Le Cordon Bleu Paris – Day 2: Madelene Makes Madeleines (& Cake Too)

Day 2 started in the afternoon. Perfect, because that meant sleeping in and getting some exercise in before class. During the demonstration, Chef showed us how to make madeleines au citron (lemon madeleines), cake aux fruits (fruit cake) and cake au chocolat (chocolate cake). For practical, we had to make the madeleines and fruit cake.

As usual, we got to try everything after, and my goodness, those madeleines are so damn good! You know you read all about how to get those elusive bumps on the madeleines? They tell you to chill the batter, they tell you to chill your mould. Honestly, after the demonstration, I can tell you that it isn’t as complicated as you think it is. It is such a simple recipe and the madeleines are divine. No more buying Delifrance’s madeleines, the ones which sit on the countertop for a day and somehow still manage to remain “moist”. Store bought madeleines we get in Singapore taste nothing like the traditional madeleines you get here in France. I have been lied to all my life! Dominique Ansel explains the madeleines’ short life span and how delicate they are beautifully in his book, “I make my madeleines to order. I don’t pipe them or bake them until someone is standing there waiting for them. And as they stand there, rushed and frustrated at having to compromise their life and their schedule for a pastry, they often ask me why they should bother waiting. “Quite simple,” I answer, “it is a matter of life and death”.”

Our practical was right after the demo class. We started on our madeleines first, and while our batter was #justchilling in the fridge, we worked on our fruit cake. This practical was definitely much better for me. I feel more confident with cakes. The end result was very satisfying.

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Madeleines au citron

While Chef was going around evaluating our final products, he weighed our madeleines to check on the consistency. When he got to mine, he weighed two and they were exactly 23g  each. Then he kept weighing and all were +/- 1g off each other. He was shocked, and everyone laughed at his funny expressions! But yeah, I was just lucky (or was I?).

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Madeleines au citron

Check out those bumps!

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Cake aux fruits

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Cake aux fruits

There weren’t a lot of fruits for a fruit cake, so I would add more the next time. Also, I pushed the cherry down way too far and it ended up at the bottom. Oops! I love the sprinkling of flaked almonds, as it gives a nice contrast of textures. I would definitely soak the cake with even more rum than called for too.

Day 3 is going to be tough. We will be making a classic French apple tart – tarte aux pommes for practical, and I am nervous because I’ve only ever made tart once in my life!

Le Cordon Bleu Paris – Day 2: Madelene Makes Madeleines (& Cake Too)

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