JUNE 1, 2011


Paris is one of those cities that gets into your system and stays with you.  There is something magical. Magical about the lifestyle, the fashion, the ease of movement, and the food.  The food is simple, perfectly crafted, and delicious.  I ate my share of eclairs, croissants, baguettes, steak-frites, souffles, crepes, ice cream, and croque monsieur’s. I ate whatever I wanted, when ever I wanted. Boulangeries are in abundance and sneaking in for an eclair or a mille-feuilles is a temptation I wasn’t about to pass up.

I went to Paris, research in hand, and a small, green journal filled with places I didn’t want to miss. I vowed I would conquer all corners of the city and find these little treasures, pastry shops, chocolate shops, and cafes.  My list was long, too long.  So, each night, before I went to bed, I prioritized, plotted and planned which part of the city I was going to attack.  I was on a mission.  I was able to cover almost everything: Pierre Herme, La Maison du Chocolat, Le Grande Epicerie,   Cuisine de Bar, Laduree, Berthillon Ice Cream, Luxembourg Gardens, Musee d/Orsay, and E.Dehlerrin, but my expectations were too grand.  However, what I did see, do, taste, and experience was perfect.

E Dehillerin was high on my list and was a place I wasn’t going to miss.  This is a store in the 1st arrondissements(arrondissements are the sections of the city), is family run and has been in business since 1820. From floor to ceiling, basic wooden shelves are lined with kitchen accessories, pots, pans, every size baking pan and molds, whisks, spatulas, and rolling pins. There is nothing fancy on the walls, the floors are cement and the wooden stairs leading the the basement level doesn’t have a hand rail.  For those of us that love to cook and enjoy doing it, this place is heaven.  Disimiliar to American stores like Surfas or Sur le Table, both being perfectly organized and crafted, E Dehillerin, in its simplest form, is filled with a wealth of treasures.

I was tempted to overindulge.  But I had to remind myself that I was 6,000 miles away from my own kitchen and transporting all of this bulky kitchen ware wouldn’t be easy.  Instead, I settled on a restaurant style sifter, a small copper pot, and a set of mini madeleine molds.  I left the store with my big, paper shopping bag in hand and I was content. If you’re passionate about cooking and have plans to travel to Paris, E. Dehillerin is worth the vist.

Classic Madeleines
adapted from around my french table
yield: 6 large or more than 20 mini madeleinesingredients:
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon double-acting baking powder
pinch of salt
1/3 cup sugar
Grated zest of 1/2 lemon
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
6 tablespoons (3 ounces) unsalted butter, melted and cooledinstructions:
• butter and flour the madeline molds.  set aside.
• whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl.
• in the bowl of an electric mixer, with you hands mix the sugar and teh lemon zest until all combined.
• add the eggs and beat until light and fluffy. add vanilla.
• fold in the dry ingredients.
• add in the melted butter.
• let the batter rest for at least 3 hours( I put the batter in the prepared madeleine pans, covered with plastic wrap and let rest over night in the fridge).
• preheat oven to 400*. place pre-prepped madeleine pans filled with batter on a rimmed baking sheet(remove plastic wrap). place the pans in the oven directly from the fridge.
• bake large madeleines for 11-13 monutes and the minis for 8-10 minutes, or until golden and the tops spring back when touched.
• remove the pan from the oven and release the madeleines from the molds by rapping the edge of the pan against the counter. transfer the cookies to a rack to cool to just-warm or room temperature.