Biscuiterie familliale depuis 1905. St. Michel is a family owned bakery in Commercy France. In 1755 a young French girl named “Madeleine” created a recipe for a sumptuous little cake. These legendary cakes so inspired Marcel Proust that he dedicated pages to describe his experience of first biting into them in his novel, Remembrance Of Things Past. The little cakes became so popular that the recipe has been a closely guarded family secret to this day.
They are irresistible and addictive, redolent of citrus and sweet butter. Dunked in tea or coffee or vin santo. Dunked into honey. Or simply on their own.
Or as French Toast! I just thought it would be delicious, and it was! I used a serrated knife and carefully sliced each one lengthwise into three equal pieces, then soaked them for a couple of minutes in an egg bath, then gently sauteed them in sweet butter until they were golden brown. Then I plated them, drizzled all with Maple Syrup and a dusting of powdered sugar. The resulting warm miniature French Toasts had intensified their citrus taste during cooking, which was a surprise, and which tasted absolutely etherial with the toppings.
Where do you find St. Michel Madeleines? You can buy them online at the French site, Madeleines de Commercy. Or you can buy them online at The Frenchy Bee. Some gourmet stores carry them, or will order them for you. Alternatively, you can make them yourself. Then you can stretch your wings and make pistachio, or chocolate, or almond flavored ones. The flavor combinations are unlimited. You can even make savory ones.
Miniature Madeleines French Toast
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1. Beat one egg with the cream and a dash of nutmeg (or freshly grated nutmeg).
2. With a serrated knife, carefully slice each madeleine lengthwise to yield three slices.
3. Soak the slices in the egg bath for about two minutes, or until they have almost absorbed the bath.
4. Heat a non-stick pan with a tablespoon of sweet butter. When it is melted, add the little French Toasts and cook on low to medium heat. I usually put a top on the pan to gently cook the interiors. Check after a minute, and if they are golden underneath, turn them over, put the top on, and cook again until the bottoms are golden.
5. Transfer to a plate, drizzle with Maple Syrup, and shower with confectionary sugar.