Skip to content

Remembrance of things hard

“She sent out for one of those short, plump little cakes called ’petites madeleines,’ which look as though they had been moulded in the fluted scallop of a pilgrim’s shell.” 

Proust, Remembrance of Things Past

Fructober has commenced! I’m super exciting to be continuing my ‘I Quit Sugar/I Quit Crap’ journey. I’m enjoying having more energy, the most noticeable difference is at nights. After working all day, being pregnant, having two small kids, I was finding that I was pretty useless in the evenings. I’d put the kids to sleep, have a bath, then that would be the end of it. Now however, I can actually have a conversation  with TSH, watch some SBS Gourmet Farmer, read, tidy up, get ready for the next day, lose my mobile but find it again, all without falling over in exhaustion. It’s been a pretty big transition in a short period of time, so I am completely impressed.

To be honest, I am starting to have stronger cravings for sweet things, but have not caved at all.  It’s getting worse, not better. A wave of want sweeps over me, but then it usually subsides if I ignore it for long enough. I received a great tip about sugar-free strategy from Birdseedblues who told me to set a goal and put a positive affirmation with it so instead of saying to myself ‘I can’t eat sugar’, I should say, ‘I will eat foods that will nourish my body’ etc . It’s been working! Whenever I see a Lindt Chocolate ball or  some Ben & Jerry’s Vermonster ice cream, I say to myself, ‘I will eat foods that are good for me’.


Mine looked nothing like these.

And even though you may think I am a stunning vision of sugar-free perfection, I am not. Over the weekend I decided to make some Madeleine cakes, the baking urge just took over.  Mmmm Madeleine cakes, those buttery light lemon-infused cakes that Proust bangs on about in Remembrance of Things Past. It’s something that I have always wanted to bake so finally I went online here and ordered a special Madeleine shaped bake tray*. As soon as it arrived I couldn’t wait so I found a traditional recipe online and went to work.  I used Dextrose instead of sugar and adapted the recipe according to my fantastic David Gillespie Sweet Poison app so they could be officially be called ‘sugar-free’.  (I was being a bit naughty indulging my baking needs but did it in the least damaging way by using Dextrose ☺ and thereby creating fake Madeleines.)

My plan had been to make a beautiful tray of them and send a picture to one of my friends who has a daughter called Madeleine.  However, in true Lou Lou style, my planning and creative direction had been excellent, two-fold better than my execution. In the end, my ‘light buttery French treats’ turned out to be heavy bricks of Swedish unsalted butter; all the wrong size, all dense as hell. They were so heavy and hard I am sure they could have been classed as a weapon. Ate them, of course! Luckily I have about a year till we move to Sydney giving me plenty of time to perfect my fake Madeleine’s for the real Madeleine.


Next up: I’ll be destroying this recipe

*I was super impressed however, with my new Madeleine baking tray from  (loose translation means ‘success with food’ oh the irony of me shopping here!!!) They are a Swedish cooking supply company based in the very north of Sweden. Loved their website and the quality of the tray. And the tray arrived quickly which was great because I’m pregnant and very often hungry. I feel that my complete-lack-of ‘success with food’ rests solely at my feet. It wasn’t the dextrose, it wasn’t the baking tray, it was my crap folding skills, but do you think I am fazed? Nup. Even when I do crap I still think I’ve done great, so next up I’m going to destroy these autumn perfect Sage and Polenta Madeleine’s from Donny Hay – can’t wait!

Have you ever tried to bake these babies?

14 Comments Post a comment
  1. Anything that requires a special tray that I will never use, pass ;). I like muffins and cookies. I like sugar too. Sorry to rub it in 🙂

    November 4, 2013
    • Ha! I love my special tray, you can’t stop me 🙂

      November 5, 2013
  2. Hahaha, delicious weapon-cakes! At least you got a hilarious story out of it 🙂 And well done for steering clear of the fructose anyway!

    November 5, 2013
    • Thanks, weapon-cakes, that’s absolutely what they were! Love that!

      November 5, 2013
  3. Not only have I never baked Madeleine cakes, but I’ve never heard of them either. And 20 years after I lived in Australia, I’m still telling the Americans that the Aussies I knew loved something called “slices” and really didn’t make brownies at all (perhaps times have changed).

    November 5, 2013
    • mmmm ‘slices’ I’m a fan too! We do love a good slice. Welcome back, after 20 years I vote for your return.

      November 5, 2013
  4. Those savoury ones sound great. I love Donna Hay’s recipes! Bookmarked to try out…

    I tend to steer clear of things that require specialised cookware as well. I can’t afford or be arsed having a cupboard full of tins I’ll only use once, so I tend to adapt recipes to suit my laziness and general tight-arsedness.

    I’ve made “Cupcake Madeleines”, using a basic CWA recipe and then peeled off the paper case, trimmed off the burnt bits, brushed them with sieved jam, rolled them in dessicated coconut and popped a halved glacé cherry on top (I figure if you are going to make a CWA recipe, you have to go the whole hog and enjoy the kitsch factor). They looked a bit like slightly big jelly cakes with nipples, though my hudband called them “boob cakes” (I tell you, he’s becoming more Australian and less Swedish by the second).

    I don’t have a sweet tooth – things like cheese boards and antipasto are my achilles heel, but the Swede eats enough chocolates, icecream and lollies for both of us plus half of town – and annoyingly remains toothpick thin. I can’t ever imagine him going cold turkey,.

    November 5, 2013
    • Oh I love those CWA cookbooks, that was brilliance to come up with that! A halved glace cherry on top, my nan would have loved it. I know, it’s the only specialised bakewear I own and that’s why my life is now dedicated to perfecting the art of Madeleine’s, of all varieties. Gotta get my monies worth!

      November 5, 2013
  5. “my planning and creative direction had been excellent, two-fold better than my execution.” Oh yes, that is the story of me too.
    Thanks for the laugh.

    November 6, 2013
    • Good to know I’m not the only one with more spirit than skills.

      November 7, 2013
  6. Oh, well done! I’m not keen enough to experiment with baking to cope with the lack of sugar!!!

    November 7, 2013
  7. Yummy…considering I have an overwhelming craving for something sweet and delicious right now.

    November 12, 2013

Spark joy in my life and leave a comment!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: