• Nicoletta Fornaro

Cocoa Madeleines with Salted Caramel

Cocoa Madeleines with Salted Caramel

This 2020 has been the most particular and unique year I have ever experienced in my life, and it proves, as my husband suggests, that reality goes way beyond, totally exceeds imagination... We are now back in an uncertain situation like many other countries, with lots of limitations and a curfew. Yet, despite all this, I cannot help but enjoy the magical silence of Venice and these beautiful warm days of sunshine.


Of course the temperature has dropped and we are heading towards winter, but in the last two weeks we have been gifted with some warm sunny mornings and all the times I could, I hopped onto a vaporetto and went to Lido for a walk along the shore. I have been accumulating things to do, in the sense that I was hoping to drastically change the website and publish more recipes, but I'll confess that I decided to prioritise staying outdoors, breathing fresh air, and loading up with vitamin D.

As I had mentioned, I was going through a period of love and hate with my blog, as sometimes I have the feeling it gathers things that are too different (e.g. recipes VS artisan stories) and that it is too specific (Venice), which could make it difficult to immediately understand that I work as a photographer (I figured this because I have been asked if I deliver pasta and/or cakes and also because in the last two weeks at least three people told me they thought the photographer was Vittorio -my husband- and they had no idea it was me who takes self-portraits with a tripod). I won't hide I was disappointed to hear this... I put a huge amount of passion in both my cooking and my photography, and I try to convey my emotions through my images so... well,, you got it.


Anyway, in the end I realised for the hundredth time that I can't really change my blog, it has become like a diary and I cannot leave Venice out of it, not only because I live here, but also because I enjoy being with artisans and farmers and it makes me happy to share their stories, and I also believe that it is useful to make foreigners aware about these virtuous and contemporary realities. Maybe my blog will never be a clearly identifiable product, but you know what? It doesn't matter... I think it matches my personality... moody and versatile... and let me add something important, it made me meet some of the most wonderful people, from Phd students to designers, publishers, green living enthusiasts, wine lovers and so on. It's great that you had no problem in writing me and asking me out for a coffee, and I can't wait for this Covid crap (uuuups... excuse my language) to be over and see you back in Venice!


Meanwhile, I'll do my best to post more often, both recipes and stories. I have been working more than expected (thank goodness) during the last weeks, so as soon as I'll have a full day to sit down in front of my computer, I'll organise the material and share it with you. For now, a super comforting recipe for cocoa madeleines with salted caramel....


Take care and talk soon!

XXX

RECIPE

COCOA MADELEINES WITH SALTED CARAMEL


Ingredients:

- Madeleines (about 26/28 cookies):

70 gr 00 flour

30 gr dark cocoa

100 gr melted butter

120 r brown sugar

2 free range eggs

- Salted Caramel (for 2 jars):

260 gr sugar

120 gr cold butter

190 ml fresh cream

10 gr salt


Method:

1. With an electric whisk, work sugar and eggs for about 6 minutes. 2. Add the previously sifted flour, cocoa, and baking powder and amalgamate with a wooden spoon.

3. Slowly pour in the melted butter and continue to amalgamate with the wooden spoon.

4. Let the batter sit in the fridge for at least 2 hours, then pre-heat oven at 200°.

5. Butter and flour your madeleines tin, spoon in the dough, and bake at 180° for about 10/12 minutes. When ready, remove immediately from tin and let cool.


You can make your salted caramel ahead or when the batter is sitting in the fridge:

1. Pour the sugar into a thick pot over medium heat and let the sugar melt. Do not whisk the sugar with a spoon (it would be useless), just move the pot to avoid the sugar attaching. 2. Once the sugar has melted, remove pot from heat, add immediately cold butter and salt and amalgamate, and pour in the previously heated cream (note: the cream must not reach the boil, it should just be hot).

3. Your sauce is ready! Pour it into sterilised jars, let cool, and close hermetically. The sauce can last up to two weeks stored in the fridge.


Once the salted caramel has cooled and solidified, dip in your madeleines and enjoy!

GENERAL TIPS

To change flavour to your madeleines, the method is always the same:

  • 70 gr 00 flour + 30 gr another flour (cocoa, chestnut, almond, coconut, hazelnut, etc.)

  • for the more traditional citrus madeleines, just grate in a generous amount of zests and a little bit of juice

  • madeleines are best eaten within 2 days, as they tend to become dry

  • always wait for the cookies to cool before dipping in topping

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