Ricardo Larrivée is a name synonymous with the Canadian culinary world. From radio shows to print magazines, cookery to wines, Ricardo represents a contemporary diverse brand that appeals to Canadians coast to coast and to people all around the world. With an easy going approach to food and a charismatic personality, Ricardo creates a welcoming environment for food lovers across all of his platforms – television, print, and online.
After years of successfully publishing Ricardo magazine in Quebec for a French audience, Ricardo has now expanded to an English publication this past fall. Ricardo magazine is informative, creative, and has a great layout. Simply put it is just a fun read! Since watching Ricardo on Canada’s Food Network I’ve been a fan, so I was thrilled when his team reached out to me to review his collection of Easter recipes on ricardocuisine.com.
Over on ricardocuisine.com the ‘Discover‘ drop down menu should be renamed ‘Treasure Chest‘! Perhaps it is just me, but the organization of this menu is amazing. A mixture of broad categories for the times you want to browse and be inspired, and specific categories when you need a recipe quick. The Easter collection has options for everyone. Whether your special Easter meal is a brunch, a lunch or a dinner you will find a recipe to add a delicious twist to your menu planning.
Spoiled with choice I decided to challenge myself and select a sweet recipe over a savory choice. If I am going to give an honest account of what it is like working with Ricardo’s recipes, I wanted to take myself out of my comfort zone. This self-confessed non-baker is putting in some serious time working on her baking skills, so I want to work with recipes that I feel I will learn from and will instruct me as I follow along.
After reviewing and reading the Easter recipes, it was the lemon madeleines with lemon curd that really caught my eye. What can I say I like a challenge! This would be my absolute first time baking madeleines and making a curd. I was pleasantly surprised with both, but particularly with the curd. I made curd and it is amazing!! (insert happy dance here) The recipes are well laid out, with clear and concise instructions that are easy to follow. With the exception of when the recipe stated “the mixture forms a ribbon when the beater is lifted” what’s a ribbon in batter?! I felt confident throughout the process of baking the madeleines and curd. The option to create a grocery list is fantastic, especially for organized freaks like me who need a list! Not all recipes, but some do include notes with helpful hints and tips to help you get the most out of the recipe.
As much as baking is a science, what I’m learning is that there is a certain amount of intuition that is required and knowledge of your oven is key. One of my learned lessons from this experience is don’t be afraid to stray from the recipe and follow your intuition! Which is easier said than done, I know. I had a small madeleine pan, as the recipe stated, but the 8 – 10 minute was way too long to me. My madeleines cooked in about 6 – 7 minutes. They were little, perhaps smaller than Ricardo’s pan; however, this is where the curd came in really handy, as I used it to cover the slightly more golden madeleines of my first batch. And don’t they look gorgeous?!
Once I sorted out the timing issue, I could not be more pleased how these delicate madeleines turned out. Light and fluffy, with a refreshing lemon flavor, these treats are made to be shared with family and friends for a sweet afternoon treat. With good conversation and a sparkling beverage, these little cakes will make any get together over Easter sweeter.
- ¾ cup (180 ml) unbleached all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon (1 ml) baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon (1 ml) salt
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup (125 ml) sugar
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
- ½ cup (125 ml) unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
- In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In another bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, and lemon zest with an electric mixer for about 5 minutes or until the mixture forms a ribbon when the beater is lifted.
- With a whisk, gently fold in the dry ingredients. Fold the butter in the same way. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- With the rack in the middle position, preheat the oven to 200 °C (400 °F). Butter and flour a small madeleine pan. Set aside.
- Fill each cavity three-quarter up with batter. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until the madelienes are lightly golden brown. Remove from the pan and let cool completely on a wire rack. Repeat with the remaining of the batter. If desired, serve with lemon curd.
- ¾ cup (180 ml) sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- Grated zest of 2 lemons
- ½ cup (125 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ¼ cup (60 ml) cold unsalted butter, diced
- In a saucepan, off the heat, combine quickly the sugar, eggs, egg yolks, and lemon zest with a whisk until smooth. Stir in the lemon juice.
- Cook over medium heat, stirring with a whisk, until the mixture thickens or until a candy thermometer reads 76 °C (170 °F), about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and strain immediately.
- Add the butter and stir until melted. Cover with plastic wrap directly on the curd. Let cool and refrigerate for about 3 hours or until completely chilled.
I hope you give Ricardo’s recipe a try and enjoy as much as I have! And as always if you do try out these lemon madeleines please let me know. I love to hear for you!