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Sunday, June 29, 2008

Eat to the Beat, Round 2

The amazing Elly from Elly Says Opa! has graciously turned her blogging event, Eat to the Beat, into a quarterly event. I was SO glad to hear she would be continuing it (see my first entry here). There is just so much music to go around, there'd be plenty of material for event after event.

A few weeks ago, I popped into my favorite local liquor store, and noticed a vendor with a little tasting table set up. Never one to pass up a free tasting, I stopped by to see what he was offering. His first words were, "Would you like a rose mimosa?" That was just about all I needed to hear! He went on and on about this wonderful rose nectar that has been made the same way since the 1200s and blahblahblah. I was way more interested in the yummy bubbly than his very detailed account of his product (oops). I bought two bottles of rose nectar and continued on my way. I got to thinking about what I could do for the next round of Eat to the Beat (as the deadline rapidly approached) and I decided I wanted to use the rose nectar in something other than a rose mimosa. Instantly, the 80s hair band memories sprung to the front of my mind, and all I could think about was...

So... what to do with my rose nectar? Two lines from the main chorus became my inspiration.

Every rose has it's thorn
Just like every night has it's dawn

Dawn, to me, brings to mind oranges and orange juice. First stop: Morning Rose Madeleines! These weren't quite as rose-y as I would have liked, but they were every bit as yummy as a madeleine should be!
Morning Rose Madeleines
Adapted from Baking: From My Home To Yours, by Dorie Greenspan
Yield: 12 Madeleines

~1 cup all-purpose flour
~1 teaspoon baking powder
~Pinch of salt
~½ cup sugar
~Grated zest of 1/2 an orange
~2 large eggs, at room temperature
~2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
~1/4 cup rose nectar (such as Sence)
~¾ stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

For the glaze:
~1/4 cup milk
~Powdered sugar
~15-20 drops of orange extract

Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.

Working in a mixer bowl, or in a large bowl, rub the sugar and orange zest together with your fingertips until the sugar is moist and fragrant. Add the eggs to the bowl. Working with the whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer, beat the eggs and sugar together on medium-high speed until pale, thick and light, 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla and rose nectar. With a rubber spatula, very gently fold in the dry ingredients, followed by the melted butter. Press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the batter and refrigerate it for at least 3 hours, or for up to 2 days. This long chill period will help the batter form the hump that is characteristic of madeleines. (For convenience, you can spoon the batter into the madeleine molds, cover and refrigerate, then bake the cookies directly from the fridge; see below for instructions on prepping the pans.)

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter 12 full-size madeleine molds, or up to 36 mini madeleine molds, dust the insides with flour and tap out the excess. Or, if you have a nonstick pan (or pans), give it a light coating of vegetable cooking spray. If you have a silicone pan, no prep is needed. Place the pan(s) on a baking sheet.

Spoon the batter into the molds, filling each one almost to the top. Don't worry about spreading the batter evenly, the oven's heat will take care of that. Bake large madeleines for 11 to 13 minutes, and minis for 8 to 10 minutes, or until they are golden and the tops spring back when touched. Remove the pan(s) from the oven and release the madeleines from the molds by rapping the edge of the pan against the counter. Gently pry any reluctant madeleines from the pan using your fingers or a butter knife. Transfer the cookies to a rack to cool to just warm or to room temperature. If you are making minis and have more batter, bake the next batch(es), making certain that you cool, then properly prepare the pan(s) before baking.

To make the glaze, combine the milk, powdered sugar, and orange extract and mix well. Dip warm madeleines in the glaze, or drizzle about 1 Tablespoon over each madeleine. Allow the glaze to set and the madeleines to finish cooling before serving.

I was happy with the madeleines (maybe not as rose-y as I'd like, but darn tasty), but I couldn't stop thinking about that message. Every rose has it's thorn. What's my rose? What's it's thorn? Right now, my rose is baking. I love it, love spending every weekend trying new recipes, new techniques, living to tell about it... and bring the goodies to work. That's where that thorn part comes in. Baking 2 or 3 different baked goods every weekend is not conducive to a slim waistline (hence, if you've been reading, my 2 week divorce from sugar). I pass it all off to my workers (no doubt I am a rose and thorn to them for the same reason!) to lessen the blow, but I certainly take my Quality Control duties quite seriously. I decided to go for one more recipe...Every Rose Has It's Thorn Cupcakes (nice long name, eh?). So....What is your rose? And it's thorn?

Once again, the rose flavor hides behind the orange, so maybe next time I'll skip the zest in the cupcake batter. But, these are SO light and airy and wonderful!

Every Rose Has It's Thorn Cupcakes
Adapted from Orange Chiffon Cupcakes, from Cupcakes!, by Elinor Klivans
Yield: 12 cupcakes (Note: I wanted 18, so increased the recipe accordingly, and wound up with 28 cupcakes... so I'm leaving the recipe as a 12 cupcake yield)

~1 and 1/2 cups of cake flour
~1 cup of sugar
~1 teaspoon of baking powder
~1/4 teaspoon of salt
~1/3 cup of canola or corn oil
~4 large eggs, separated
~1/3 cup water
~1 and 1/2 teaspoons of grated orange zest
~1/4 cup of rose nectar
~1 teaspoon vanilla extract
~1/4 teaspoon of cream of tartar

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Sift the cake flour, 3/4 cup of the sugar, the baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Use a spoon to make a well in the center of the flour mixture, and put the oil, egg yolks, water, orange zest, rose nectar, and vanilla extract in the well. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the mixture until it is smooth and thick, about 3 minutes.

In another bowl, with clean beaters, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar on medium speed until the whites are foamy and the cream of tartar is dissolves. Beat on high speed until the egg whites look shiny and smooth and the beaters for mines in the mixture; if you stop the mixer and lift the beaters, the whites should cling to the beaters. Slowly beat in the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar, about a tablespoon at a time, then beat for another minute after you get all the sugar incorporated. Stir about 1/3 of the beaten egg mixture into the egg yolk mixture. Then, with a rubber spatula, fold in the remaining egg white mixture. Folding over and over until no white streaks remain.
Wohoo! No over-beaten egg whites!

For easy pouring, transfer the batter to a pitcher with a lip. Using about 1/2 cup for each, pour the batter into the cps. The batter will come just to the top of each cup. Do not smooth the tops, let the batter remain in fluffy mounds. Bake for about 35 minutes, until the tops are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry. The cupcakes will rise about 1/2 inch above the top of each cup.
This actually didn't work out so nicely and I resorted back to scooping with the spatula after this photo. And yes, that's a gravy boat.

Carefully loosen the cupcakes from the pan, cool on a wire rack until completely cooled, about 45 minutes. I used a simple buttercream icing with a few drops of orange extract added, to taste.
They looked so beautiful! (I will spare your eyes (and their embarrasment) by not showing what happened next... total shriveling!)


That Girl said...

This is my favorite blogging event ever - great choice!

Anonymous said...

They both look GREAT and ps - LOVE the C&B Grace serving platters!! ;)

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

YES! I have been waiting for some hairbands! I mean, there is still no GnR in the EttB picture! These both look delicious. I love love love madeleines and the cupcakes are way too cute. Thanks for participating again!

What's Cookin Chicago said...

Oh, that rose nectar sounds great and I love how you creatively used it in madelines. Great job on both entries!

lucy70 said...

Those cupcakes look devine & light and the decorated ones are fabulous as well!!!