Easter in Alsace is synonymous with paschal lamb. As everywhere in France, you might say… Yes, but no! The paschal lamb is a Genoise made in a mold in the shape of a lamb eaten at Easter! It has nothing to do with an old disappearing tradition… Not only lammele (name given to this sponge cake in Bas-Rhin, but lamala in Haut-Rhin) flourish on bakery stalls, but molds are also used by families. It would be out of the question to celebrate Easter without lammele! You can find some and bake somme all throughout Easter and not only on Easter Sunday.
The mold traditionally used is a terracotta mold, that can be opened into two, in order to turn the beautiful lamb out. And as we are in Alsace, you can get one from one of the Soufflenheim pottery. That’s what I chose! Otherwise, you can also find some in metal. It’s cheaper, but really less traditional…
Lammele (lamele/ lamala) recipe
I made my first lammele by following a recipe from my friend Céline from the blog L’heure du Cream, who is known as a lammele professional! Here is her recipe:
For one lammele:
- 3 eggs
- 1 sachet of vanilla sugar
- 65g sugar
- 60g flour
- 30g cornflour (Maïzena)
- 1 level teaspoon of baking powder
- Optional: the juice of half a lemon
- To decorate: icing sugar and ribbon
Preheat the oven at 180°C.
Separate the yolks from the egg whites. Whisk the eggs with the sugar and vanilla sugar, until the mixture whitens (whisk them well!). If you want to add lemon juice, now is the time!
Then, gradually add the flour, cornflour and baking powder.
Beat the egg whites until firm. Stir them in slowly to the rest of the dough.
Butter and flour the mold by really focusing on the nooks (to avoid loosing a lamb ear during unmolding!). Fill up the mold 3/4 with the dough (no more, as it’s gonna raise).
Bake at 180°C for about 40-45 minutes. When taking it out of the oven, wait until the mold is lukewarm and cautiously turn it out. Sprinkle with icing sugar and tie a ribbon around the lamb’s neck. Savor quickly (ideally on the same day) as Lammele gets dry very quickly!
Pictures of my first lammele
A few tips…
I asked some food blogger friends to give us some tips to to successfully make a lammele every time…
- Elodie, from the blog Elo en fait tout un plat – Forget the metal mold, as it will give you a drier cake. Get a terracotta mold!
- Manue from the blog Hum ça sent bon! – Whisk for a long time the mixture eggs and sugar!
- Marine from the blog Miss Crumble – Be careful and really really butter and flour well your mold
- Sandra from the blog Cuisine Addict – Don’t open the oven door when baking, as the cake will be less fluffy!
- Adeline, from the blog La cuisine d’Adeline – Do not turn the cake out when taking it out of the oven and wait until the mold is lukewarm!
Enjoy and Happy Easter! 🙂