Photos and Recipes by Eve Cardi
Looking for a centerpiece dessert for your holiday celebrations? We have just the show-stopping treat for you!
In our November/December magazine, Eve Cardi, one of our favorite food stylists, presents us with a gorgeous and festive table featuring a full Christmas meal that puts creative spins on traditional French winter flavors and staples.
The recipe collection from this edition features an earthy mushroom soup with chestnuts that recall a cozy and warm home-for-the-holidays sensation; a salmon pie with spinach and leeks that is sure to tickle the taste buds of any guest looking to honor the French tradition of indulging in seafood in winter; and to finish, she presents a selection of desserts that not only satisfy any end-of-meal cravings, but also serves as the icing on the cake (so to speak) of a fabulous Christmas tablescape.
To get you into the holiday spirit, we’re treating you to one of Eve’s dessert recipes – a festive and oh-so-French Christmas tree cake made entirely from one of the culture’s most classic pastries: Madeleines! For this recipe you will need a 45cm-high polystyrene (styrofoam) pyramid, toothpicks, and around 80 madeleines plus powdered sugar for the “snow” dusting.
To make enough for the Christmas tree, multiply this recipe by 7 to get 84 madeleines
4/5 cup (100 grams) of cake flour
1/2 cup (100 grams) of granulated sugar
1/2 tsp (1/2 sachet) baking powder
1/2 cup (100 grams) melted butter, plus a few knobs for the molds
1/2 vanilla pod, split in half and emptied
Powdered sugar for dusting
Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Add eggs and melted butter. Mix again, adding the vanilla. Store the dough in the refrigerator overnight.
The next day, preheat the oven to 355°F (180°C).
Pour the mixture into buttered madeleine molds. Bake for 12 minutes.
Remove the molds from the oven and leave to cool for a few minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
To assemble the pyramid for the tree, cut 40 toothpicks in half. Insert the first toothpick 3 cm (1 inch) above the base, then gently prick the first madeleine (with the hump facing inward) and attach it to the base. Continue using this method to attach the rest of the madeleines, working your way up from the bottom until you reach the top.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar.
To see more recipes from Eve Cardi’s Christmas Cooking with French Flair, get a copy of the November/December 2023 edition of the magazine here.