong. I have enjoyed going back in time to another place and society all the while enjoying the peace of my garden.

And so the madeleines have gone, until the next time I feel like grating oranges!

Au revoir…

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 85 g caster sugar
  • 2 tsp clear honey
  • 4 cardamom pods, seeds only, ground finely using a pestle and mortar
  • 2 unwaxed oranges, finely grated zest only
  • 90 g unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for greasing
  • 90 g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 100 g ground almonds
  • 1 pinch fine sea salt
  • 0.5 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar (confectioner’s sugar), for dusting (optional)

Method

  1. Put the eggs and sugar into a large mixing bowl and beat together until pale and creamy.
  2. Add the honey, ground cardamom and orange zest, and mix well.
  3. Incorporate the melted butter, followed by the flour, ground almonds, salt and baking powder. Mix until evenly combined, then stir in the milk.
  4. Cover the bowl with clingfilm and refrigerate for 1 hour (or overnight, if you wish).
  5. Preheat the oven to 200°C/392°F/gas mark 6.
  6. Melt a little butter and, using a pastry brush, brush the recesses of a madeleine mould generously with it, then dust with a little flour, shaking off any excess.
  7. Transfer 1 tablespoon (not too heaped) of the batter into each of the mould’s recesses.
  8. Bake for 10–12 minutes, until nicely golden brown.
  9. Once cool enough to touch, remove from the moulds. Repeat with any remaining batter.
  10.  Dust the madeleines with a little icing sugar, if desired, and serve immediately.

Reference: Sabrina Ghayour – Bazaar

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