It’s a French Food Revolution Friday: Les Petits Chefs bake madeleines

Greasing madeleine pans Dorie Greenspan Around my French Table French Fridays with Dorie by Mardi Michels

Happy Food Revolution Day!

Food Revolution Day 2013

I can’t think of a better post to write today than one involving my Petits Chefs. And since it’s Friday, Dorie Greenspan has to be involved too! And since it’s Food Revolution Day, with the theme of “Cook it. Share it.” what better way to celebrate than to share how to make a Dorie Greenspan recipe with the boys? The French Fridays with Dorie crew are participating in Food Revolution Day too!

Food Revolution Day is a chance for people all over the world to come together and stand up for good food and essential cooking skills. It’s a chance for people to come together in homes, schools, workplaces and communities to cook and share their kitchen skills, food knowledge and resources. Food Revolution Day is a global day of action to raise awareness about the importance of good food and better food education for everyone.

My choice of recipe was a little bit dictated by the boys and what I know they like but also guided by necessity. Last night I hosted 19 boys and their family members in my school dining hall – we taught the boys a couple of Jamie Oliver recipes, then they taught their parents, then they sat down to eat together. More on that later (when I have recovered!). Since I felt like three components of the meal was not enough (!) and that we needed something a little sweet to end the meal and I remembered how much the boys last term loved making Thomas Keller’s madeleines so I figured we’d make Dorie’s version together. And because a cooking class involving nearly 70 people didn’t quite seem enough to take on, I hosted regular cooking club right after school yesterday where the boys prepared the madeleines!

Now, I’ve also made madeleines before for French Fridays with Dorie and Tuesdays with Dorie and I even spent an afternoon discussing whether lighter or more golden colour was preferable in one’s madeleines last summer at La Cuisine Paris. They are a pretty easy, yet fancy looking dessert and last time we made them in cooking club, a few of the boys’ mums ended up buying madeleine pans because the boys loved them so much. Once you have the madeleine pan, it’s a simple-to-prepare dessert that everyone seems to love!

In terms of passing on cooking “skills” there’s not much these boys don’t know. So I didn’t think it would be too challenging. Unexpectedly, the greasing and flouring of the pans proved to be something they were quite interested in and took a great deal of time perfecting…

Greasing madeleine pans Dorie Greenspan Around my French Table French Fridays with Dorie Mardi Michels Greasing madeleine pans Dorie Greenspan Around my French Table for French Fridays with Dorie by Mardi Michels

Flouring madeleine pans Dorie Greenspan Around my French Table French Fridays with Dorie by Mardi Michels Greasing and flouring madeleine pans Dorie Greenspan Around my French Table for French Fridays with Dorie by Mardi Michels eatlivetravelwrite.comThe recipe itself is fairly simple though making 72 madeleines required some math skills…

KIds baking cracking eggs to make madeleines by Mardi Michels Making madeleine batter for French Fridays with Dorie Around my French Table Dorie Greenspan by Mardi Michels

I knew that a recipe that involved lemon zesting would be popular 😉

Zesting lemons baking with kids by Mardi Michels

I forgot my piping bags at home so the boys learned to fill the madeleine pans with spoons…

Making madeleines for Food Revolution Day by Mardi Michels


et voilà:

Madeleines ready for the fridge by Mardi Michels

We popped these in the fridge for a few hours whilst we went ahead and whipped up, oh, you know, oven baked potato wedges, cruncky garlicky chicken and tossed salads for, you know, 19 families (all the boys’ work!) and then baked them up in time for dessert.

We had a bit of a madeleine pan #fail though – four of the 6 trays we used were perfect and gorgeous, the other two were a little odd – they didn’t have the typical “hump” that a madeleine does, rather, they had a bizarre concave effect and stuck to the pan. With a little persistence, we got them out but the were definitely the ugly ducklings 🙁 A great lesson to show the boys how differently things can turn out with just one slight change in a recipe though. They still tasted great and, in fact, there were NONE left so, you know they can’t be all that bad. Here’s what the nicer ones looked like:

Dorie Greenspan madeleines for Food Revolution Day by Mardi Michels

Madeleines to make Dorie proud 🙂 Gobbled up by one and by all. I’m pretty sure a few (more) of the mums will be buying madeleine pans soon 😉

All in all, a wonderful success 🙂 I love showing the boys how easy homemade, from-scratch treats can be and I do hope I inspire even one of those boys to bake something from scratch this coming long-weekend. I always say if you’re going to have a treat, you might as well make it from scratch so you know what’s going into it! I’m sure Jamie Oliver and the Food Revolution folks would agree. Well done guys!


French Fridays with Dorie participants do not publish the recipes on our blogs (though you can find this week’s recipe online here) – we prefer if you purchase Around My French Table for yourselves which you can do here on Amazon or Amazon Canada. Or for free worldwide shipping, buy from The Book Depository. Go on, treat yourself then join us here!


* Canadians: Have you entered my Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer and attachment giveaway yet? Closes May 29th 2013 at 6pm.

**  Hey Canadians, there are some cool prizes to be won over on the Canadian Lentils Love your Lentils site – a blogger, a home chef, and a voter will all win the chance to join Chef Michael Smith in Saskatchewan on June 23, 2013 for a culinary adventure. I have two recipes in the running!

Red lentil carrot soup with orange and cardamom
Lentil-ricotta gnocchi pan-fried in tumeric butter


31 thoughts on “It’s a French Food Revolution Friday: Les Petits Chefs bake madeleines”

  1. Thanks for guiding the FFwD crew through the Food Revolution Day! And I love that your petit chefs joined the fun. Look at their marvelous madeleines! And congrats on your blog anniversary, too~

  2. Kids teaching their parents, how wonderful Mardi! The madeleines turned out really good. Thanks for hosting this iniciative today!

  3. Best line – “there’s not much that they don’t know” (when it comes to cooking skills). Mardi – you rock & Le Petit Chefs always rock!

  4. Pingback: FFwD Joins Food Revolution Day - Basque Potato Tortilla - Great Food 360˚
  5. Oh I love the idea of your Petits Chefs! They did a wonderful job on the madeleines. Such a great way to share! Thanks for getting us involved with Food Revolution Day!

  6. Mardi, merci mille fois for being you, for being a wonderful teacher and for inspiring so many cooks and bakers. And thank you for involving French Fridays with Dorie in Food Revolution 2013! xoxoDorie

  7. I’m planning to bake Dorie’s Earl Grey madeleines tomorrow. Looking at your pictures makes me extra excited to make them. Glad the boys all had fun! I love the idea of putting teenage boys in a cooking class.

  8. Mardi, what a great time you’ve had with this! Love the idea of making the madeleines as well. I totally agree – you might as well make your treats from scratch! Those boys did a fabulous job, with a little bit of help from you!!

    Thanks for getting us involved in Food Revolution Day – it’s been great fun!

  9. You’ve really outdone yourself this year, Mardi! What a massive undertaking it must be to organize all that cooking, but it must be enormously rewarding, too. Thanks so much for getting the French Fridays crew to take part in Food Revolution Day – it inspired some really great posts.

  10. Such a fun recipe to make with kids… isn’t amazing how cooking can tame the boy nature. Happy Food Revolution Day… thank you so much for getting us all involved.

  11. Loving this post. It proves that even children (and boys!) can certainly work well in the kitchen.
    Your posts have always been inspiring and this one is no exception.
    Thank you for coordinating the Food Revolution Day for us. 🙂

  12. Thanks for rallying us together for the FFwD event for Food Revolution Day. I love what you guided your Petits Chefs to make — dinner for their families plus and extra sweet. Great cooking, sharing, and living! Brava, Mardi.

  13. You are so dedicated to teaching your Petit Chefs and sharing with their families. Thanks for embodying what the Food Revolution is about and getting us onboard. Like Mary said in her post, we already have that drive to cook good food and share it and any excuse is good to keep highlighting it. I can’t wait for next year’s batch of FRD posts!

  14. Thank you Mardi for pulling this whole thing together for the FFWD group. It has been a fun
    week and great to see what everyone has accomplished. You did a fantastic job work with
    the youngsters and I am happy to see it all turned out so well. I think it is so amazing how
    boys love to learn to cook. Tricia’s younger son and I had worked together cooking a
    few years ago and we enjoyed every minute of it. The whole family enjoyed the results
    at dinner. Have a wonderful weekend.

  15. Wow- I think it is something when I have my own two kids helping (and they are MUCH older 🙂 but for you to knock out a class with this many kids and their parents…with multiple courses ? KUDOS indeed !!! And a huge thanks for sharing this whole Food R Day with the Doristas. It was grand fun and we appreciate it. Great job !!

  16. Did you ever find out what caused the maddy failures?

    I think this program sounds fantastic. I would have loved loved LOVED something like this when I was a boy. Such a great idea and I’m sure they will carry this cooking experience forward their whole lives, which, is the whole FR idea I’m sure! Great job.

  17. This was such a great idea Mardi – I try to follow along with FFWD even tho I mostly don’t have time to cook and write every week. I would have made a point of participating this time if I’d checked in just a bit sooner! Rats. But big kudos to you for all that you do.

    I taught a cooking class in January and wow – that is a massive amount of work to prepare. I’m sure each one gets a little simpler in that you must get a better sense of how much to buy, what to pre-prep, etc but still, I wonder if people have any idea how much effort goes behind a cooking class that is well thought out and seems “simple” and smooth to the participants?

    Keep up all the great stuff Mardi.

  18. Betsy and I e-mailed each other on Saturday and discussed what a success this Food Revolution Day 2013 was for our FFWD group. Thank you, Mardi, for involving us in it and for writing such informative Posts about it. I think we all “got” it and understood its purpose. It’s something we will look forward to doing every year, no matter what kind of cooking we each are doing. And, I also know how busy you were, being responsible for the entire Canadian celebration et all. My bad, Mardi. Sorry. I love that all these young men are learning to cook and are enjoying the tasks. What an evening you put together for your boys and their families. Also, love your note from Dorie.

  19. Wow! You are rather industrious taking on all that! I had to content myself with a family dinner and a blog post! So proud of your efforts!

  20. You are awesome! I’m not sure what I would have looked forward to most at this dinner, the lovely main course or the wonderful dessert. Kudos to you and your Les Petits Chefs for pulling it all together.

  21. Little hands making madeleines… This post just made my day! It’s been a rough afternoon in the Schall household, and I needed something to make me smile. This did the trick. Les Petits Chefs are such an inspiration. 🙂

  22. I am so impressed by the perfect madeleines your chefs made! Mine never come out as well. I also enjoyed reading your post about the chicken, potatoes, and salad meal. It sounds like a real crowd-pleaser. Thank you for organizing FFWD’s participation with Food Revolution. I’m glad we got to participate in something so important.

  23. madelines are the perfect treat to share with young children! and SO fun to bake, in my opinion! 🙂 what a great job, and thanks for hosting Mardi!


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