Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Chocolate-Orange Madeleines with Grand Marnier Spiked Ganache

I have been so excited to make these since I asked my sister Amy for a madeleine pan for Christmas. I grew up making madeleines with my dad, and could never resist the classic addition of orange zest to the batter to give them a lovely citrus flavor. And what's not to love about the delicious combination of chocolate and orange?!

Madeleines are such an easy, yet elegant cookie to throw together for a dinner party, or as a nice little gift for friends to package up. When I was making this recipe, I was concerned that the orange flavor would be overpowered by the two additions of chocolate, but there was the right balance in the end with the zest and liqueur.

They're like little brownie cookies! Pretty tasty in the end. They're definitely different than traditional madeleines, with a slightly denser texture, but still really yummy.

I had my wonderful boyfriend, Nevin, help out with my photography this time around, as he just got himself an awesome new camera (Canon Rebel T3i...so jealous) so the photo creds go to him! Thanks love! :) And this beautiful checkered cutting board was made by my brother, Jeff! So shoutout to him for the perfect blog prop. And here we go!

For the Cookies:
Recipe adapted from Food52:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temp
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
Zest of an orange (I did 3 tangerines)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoon Grand Marnier (orange liqueur)
1 cup flour
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3 ounces semisweet chocolate
Pinch of salt

For the Ganache:
5 ounces semisweet chocolate
2-3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier

To make the cookies:

Prep your madeleine pan: Grease the pan thoroughly, and then sprinkle with a thin layer of sugar. Preheat the oven to 360 degrees.

Cream the butter with a stand mixer (or hand-held) on medium-high speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Then add the sugar and zest, and mix until fluffy, about another 2-3 minutes. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula.

Next add the eggs one by one until it all just comes together. After the eggs are incorporated, add the salt, vanilla and Grand Marnier and mix until combined. Scrape down the bowl again. In a separate bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder, baking powder and flour. Add to the liquid mixture in 3 stages, mixing on low in between each addition just until the flour is incorporated (do not overmix!).

Melt the 3 ounces of chocolate in the microwave (in 30 second intervals, mixing with a rubber spatula until it is melted), and then after letting it cool for a few moments add to the batter mixing until incorporated.

Using a small cookie scoop, or a tablespoon spoon the batter into your pan (a heaping tablespoon-worth). Use a knife or spatula to push the batter down into the indentations of the pan. Bake for about 12 minutes, until they have puffed up and feel springy to the touch. Let sit on a wire rack until cool, and then make your ganache.

For the ganache: Melt the chocolate with the cream in the microwave, in 30 second intervals until when mixed with a spatula or whisk it is creamy. Add in the liqueur, and then dip the tips of the cookies in the chocolate. Let sit on wax or parchment paper until the chocolate sets. Store in the refrigerator.

And there you are! My winter vacation still has about two weeks left in it before I have to head back up to the tip of California to finish off my undergrad degree. It's CRAZY there is only one more semester left until graduation. I cannot wait to be done!

 Just can't get over it. Break so far has been just as relaxing as I had hoped for, no obligations or guilt felt for not doing homework or projects. The exact recharge I needed after the fall semester. Just one more to go! :)

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