Life for the most part is busy, so busy you don’t always have the time to spend with the people you love. For my part I try to catch up with my best friends as often as I can, that time we spend together is really special so in my own way I try to make it the best night until the next night.
Games Nights are a fun catch up evening with friends, we share good food, good stories and play board games. These nights are about taking the time to stay in each others lives, have fun and create memories which we will take about at Games nights in the years to come.
I love entertaining, I love having people to my home, I love to cook and bake for my guests. I have a lot of really good memories, which are associated with food, so I like to make dishes that become an integral part of the memory the evening. There’s something very special and cathartic about preparing food for people you love, so it’s not just the evening’s entertaining that creates.
For my latest get together, one of the treats I’m preparing is a Madeline and Fruit Platter. Now it’s March and it’s been unseasonably warm so I decided on a desert that’s a little lighter and a little bit of fun.
Madeleines are fan shaped delicate sponge cakes originating from the Lorraine Region of Northern France. The fan shaped is created by the pan the cakes are baked in. Madeleines are quite adaptable and can be made to suite the season.
The recipe I’m going to use is a great base to build on, for example in the winter I would dust the warm sponge with cinnamon and nutmeg sugar to give them a spiced taste. In the summer I add a raspberry to each cake and a drop of lemon juice to the mix to give it a light summer taste.
For my platter I’m keeping the madeleines simple so my guests can adapt the flavour to their own taste.
I think originally I stole this from James Martin and have adapted slightly over time, just as I’m sure you will to make it to your own taste.
225g Butter or Margarine
250g Caster Sugar
250g Plain Flour
1 Tsp Vanilla esence
2 tbsp Clear Honey
|Madeline Pans can come in metal or silicone, it depends on your prefernce|
Heat your oven to between 140 - 160(fan)
Using some softened butter or margarine, grease the madeleine tin, I tend to bake in batches as I have only one tin.
Let your butter melt in sauce pan and let cool slightly
Mix the flour and sugar together in a bowl,
Whisk the eggs together with the vanilla and honey
Add the egg/honey mix to the dry ingredients and mix till just combined
Once the butter has cooled slowly add it to the mix until you have a smooth batter.
Spoon in to the madeleine tin and bake for 8-15 mins depending on the size of your tin.
The madeleines are ready when they are a light golden brown and the edges are just lifting from the edge of the tin.
Gently remove the cakes from the tin.
While the cakes are warm you if you want to add a little warm spice mix a teaspoon of cinnamon with some icing sugar and roll the warm cake in the mix
Otherwise leave to cool.
Now my madeleines are ready, I’m creating a platter of toppings to go with the sweet treats. I’m using Blueberries, Strawberries, Raspberries, Kiwi fruit as a fruity side to add to little cakes, with whipped cream, I’m also adding Peanut butter cup bites and chocolate sauce as one of my guests is a chocolate addict.
My platter is added to a table of treats to nubble at throughout the night, while playing a selection of games including, Cluedo, Uno, Jenga and Logo, believe me we’re not competitive, actually the most fun comes from the weird and wonderful answers we come up with when stumped and the ingenious ways we can make the Jenga tower fall!