A while ago, I made a trip to Japan where I bought some pickled sakura blossoms. For whatever crazy reason, I wanted a bag of these pretty pink flowers. Like any vacation purchases, I was at a loss when I returned home. What to do with this now?
Then I discovered this recipe from Just One Cookbook. She had several recipes using sakura but I wanted to make madeleines! The first time I made them, they were a bit of a fail. They tasted fantastic but I didn't get the signature bumps. Upon researching what I did wrong, I found that I needed to keep the batter cold at all times! So, here I attempt again! I did change it up by adding a bit of vanilla extract. Why? Because a little vanilla makes it all the more better.
Were they successful? Well, I got the signature bumps! Hip hip hooray! But I overfilled my molds as I didn't get the signature ridges on the other side. I realized my molds are smaller than the one in the recipe so next time I will use a 1 tsp measuring spoon. Tastewise? They tasted pretty good! Nice soft buttery cakes. Yay for me!
20 salt pickled cherry blossoms
57 g unsalted butter
1 egg (room temperature)
67 g sugar
60 g flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tbsp milk (room temperature)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1. Put the salt pickled cherry blossoms into a small bowl with water. Discard the water and salt that accumulates at the bottom.
2. Add water again and soak for 30 minutes to further remove excess salt.
3. Gently take out the flowers and dry on a paper towel. Choose 12 of the best looking ones for decoration.
4. The rest of the flowers can be finely chopped.
5. Melt the butter and let it cool down.
6. Medium bowl, add egg and sugar and whisk to become frothy.
7. Sift the flour and baking powder into the egg mixture. Fold to combine.
8. Mix in the milk and vanilla extract.
9. Add the melted butter. Do this in two batches. Thoroughly combine the butter into the batter before adding the rest of the butter.
10. Add the chopped flowers and fold in without over mixing.
11. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge. Let it chill for at least one hour. Best is overnight. This is important and what makes the signature little peaks.
12. After the batter has been chilled, prep your pans. Melt a bit of butter and brush your pans with it. Lightly dust the with flour.
13. Place each flower into the mold.
14. Remove the batter from the fridge and using a 1 tbsp measuring spoon, scoop out the batter and transfer it to the mold. Smoothing out the batter is not necessary as they will spread upon baking.
15. Bake at 180°C for 11 - 13 minutes.
16. Let cool in the pans for 3 minutes before removing to further cool on a wire rack.