In our house, December through February is really just one long celebration – commencing with Hannukah, moving on to Christmas, quickly followed up by @gregorytlee’s birthday, and then crescendoing into my daughter’s birthday and Valentine’s Day. And since I started my blog in February of 2010, we can’t forget my blogaversary, now can we. Well, actually I did.
The last couple of weeks have been a little stressful in our household – clearly driving me to the point of distraction as I forgot to celebrate my blog’s 2-year anniversary last Friday, February 10. But in the same spirit as I usually post French Fridays with Dorie on Saturday, my celebration of my blog’s anniversary will occur later this month – stay tuned and you’ll see why it’s a perfect follow-on to how my blog began – with inspiration from olive oil and Italy.
But in the meantime, there is Valentine’s day and my daughter’s birthday, which, had she waited just a few more minutes to arrive, would have actually been the same thing. So we always sprinkle a little of each day’s delight into the other. This year, with inspiration from a shiny new madeleine pan from @gregorytlee and my daughter’s un-ending love affair with madeleine cookies and chocolate ganache, she and I went to work on baking the pretty cookies ourselves.
Using Dorie Greenspan’s recipe from Baking from My Home to Yours, we prepared the dough Sunday evening and let it sit in the refrigerator until after school on Monday. We then carefully spooned it into the shiny new molds nearly to the top, but not quite. Into the oven they went and only 10 minutes later, out came these beautiful little madeleine cakes. My daughter took a break from homework to test one out while I eagerly awaited her critique. The lemon-scented sponge-like cake passed the test, bringing a smile to her face and qualifying as more than acceptable as her birthday dessert, as long as we found a way to add some chocolate.
My decision to incorporate the chocolate was easy since my daughter is nearly obsessed with ganache right now — we whipped up a quick batch (boiling whipping cream is poured onto your favorite chocolate and whisked into a beautiful chocolate pool of delight), dipped the cookies into it, added some ice cream and fresh berries, and her birthday dessert was formed! Madeleines, as Dorie explains, are really little cakes that look like cookies so why not serve them as a mini birthday cake. And the leftovers are a perfect addition to their school lunches today.
Do you have a favorite treat on Valentine’s Day? Are you a madeleine lover like my daughter? Have you ever read Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time and the beautiful prose he uses to describe the memories eating a madeleine and drinking a cup of tea evoke? Share your Valentine’s food stories in the comments below!