Friday, 25 May 2012

Awards! Plus Gluten Free Thyme & Lemon Madeleines

Something I've noticed since I started blogging a year ago is that I seem to think differently to many of the food bloggers online, for instead of striving for perfection in my baking I have an aversion to the very idea. For one thing, I prefer a rustic style of baking and presentation; for another, it's the only way I know how to bake. I'm a messy girl, and I accept that about myself. Perfection isn't human, so why should we expect it from our human made food?

Nevertheless, I'm delighted to learn that a fellow blogger Bee of The Baking Bee has nominated me for some blog awards. Thanks Bee! It's a great compliment as Bee writes a lovely blog of her own which you should check out at

Rules for accepting these awards are:

1. Thank the person who nominated you for this award and link back to them.

2. Share 5 random facts about yourself

3. Spread the joy by nominating other bloggers

4. Convey to the blogger about the nomination.
So here are 5 random facts about me:

1. I write under a pseudonym, to separate my busy work and idle baking lives. Emalina Eve isn't my real name, and no I'm not going to tell you what is!

2. Despite baking and eating a cake a week, I'm one of those really annoying slim people who can't put on weight. Yoga helps, but it's basically my rule that I only eat my own cakes, never shop bought ones, and very little chocolate or bread, that keeps me in check.

3. At the age of 24 I worked as an artist's model. I was writing a novel which I never finished, nor  properly started.

4. I'm terrible at anything practical or geographical. I can bake you a cake, but please don't ask me to change a fuse or read a map for you.

5. I have a job which is very intense but gives me such a sense of fulfillment and joy. And no, I'm not going to tell you what that is either!

I'm passing the awards onto these great blogs:

1. The Cottage Smallholder

Now, onwards to my latest gluten free bake:

Gluten Free Thyme & Lemon Madeleines

Adapted from the one given in Baked & Delicious Magazine, edition 9.
Serves 4/ Makes approx 16.

65g unsalted butter
65g caster sugar
65g gluten free plain flour (Dove's Farm or M&S recommended)
half a tbsp gluten free cornflour (M&S recommended)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
quarter of a teaspoon almond extract
1 tablespoon thyme flowers or leaves, torn into little pieces, plus extra to decorate
icing sugar to sprinkle

1. Turn the oven to 190C (170C fan ovens).

2. Carefully melt the butter in a saucepan over a low heat, making sure it doesn't burn. Once all melted put the saucepan to one side to cool (and cover it with a plate if it's hot sunny weather like it is here).

3. Whisk the eggs, sugar, lemon juice and almond extract in a large bowl over a bain mairie, which is a pan of almost simmering water, until the mixture is foamy, thickened and tripled in size. You'll need to use an electric whisk unless you have incredibly strong wrists as this takes a lot of beating! Remove bowl from pan and continue beating the mixture until it has cooled.

4. Sift the flour with the cornflour. Then sift half on to the egg mixture. Fold it in with a metal spoon, lifting gently.

5. When combined, sift the rest of the flour on top and next add the melted butter, stirring gently until combined. Finally fold in the tablespoon of thyme.

6. Spoon the mixture into a 9 cake madeleine tray, smoothing the tops before placing in the oven for 10-12 minutes. Put the bowl with the remaining mixture in a cool place covered with a lid or plate and leave for a minute.

7. You'll know the madeleines are cooked when the tops are golden and springy to touch. Let them sit in the tray for 10 minutes before gently turning them out onto a plate or wire rack.

8. To bake the second batch, simply wipe the madeleine tray clean and repeat the process.

9. When all the madeleines are cool, place them on a couple of plates. Sprinkle with more thyme flowers before dusting with icing sugar. These little cakes taste great with a glass of cold white wine, or as an accompaniment with icecream.

These madeleines were idly baked while listening to the Red Hot Chilli Peppers album Californication