Shoestring Madeleines

14 Sep

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I know the mantra of buying the best you can afford, but if you bake as much as I do then it cannot have escaped your notice that the cost of butter has gone through the roof. With this in mind I decided to try out Sainsbury’s basics butter. This is not my first foray into the budget isles; I regularly buy budget fruit and veg which is often just plentiful seasonal produce which is simply a little too knobbly to make the grade (see Delicious magazine’s knobbly veg campaign for more info) – on the other hand I won’t go near any eggs or meat that isn’t free range. As far as I know there are no ethical issues with cheap butter (though someone please let me know if I’m wrong) so it’s just a question of what it tastes like and the best test I could think of was to a whip up a batch of all butter madeleines.

Madeleines are a great ‘store cupboard’ bake if you have guests coming round at short notice or just need a quick baking fix. They are a super simple mix of eggs, sugar, flour and butter and only take ten minutes in the oven. Mine were flavoured with lemon zest and orange flower water but you could use whatever flavourings you have to hand – a couple of teaspoons of rose water or the zest of an orange would work well. The recipe came from the Cuisine des Saveurs blog (sorry it’s in French!), the only minor alteration being that I used self raising flour rather than plain with baking powder. You do need a Madeleine tray (Lakeland has one on sale for under a tenner) but they’re so pretty it’s worth the expense.

Suffice to say that these were really tasty so I can’t say the butter made a difference. That being said, I’ll be sticking to the higher grade stuff for things like butter sauces and, most importantly, spreading on my toast in the mornings…

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