Here is a French twist on a Classic American Dessert!
For the strawberries:
1 quart fresh strawberries
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
1/4 cup Claret (or orange juice, or water)
Zest of 1 small lemon
1) Place berries in a colander and pour cold water over them to rinse. Drain thoroughly and remove the hulls.
2) Cut the berries into 1/4 inch slices and place in a glass bowl. Add the Claret (or orange juice or water), lemon zest and sugar to the berries. Gently toss the berries, cover and place in the refrigerator for at least an hour, allowing the berries to macerate.
For the Mascarpone Cheese Filling:
8 ounces mascarpone cheese (or softened cream cheese)
1/3 c confectionary sugar
A dash vanilla extract
Add the cheese, sugar and vanilla to a non metallic bowl and cream together until blended. Set aside.
For the Madeleines:
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1/4 cup butter
1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter and flour a 3 inch, 12 well madeleine pans and set aside.
2) Melt butter and let cool to room temperature.
3) Add to a small mixing bowl, the eggs, vanilla and salt and beat at a high speed until light. While beating , gradually add the sugar and continue to beat at high speed until mixture is thick and pale and ribbons form in bowl when beaters are lifted from the mix.
4) Sift flour into egg mixture 1/3 at a time and gently folding the mixture after each addition of flour.
5) Add lemon zest. Slowly pour melted butter around edge of batter and gently fold butter into batter.
6) Spoon the batter into the prepared cake pans. Bake for 15 minutes, or until cakes are golden and the tops spring back when gently pressed with your fingertip.
7) Using the tip of a wooden skewer , loosen madeleines from the pan and invert the pan onto a baking rack to remove the madeleines. Allow the cakes to cool before assembly.
To Assemble the Dessert:
Add 1 large Tablespoon sweetened mascarpone cheese to the center of a dessert plate. Arrange three madeleines on top of the mascarpone cheese, to form a pyramid.
Top the madeleine pyramid with the strawberries and drizzle with the remaining syrup and garnish with fresh mint if desired and serve.
Cook’s Notes and Shortcuts:
Buy the madeleine pre made at your local grocery store at a local bakery or grocery store.
Buy a boxed cake mix and prepare as the directions appear on the box. Also add the zest of 1 small lemon.
Silver dollar sized pancakes work just as well as the madeleine cake base.