My family and I are huge fans of Bonne Maman jams. Years ago, before they were available in England, we would come back on the ferry from visits to France with a car full of wine and Bonne Maman jams! Now Bonne Maman’s products make regular appearances in my shopping basket at home in the UK – and there’s a lot more than just jam these days.
Last week I was invited to London to sample some of Bonne Maman’s newest products and to attend a Madeleine Masterclass with the award winning master patissier and international baking star Eric Lanlard.
On arrival I was invited to sample Bonne Maman’s Galettes, Madeleines, Tartlets and Cakes. Everything was absolutely delicious. When I was chatting with Eric Lanlard, he explained that Bonne Maman are, not surprisingly, very French in their attitude to their products. They use only the freshest eggs, milk and butter. You won’t find a long list of unpronounceable additives in the ingredients list on the back of their packages. Also each treat is individually wrapped in larger packs. This means that not only are they portable and extremely fresh but also that you are encouraged to enjoy them the French way – in moderation.
Later, Eric Lanlard demonstrated how to make the Bonne Maman Madeleine Charlotte Cake. It really is gorgeous – inside and out!
It’s also much easier to make than I thought it would be. Eric took us through the process step by step, from lining the springform cake pan with Bonne Maman Madeleines to making the strawberry puree, then assembling and decorating the cake.
During the demonstration, Eric shared some of his top baking tips including:-
When mixing eggs and sugar, whisk them together straight away. Don’t measure them out and leave them in the bowl before mixing or the sugar will actually ‘cook’ the eggs, meaning you will have little lumps throughout your mixture.
Always add vanilla to cold mixtures (in this case the cold cream as opposed to the warm strawberry custard). The same is true when you are adding alcohol or liqueurs. Heat can dull their flavours.
Remove desserts from the fridge about 30 minutes before serving. Most desserts have a better flavour when they are not fridge cold.
Because the Charlotte Cake needed to chill, Eric had to bring out “one he had made earlier” to decorate with strawberries and summer fruits.
I’m sure it would take me a lot longer to decorate than it did Eric – he made it look effortless – but then, he is a pastry chef!
Fancy trying this gorgeous Bonne Maman Madeleine Charlotte Cake for yourself? Here’s the recipe!
Bonne Maman Madeleine Charlotte Cake
- For the Bonne Maman Madeleine Syrup
- 100 ml water
- 100 grams golden caster sugar
- 100 grams strawberries
- For the Mousse
- 300 grams strawberries
- 100 grams golden caster sugar
- 4 egg yolks
- 300 ml whipping cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
- 5 gelatin leaves
- Everything else
- 20 Bonne Maman Madeleines
- 250 grams mixed summer fruits
- 1 to 2 tablespoons icing sugar confectioner's sugar
- For the Bonne Maman Madeleine Syrup:
- In a saucepan, mix the sugar and water.
- Bring to the boil and simmer for 2 minutes.
- Leave to cool.
- For the mousse:
- Wash 300 grams of strawberries and remove the stems.
- Heat the strawberries in a small saucepan with 50 grams of golden caster sugar, stirring to break down the strawberries and creating a puree.
- Push the hot strawberry puree through a fine sieve to remove the seeds.
- Discard the seeds.
- Set the puree aside.
- Cover the gelatine leaves with cold water in a separate bowl.
- In another bowl, whisk 4 egg yolks with the remaining 50 grams of caster sugar.
- Pour the hot strawberry puree on to the yolk and sugar mixture and whisk continuously.
- Put the strawberry puree, yolk and sugar mixture back into a saucepan and heat whilst continually mixing until the puree thickens and coats the back of a spoon.
- Drain and squeeze out the gelatine leaves and add them to the hot strawberry puree. Stir and then put the mixture to one side to cool.
- Using an electric hand whisk, whip the whipping cream to soft peaks, adding the vanilla bean paste half way through.
- When the strawberry puree is cool, fold in the whipped cream in two additions to create a smooth and creamy mousse.
- To build the Bonne Maman Madeleine Charlotte Cake:
- Line a springform pan 22 cm in diameter with baking paper.
- Cut the Bonne Maman Madeleines in half lengthways and line the tin with the curved sides against the wall of the tin. .
- Fill the bottom of the tin with the other Bonne Maman Madeleine halves, cutting them to fit if you need to.
- Using a pastry brush, brush the Bonne Maman Madeleines with the syrup made at the very beginning.
- Using a ladle, carefully cover the Bonne Maman Madeleines with half the mousse.
- Add a final layer of Bonne Maman Madeleines and brush with syrup.
- Top with the remaining mousse, being sure to leave a small space at the top so that the top of the Bonne Maman Madeleines lining the sides of the bowl stick up a bit.
- Place the cake in the fridge to set for at least 3 hours.
- When set, gently remove the cake from the springform tin and place on a serving plate or cake stand.
- Decorate with mixed summer fruits, sprinkle with sieved icing sugar, serve and enjoy!
Thanks to Bonne Maman for inviting me to their Madeleine Masterclass and for the lovely bag of Bonne Maman goodies they sent home with me!
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