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It’s moments like England going out of the World Cup that make me glad I have dual nationality. Especially since France are doing so well! 🙂
In the spirit of channeling my inner French cheerleader, I decided the other day to make a classic French soft “biscuit”, the madeleine.
Madeleines are cakey butter biscuits that are shaped like seashells. They are wonderfully delicious, especially with a hot drink to dunk them into. However, madeleines are chock full of butter and sugar, and as nice as they are as an occasional treat, they are not exactly a healthy afternoon snack!
So I decided to tweak the recipe a little to make it healthier without losing the cakey texture and filling taste.
And I came across this gorgeous combination.
Chocolate & Coconut Madeleines
Adapted from a recipe in We Love Madeleines.
Makes 12 madeleines
1/2 cup (60g) self-raising flour
1/4 cup (20g) cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup (80g) sugar (if you use dark/raw sugars, you can probably get away with a little less!)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup (75ml) melted coconut oil (it can just be softened as it is naturally in warm weather if you don’t want to melt it)*
1. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/gas 5. Grease a madeleine pan and/or dust with flour and set aside.
2. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder.
3. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and sugar together until pale, then mix in the vanilla extract. Fold in the flour mixture, followed by the coconut oil.
4. Spoon the batter into the madeleine pan, filling each mould around 3/4 full.
5. Bake for 10-12 mins, until cooked through.
*A word about coconut oil:
Coconut oil is undoubtedly one of my greatest discoveries in the last few years. It’s health benefits are amazing (read this wonderful article for more information), and although it seems expensive when you first pick it up off the shelf, a large jar can last me for months on end: I use my current one (690ml) often – daily as a moisturizer (nothing makes my skin as soft or clear), and occasionally in other natural beauty products, as well as for frying or baking. I bought it in February for £7, and it is still nearly half-full. Depending on how often you decide to use it and what you want to use it for, a 700ml jar can easily last you 6 months to a year!
You need only a little compared to other oils when frying (it melts at a much higher temperature), it is much healthier, tasty (don’t get extra-virgin/raw if you don’t like the taste of coconut though!), and has many uses outside of the kitchen as well, from a natural moisturizer and stain remover, to natural medicine and insect repellant! This article gives 60+ ways of using coconut oil if you are interested in reading more about it.
So I know that for many the initial price tag can seem a lot, but buying a big jar is in my view 110% worth it – it lasts for such a long time and has just so many benefits!
Although some supermarkets now sell it due to its recent surge in popularity, often it is much more economical to buy a bigger jar for the same price on Amazon. I currently use this one, although it has quite a strong coconutty flavour, so don’t get it if you do not like the taste! This one, and this one look like good options, too. Be careful you get one that is cooking-grade, as occasionally you get ones that are solely for beauty.