A week or two ago I was lucky enough to be invited with a host of other Seattle foodbloggers to meet Mireille Guiliano, the extremely petite and chic (that’s her on the right below) author of ‘French Women Don’t Get Fat’ who was promoting her new cookbook ‘The French Women Don’t Get Fat Cookbook’, who has been one of my foodie heroines for the longest time.
Her books are full of good sense about eating only delicious food, eating slowly and deliberately, eating exactly what you want to eat but only in small portions, eating a good breakfast and balancing each meal between carbs, proteins and fats. She exercises by walking and doing yoga, and she looks… incredible.
For Mireille cooking can’t be separated from the joy of eating and her cookbook is a delight, full of charming anecdotes about the role food plays in Mireille’s life, making it definitely a cookbook for the bedside table.
It’s also full of recipes which aren’t really diet food, but which are rich and flavoursome and for which a little goes a long way. Her recipe for Chocolate Madeleines is a case in point. Six tablespoons of butter sounds like a lot, but not so much when spread between twenty madeleines, and just one of these is light and fluffy and decadent enough to satisfy any chocolate craving.
3 1/2 oz (100g) of dark chocolate
6 tbsps unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup plus 3 tbsps all-purpose/plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
(I also added 1/2 tsp salt, because I like what salt does to sweet things, and 1 tsp of vanilla essence).
Combine the chocolate and butter in a bowl set over a pot of simmering water and melt, stirring until smooth. Remove the bowl from the heat and leave to cool.
Sift together the flour and baking powder and reserve.
Whisk the eggs until frothy, gradually add the sugar and continue whisking until the mixture is pale yellow and has thickened.
Gently fold in the cooled chocolate-butter mixture until well combined. Then gently fold in the flour until just combine. Then cover the mixture and chill it in the fridge for 3 hours.
Thoroughly butter your madeleine tin, which is an excellent job for small fingers, and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
Spoon the chilled batter into the madeleine pans until they’re three-quarters full.
The mixture will be quite thick and cold at this point, so don’t make the mistake I did with my first batch of these and not spread them right into the crevasses of the madeleine shapes. I’d expected the mixture to spread while cooking, but it didn’t enough and my first batch were very misshapen.
Bake for 11-13 minutes until puffy. Do not overbake. Cool on a rack and serve either slightly warm or at room temperature. Eat and marvel at how much slimmer you’re feeling ALREADY.
Things have been all over the place this week because of my computer problems, but I’m intending to make Wednesday ‘ Recipe of the Week’ day – where I play at being a food stylist – going forward. Thanks to Keren at Frantic Foodie for organising the coffee morning and do check out Mireille’s excellent website which is full of ways to keep slim the French way. Oh and you can buy the Atelier LZC tea towel I used above from mirrormirror.