I have had a small jar of Fiori di Sicilia in my baking cupboard for years. Unused, I might add…till today. This flavoring combines citrus and vanilla with floral extracts, and the name literally translates to “flowers of Sicily.” So when vanilla madeleines appeared in our Tuesdays with Dorie queue, just days after making vanilla financiers for French Fridays with Dorie, I knew I had veer off the path a bit with these tea cakes. I had an aha moment when I remembered this unusual ingredient.
The recipe was contributed by baker extraordinaire, Flo Baker… and she used a traditional genoise (or ladyfinger) batter as the base. I have never been enamored with any madeleines I’ve made before…they’re fine, but missing the moisture I crave in my cakes. Unfortunately, I forgot to set the timer, so I may have inadvertently dried these out by overbaking. But the scent was mesmerizing…more orange than vanilla…a new, different taste, but perfect for a spring treat. And still divine for dipping into hot tea or coffee. I shared these and my financiers with my Friday girlfriends. They were more impressed with the dense and buttery financiers, but I still think these would be worth repeating…I won’t retire my madeleine pan just yet. I missed the step about dusting the batter with powdered sugar before baking, but they turned out pretty darn tasty nonetheless.
Today’s Tuesdays with Dorie recipe can be found on Counter Dog, the blog of our hosts, Katie and Amy Thisdell. The link is not updated yet, but here is the video of Julia and Flo preparing these madeleines.