Madeleine (cake)

The madeleine (French pronunciation: ?[mad.l?n], English /?m?dle?n/ or /?m?dl?e?n/[1]) or petite madeleine ([p?.tit mad.l?n]) is a traditional small cake from Commercy and Liverdun, two communes of the Lorraine region in northeastern France. Madeleines are very small sponge cakes with a distinctive shell-like shape acquired from being baked in pans with shell-shaped depressions. Aside from the traditional moulded pan, commonly found in stores specialising in kitchen equipment and even hardware stores, no special tools are required to make madeleines. A genoise cake batter is used. The flavour is similar to, but somewhat lighter than, sponge cake. Traditional recipes include very finely ground nuts, usually almonds. A variation uses lemon zest, for a pronounced lemony taste. [edit]History Madeleine pan Some sources, including the New Oxford American Dictionary, say madeleines may have been named for a 19th century pastry cook, Madeleine Paulmier, but other sources have it that Madeleine Paulmier was a cook in the 18th century for Stanislaw Leszczynski, whose son-in-law, Louis XV of France, named them for her.[2] The Larousse Gastronomique offers two conflicting versions of the history of the madeleine.[3] Madeleines were chosen to represent France in the Cafe Europe initiative of the Austrian presidency of the European Union, on Europe Day 2006. [edit]Literary reference Madeleine ingredients In In Search of Lost Time (also known as Remembrance of Things Past), author Marcel Proust uses madeleines to contrast involuntary memory with voluntary memory. The latter designates memories retrieved by "intelligence," that is, memories produced by putting conscious effort in

o remembering events, people, and places. Proust's narrator laments that such memories are inevitably partial, and do not bear the "essence" of the past. The most famous instance of involuntary memory by Proust is known as the "episode of the madeleine," yet there are at least half a dozen other examples in In Search of Lost Time. No sooner had the warm liquid mixed with the crumbs touched my palate than a shudder ran through me and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary thing that was happening to me. An exquisite pleasure had invaded my senses, something isolated, detached, with no suggestion of its origin. And at once the vicissitudes of life had become indifferent to me, its disasters innocuous, its brevity illusory Ц this new sensation having had on me the effect which love has of filling me with a precious essence; or rather this essence was not in me it was me. ... Whence did it come? What did it mean? How could I seize and apprehend it? ... And suddenly the memory revealed itself. The taste was that of the little piece of madeleine which on Sunday mornings at Combray (because on those mornings I did not go out before mass), when I went to say good morning to her in her bedroom, my aunt Leonie used to give me, dipping it first in her own cup of tea or tisane. The sight of the little madeleine had recalled nothing to my mind before I tasted it. And all from my cup of tea. ЧMarcel Proust, In Search of Lost Time This in turn was referenced by Pet Shop Boys in the track "Memory of the Future" from their 2012 album Elysium, which contains the lyrics: Over and over again I keep tasting that sweet madeleine looking back at my life now and then asking: if not later then when?