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A biscuiterie (and a recipe) you didn't know you needed
Stop by Galizé Biscuiterie — a specialty shop for travel cakes — when you're in Paris, and try these java mini mads at home until you can get there.
Before Caroline Le Touzé opened Galizé Biscuiterie, had you asked me if Paris was missing a particular kind of pastry shop, I’d have quickly said, no! In addition to all the patisseries and boulangeries that fill their cases with everything from whipped cream cakes and tarts to pointy-tipped baguettes, the city’s got specialty boutiques. There are shops that showcase macarons and shops that have chosen choux as their stars. Some that spotlight cookies and others that devote themselves to donuts. You can find babkas and cruffins and New York rolls (copies of those created at Lafayette). Chocolate shops are abundant — thank goodness. Scoop shops are as common as newsstand kiosks. And you can find a croissant on every corner. The pastry landscape looked complete to me. Then along came Galizé to prove me wrong.
It turns out that Paris needed a shop for travel cakes, those plain gâteaux de voyage that you can pack and bring to friends, take to a picnic, stow in the galley of a boat, serve with coffee or tea, nibble all day, eat at a pretty table set with your favorite dishes, out of hand or on the run. Bonjour, Galizé, and merci, Caroline.
Madeleines, The Pilgrims’ Travel Cake
For Caroline, the family of travel cakes is large and welcoming. It embraces French biscuits (bee-sqwee), including small cakes, like financiers, and cookies — the latest addition to her cookie line-up is the New York cookie, a chunky chocolate cookie inspired by Levain; and plain cakes, some with long histories, like the Gâteau de Savoie, which gets its rise and beautiful texture from whipped egg whites; and some new, like the polka-dot marble Bundt and the coconut cake with mango-passion fruit and coconut coulis.
In a traditional bakery, a gâteau de voyage is usually a loaf cake. It’s the same with a weekend cake — the French have adopted the word “cake” and use it whenever they’re talking about something sweet or savory baked in a loaf pan. But for Galizé, Caroline searched the NordicWare catalogue and literally reshaped the repertoire. For an American, it’s a delight to see a typical French cake made in a pan many of us use at home. For a French person, it’s a revelation.
For me, the revelation was the madeleine, a teacake I’ve loved and baked at home for years. It wasn’t until Caroline declared that madeleines belong to the gâteaux de voyage family, that I put two and two together. Madeleines are baked in scallop-shaped molds and the scallop is the symbol of those trekking the countryside on pilgrimages. Of course, they’re travel cakes! They’re also the linchpin for Caroline and her biscuiterie.
From Great-Grandfather to Great-Granddaughter
Galizé may be the size of a dollhouse, but the story that’s so elegantly pictured on the back wall (I love all the graphics in the shop) stretches across generations. Caroline’s great-grandfather had a factory that made madeleines. Called La Boule d’Or, the company, founded in 1930, made the famous cakelettes and packaged them to travel and be sold across France. By the time Caroline began dreaming about Galizé, La Boule d’Or had been sold, but the tie to her family’s love for the cake remained, explaining why the madeleine takes pride of place at the shop: It greets you at the door.
Caroline’s madeleines are made as her great-grandfather’s were — with oil. And it’s the oil that gives the madeleine’s crumb its enticing bounce. (And yes, I’ll be experimenting with oil-based mads.) They’re also made in a mold that Caroline created so that she can cover the scalloped side of the cake with a generous layer of glossy dark chocolate embossed with a G. They’re like jewels.
Go Have a Cake - OR - Stay Home and Have a Cake
Nothing beats popping into Galizé, saying bonjour to the exuberant Caroline and tasting a cake or a madeleine.
But if Paris isn’t on your itinerary this week and you want the pleasure of a gâteau de voyage, try this Mix-It Up Citrus Loaf that I adapted from l’Agrumiste in Paris. Or go mad — and small — and make these Java Mini Mads, from Baking with Dorie. Not at all like Caroline’s, but tasty.
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JAVA MINI MADS
GOOD TO KNOW BEFORE YOU START
Madeleines, rich cookies masquerading as tiny tea cakes, are usually recognized by their scalloped-shell shape — it’s traditional — and beloved for their texture, which is light; tight-grained; a bit springy, the way the best sponge cakes are; and exceptionally well suited to dunking. In this version, I’ve given the normally plain cookie a memorable new flavor and an even lovelier texture. The madeleines are made with coffee and cinnamon (like cappuccino) and baked in mini muffin tins (if you’d like, you can use classic madeleine pans; see “Java Mads” under Playing Around). The tins up the ratio of well browned, lightly crunchy crust to glorious crumb, increasing their irresistibility and their dunkability too.
Makes 24 mini madeleines
2⁄3 cup (91 grams) all-purpose flour
1 1⁄2 teaspoons instant espresso (or 2 teaspoons ground espresso, ground coffee or instant coffee)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1⁄4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1⁄2 cup (100 grams) sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 stick (8 tablespoons; 4 ounces; 113 grams) unsalted butter, melted and still warm
Whisk the flour, espresso or coffee, baking powder, cinnamon and salt together.
Working in a medium bowl, whisk the sugar and eggs together energetically, beating for about 2 minutes — the mixture should be pale and thicken a bit. Whisk in the vanilla. Switch to a flexible spatula and gently stir in the flour mixture. When it’s fully incorporated, fold and lightly stir in the melted butter. Press a piece of plastic against the surface of the batter and refrigerate for at least 5 hours. (The batter can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.)
WHEN YOU’RE READY TO BAKE: Center a rack in the oven and preheat it to 400 degrees F. Generously butter two mini muffin tins. (If you’ve got just one, work in batches.) Or use baker’s spray.
Divide the batter evenly among the cups — I use a small cookie scoop (with a capacity of about 2 teaspoons) to do this.
Bake the minis for 11 to 13 minutes, or until they’re golden brown and feel springy when gently prodded — they’ll have beautiful round humps in the center. As soon as you take the pan out of the oven, rap it against the counter to loosen the madeleines. If any stick, gently pry them out with a table knife. Serve now, when they’re still warm and at their lightest, or let cool on a rack and serve at room temperature.
STORING: The mads are best soon after they are baked. They can be kept covered at room temperature for up to 1 day, but their texture will get a bit denser.
PLAYING AROUND: Java Mads — The batter will make a dozen full-size madeleines. Butter and flour the madeleine pan or use baker’s spray, divide the batter among the molds and bake for 12 to 13 minutes.
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