Orange and Rose Petal Madeleines |Wishing you an Eid Mubarak

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Jutting out among a stack of baking tins and probably bringing to my attention… that I haven’t baked any madeleines recently and my mini madeleine tin was in need of some baking love. The shelled shaped baking tin creates delicate indentations on the bottom of these feather-light French tea cakes and gives them their distinctive shape. When baked, madeleine’s are slightly crisp on the outside and soft on the inside and are best enjoyed on the day of baking. Once your store them in a container they lose their crispness, but are still perfectly delicious.

Love to flavor them with orange zest and orange blossom and when fresh out of the oven and cooled, dust them over with some rose petal sugar. Some madeleine recipes call for browning the butter, others use ground almonds and other flavorings, some recipes have no baking powder, others have double action baking powder and then there’s talk of a “hump”. What about the cake batter, is it better to use it straight away or leave it in the fridge for 1, 2, 3, or even 12 hours or maybe even longer? I usually leave the batter in the fridge for about an hour to an hour and a half, for the batter to thicken. My madeleines are slightly rounded on top but don’t have the big “hump”.

Madeleines-7070You might want to have a look at David’s Leibovitz  take on the “hump” and he also shares a recipe for Lemon Glazed Madeleines I say… enjoy baking them and try not to take the “hump” in the process. When filling the madeleine tin, it’s easier to scoop the batter using an appropriate size measuring spoon and with the help of a little tea-spoon, scrape the batter from the measuring spoon into the madeleine tin.

Perfect sweet morsels of sponge-like cake to enjoy with your next cup of tea or Arabic Coffee or baked for your next family gathering. Madeleines are also a perfect accompaniment to serve with individual creamy desserts like Crème Brûlée, Lemon Posset or a Mixed Berry Mousse.

Orange and Rose Petal Madeleines

(makes about 48 to 54 mini madeleines)

Ingredients:

  • 75g un-salted butter
  • 75g castor sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon of grated orange zest
  • 1 teaspoons of orange blossom water
  • 75g plain or all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 a teaspoon baking powder
  • extra 15g butter (for greasing the madeleine cake tin)

For dried rose petal sugar

  • 1 heaped tablespoon of dried rose petals (or remove the petals from about 6 dried rose buds)
  • 1 tablespoon of castor sugar

 

You will need: A 24-hole mini madeleine tin. Unless you have a second tin you will need to wash and grease the baking tin between batches. You also might prefer baking the second batch the next day,  as the batter stores successfully in the fridge.

How to make: In a small saucepan on low heat, melt the butter. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Meanwhile, add the castor sugar, eggs, orange zest and orange blossom water into a mixing bowl. With an electric beater, whisk the ingredients together until the mixture is lighter in color, thick and creamy.

Sift the flour and baking powder together into a small bowl, then sift again over the egg mixture and gently pour the melted butter down the inside of the bowl. Quickly but gently fold ingredients together using a large spatula. Make sure no melted butter remains at the bottom of the bowl and that the flour and butter are fully incorporated. Once mixed lay a piece of cling film over the surface of the cake batter and leave in the fridge for one hour to one and a half hours.

Melt the extra butter and using a pastry brush, generously grease the madeleine tin, making sure to grease every crevice, leave the baking tin in the freezer until needed.

To make the rose petal sugar, whizz the dried rose petals and sugar in a spice grinder until powdery or you can grind the ingredients using a pestle and mortar.

About 20 minutes before you are ready to bake your madeleines, pre-heat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/180ºC Fan/Gas 6.
Remove the cake batter from the fridge and the madeleine tin from the freezer. Using a half teaspoon measuring spoon, drop rounded spoons of the batter into the madeleine tin, use a small teaspoon to help scrape out the batter. The mixture will spread with the heat of the oven so no need to level batter. Bake the madeleines for about 6 to 7 minutes or until the tops feel firm to touch and golden. Remove from the oven and leave for about a minute, then tip them out from the baking tin on to a wire cooling rack. Dust with the rose petal sugar before serving. Best eaten fresh, store madeleines in an airtight container for up to two days.

To those around the world that celebrate Eid Al Fitr (end of Ramadan), I would like to take this opportunity and wish family, friends, subscribers and readers an Eid Mubarak. :)

 

Dining at The Meat Co Bahrain

The Meat Co 3The Meat Co prides itself on the quality of selected cuts of meat and an invite to dine at their Bahrain restaurant was something I was looking forward too. One of my favorite foods to eat is a grilled or barbecued steak… so how could I resist and it’s been a long time since I last visited.

Love the cosy atmosphere, the large ceiling to floor windows and autumnal tones of the restaurants interior. The restaurant lighting during the evening is fairly dark and those requiring reading glasses (like myself) might find it a bit of a challenge reading the menu. The lighting over the table was easily adjusted and was quickly addressed by the attentive staff.

Glancing over the menu The Meat Co offers you an array of choices, which include salads, seafood, pasta, burgers, hanging beef skewers and a choice of selected cuts of quality beef from South Africa, America and Australia. Aside from dishes marked vegetarian, a daily vegetarian dish is also offered.

TMC StartersDuring Ramadan alcoholic drinks are not served so we preferred water over a filling mocktail while dining.  A freshly baked loaf of brown bread was served and some restraint was needed, otherwise we would have completely devoured the loaf. Not wanting anything heavy getting in the way of the main course, I choose the Tomato and Strawberry Salad. Tomato slices dressed with chili sugar and lemon and served with a generous mound of rocket leaves with some balsamic strawberries. Refreshing flavors, clean tastes and lightly spiced, a salad that made suitable room for what was next. My dining companion (a regular Meat Co fan) choose the soft shell crab (which she already raves about), coated with a spiced flour, fried and served on a bed of Asian greens flavored with oyster sauce, with a little dish of garlic aioli on the side.

TMC MainFor main course we both choose the grain-fed cuts of beef, I ordered the Australian Wagyu rib-eye which had a marbling score of 4/5, cooked medium-rare and my dining companion choose the Australian Angus Gold fillet, cooked medium. Together our sides dishes included mashed potato, steamed vegetables and fried onion rings as well as peri-peri and peppercorn sauce. When ordering I was going to have my rib-eye pepper crusted but the waitress swayed me in favour of The Meat Co’s special basting sauce… which I’m glad she did.

Our glistening steaks arrived with lovely dark grill marks and flying the signature Meat Co flag. Both steaks were perfectly cooked as ordered and my rib-eye was very tender (compared to my everyday rib-eye), juicy and flavorsome… I savored every last bite. I ended up leaving the peppercorn sauce,  I didn’t  want another flavor to interrupt what I was already enjoying. The side of fried onion rings were not greasy, the portion was generous, so some were left. My dining companion also enjoyed her fillet steak with the peri-peri sauce and mash.

TMC Dessert 3I was told if I mentioned it was my birthday (although it wasn’t)  the staff would break into an enthusiastic show of drumming, dance and song… I was almost tempted. Happy and friendly staff add to the ambiance and mood of a restaurant and it seems the Meat Co has just that.

Feeling rather full and debating on whether we could actually eat dessert, we ended up choosing the chefs tasting platter to share, a good choice if you can’t make up your mind. Again the portions were generous and it turned out we had room for dessert after all. My favorite was the apricot Malva pudding (a traditional South African dessert), served with crème anglaise and garnished with an apricot coulis, lighter than expected. We both loved the crème brûlée with a delicious flavoring of orange.

The Meat Co portions in my opinion are generous (noticing other diners dishes) and some dishes could easily be shared, you also have the choice of the tasting platters. The Meat Co’s commitment to monitoring their beef from pasture to plate reflects their prices and of course each diner is free to choose accordingly. As the roof top lounge was closed and it is still Ramadan, I believe I have not seen the full atmospheric swing of the Meat Co.

Thank you Meat Co for the invite and an enjoyable dining experience with my companion. Also, nice to see you recognize and acknowledge a regular customer. Hope to meat meet you again soon. :) :)

Summer Fruit Salad with Orange Blossom and Fresh Mint served with Rose Perfumed Yoghurt

Summer Fruit SaladFruit salads are an easy dessert to make and a super easy way of adding a variety of fruit to your diet. You are more inclined to reach out for fruit already prepared, either in a fruit salad or simply sliced and presented nicely. Also, as this is the month of Ramadan, a quick dessert might be favored over a more labour intensive one. This simple fruit salad consists of oranges, sungold kiwifruit and strawberries, perfumed with the middle eastern flavor of orange blossom and garnished with fresh mint. Leaving the fruit salad in the fridge for about half an hour to an hour before serving, brings all the wonderful fruity flavors together and mellows the flavor of the orange blossom. When using perfumed waters such as rose or orange blossom, a little goes a long way. You can use more, or less depending on your taste.

Summer Fruit Salad with Rose Perfumed YoghurtI love nothing more than adding a dollop of fresh cream on top of fruit salad and sometimes use greek yoghurt, flavoring it with rosewater and sweetening with real maple syrup. The sweetness in the salad comes from the fruits, so choose the sweeter Zespri sungold kiwifruit over the green variety and strawberries are in season at the moment. Use fresh orange segments (without the attached membrane) and if you have never removed the membrane surrounding orange segments before, head over to The Kitchn and see how… it’s easy. Do use a well sharpened paring knife, it makes cutting much easier.

When cutting out the segments, hold the orange over a small bowl to collect the dripping juice. Also squeeze any remaining juice with your hands from the remaining membranes and peel with bits of orange still attached. No wasting of precious orange juice here. Fresh orange segments are also a refreshing addition to salads like this  Spinach Salad with Dates, Oranges, Pomegranate and Feta Cheese  or a Salad of Cucumber Ribbons, Fresh Dill and Orange.  Just a few easy ways to enjoy your daily fruit.

Summer Fruit Salad with Orange Blossom and Fresh Mint served with Rose Perfumed Yoghurt

(Serves 4 )

Ingredients:

for the fruit salad

  • 3 large oranges, segmented (membranes removed), cut segments into half. Reserve the collected juice.
  • 3 sungold kiwifruit, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 1 punnet of strawberries washed, hulled and cut into cubes
  • 2 teaspoon of orange blossom water
  • 2 tablespoons shredded fresh mint leaves

for the yoghurt

  • 1 small tub of unflavored greek yoghurt
  • real maple syrup, to sweeten
  • 1 teaspoon of rose water

How to make:
Place the orange, kiwifruit, strawberries, reserved orange juice and orange blossom water into a glass serving dish. Gently combine ingredients together and leave covered in the fridge for about 30 minutes or up to an hour, for the flavors to mingle.

Meanwhile, place the yoghurt into a small serving bowl, sweeten to taste with maple syrup. Stir in the rosewater, cover and leave the yoghurt in the fridge until needed.
To serve: Garnish the fruit salad with fresh mint before serving. Serve the flavored yoghurt alongside the fruit salad.