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LITERARY CAKES

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....those squat, plump little cakes called "petites madeleines," which look as though they had been moulded in the fluted valve of a scallop shell.... (Marcel Proust)

Madeleines. Forever to be associated with the French writer Marcel Proust and the famous "Proustian rush", an involuntary memory triggered when cues encountered in everyday life evoke recollections of the past. The delicate orange-flower fragrance and flavour of these little cakes bring forth a rush of memories for the narrator, Swann, of Proust's first volume of À la recherche du temps perdu (In Search of Lost Time). Read the whole quote here.

Madeleinesare small sponge cakes, with a distinctive shell-like shape. They traditionally come from Commercy in the Lorraine region of France. They are very easy to make, consisting of equal quantities of flour, sugar, butter and eggs, with a dash of orange flower water for their perfumed flavour: the only specialist equipment required is a Ma…