yuja madeleine cookies and a farewell apéro
and just like that, six months have gone by and it’s time to bid farewell to all the things and people i’ve grown affection for in paris. and there would be no better way to conclude this beautiful dream than to host an apéro. an apéro, i’ve learned is pre-dinner drinks with small bites with friends. but your girl, she does not do small bites. she feasts!
i took my sweet time strolling over marché d’aligre to pick up the goods for the apéro keeping in mind that it would be my last time doing my favorite thing ever here in paris. God knew, and he blessed the conditions. the air was crisp, the sun was shining, the market was peaceful, and the vendors seemed at ease.
the entire experience seemed like a culmination of my food education here in paris as the attendees to the apéro, are true foodies who have been gracious enough to teach me about things like terrine and natural wines, the quality and standards that bread and food should be held at, and to unapologetically put only the finest things in your mouth. so after tasting a few cheeses, cured meats, pickled vegetables, and fruits, i picked my favorites and hoped that my friends here in paris would be proud of how they trained these american tastebuds.
but to top the feast off, it felt criminal to not seal this apéro off with some love from dear saturdays. and so came the idea for yuja madeleines. madeleines are french cake cookies that are airy and buttery, and adding in yuja (or widely known as yuzu), a bitter and bold citrus flavor that’s familiar to my korean tastebuds.
after popping into a few markets and specialty grocers, i was unable to find fresh yuja fruit, so i opted for yuja paste which is probably going to be what’s most widely available for you too. yuja concentrate that you mix into teas will work too, just be sure that your paste has little to no water content since we all should know that water and fats don’t mix well and can completely break your batter emulsion.
and…do how did they turn out? my epicurean friends loved them and marie, a trained chef who also was kind enough to lend me her cute yellow hand mixer, also gave these madeleines her stamp of approval. it was everything i hoped for; leaving us with a perfect bittersweet ending intertwined on our tastebuds and hearts.
also shoutout to my sweet and very talented pal, joan, for taking these beautiful pictures and helping me prep the apéro <3
yuja madeleine cookies
8 tablespoons butter (110 g)
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoons brown sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup cane sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sea salt
3 large room temperature eggs
3 tsp vanilla extract
2 tablespoons yuja paste
zest of ½ a lemon
powdered sugar for dusting
madeleine baking molds
an electric hand or stand mixer with the paddle attachment
a piping bag or gallon sized ziploc bag
baking oil spray
1. set out eggs and bring to room temperature. this is crucial for making a successful non-curdled batter. also make sure that all of your equipment (bowls, mixers, spoons) are try. any drops of water can break the batter emulsion.
2. heat a small sauce pan to a medium-low and melt together the butter, brown sugar, and honey. keep warm on low heat.
3. in a medium sized bowl, combine flour, cane sugar, baking powder, and sea salt. make a well in the center and crack one egg. using a paddle attachment with your mixer set on medium, mix until the egg is incorporated into the dry ingredients. the batter should look a bit clumpy and that’s okay! crack the second egg and continue to mix until as evenly incorporated as possible, the batter should still be a bit clumpy at this point. crack the third egg and mix -the batter should be pretty smooth now. this whole process should take about 6-9 minutes, or mixing in each egg for 2-3 minutes.
4. remove the butter from heat and mix in butter mixture in ¼ increments into the batter. be sure to work the butter in slowly and not all at once because the heat from the butter mixture could break your beautifully emulsified batter. this process should take 4-6 minutes, 1-1.5 minutes per quarter section of butter.
5. once your batter is evenly mixed, smooth, and glistening, stir in vanilla extract, yuja paste, and lemon zest
6. line a tall cup with your piping bag and pour batter in. remove all air from the bag and seal. place in the fridge for at least 5 hours. chilling your batter is the secret to allowing your madeleines to keep their shape and also form the coveted “hump” on the bottom side of your madeleine.
baking the madeleines
1. preheat your oven on to 190 degrees celsius
2. spray your madeleine baking mold with a layer of oil. if you don’t have baking spray, brush your molds with butter or oil
3. remove batter from fridge and snip the tip of your ziploc bag with scissors. pipe in around 1 1/2 tablespoons of batter into each mold
4. bake for around 9-11 minutes or until the humps have fully risen and the edges of the molds are golden brown
5. allow madeleines to cool for a minute or two. tap the madeleines out of their molds, dust with powdered sugar, and enjoy warm!