Perhaps it’s just my burning desire to bake cakes, especially new and challenging cakes, or my trip to Paris where I fell in love with them, or the vintage pans which I inherited, but for a long while I have wanted to make Madeleines.
After a bit of research to find a recipe that has the wonderful mix of easily accessible ingredients and convenient method that I look for, I found it on Epicurious. Quite a few recipes I came across were quite complicated. I initially thought I would start out with Joel Robuchon. He’s brilliant and French and has Michelin stars, but his Madeleine recipe in ‘The Complete Robuchon’ is complicated in that it uses six egg whites (what will I do with all those yolks?), almond flour and has an added stage of refrigerating the batter for an hour before baking (I’m impatient). Perhaps all these things will make a better Madeleine, and maybe as I advance on my baking journey I will go down this road, but for today I opted for an easier recipe to feel my way around the starting point.
You will need 2 – 3 12 holed Madeleine pans (I have two, so reused one of them for the second round)
I made 34 Madeleine’s from this recipe
- 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter or 175gms for the metric amongst us melted and cooled, plus additional for brushing moulds (I used a baking spray which I always find works perfectly)
- 1 1/4 cups sifted cake flour (not self-rising; sift before measuring) – I sifted twice, once to measure and the second time when you sift into the batter
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons finely grated fresh lemon zest (I didn’t have lemons so added a tsp of lemon essence)
- Icing sugar for dusting
How to make:
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C and spray the moulds with baking spray, or grease with a bit of butter and dusted flour
- Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt
- Beat eggs in a large bowl with an electric mixer at high speed until light and foamy, about 30 seconds with a standing mixer or 1 minute with a handheld, then beat in vanilla. Gradually add the granulated sugar, beating constantly at high speed, and continue to beat until the mixture is tripled in volume, about 3 minutes with a standing mixer or 5 minutes with a handheld
- Sift the flour mixture in 3 or 4 batches over the egg, folding in each addition by hand with a spatula until just combined – do not over mix
- Then fold in the zest and 3/4 cup melted butter.
- Spoon a rounded tablespoon of batter into each mould (they will be about two-thirds full) and bake in the middle of the oven for 10 – 12 minutes, until golden around edges and a tester inserted in centres comes out clean, 10 to 12 minutes total.
- Turn the Madeleines out by gently pulling them out the moulds and cool on a cooling rack
- Dust with icing sugar and serve warm or cooled.
I found these to be very easy to make, light and lovely to eat. The sweetness is balanced. I would like to experiment with variations, and think that a lemon or orange syrup drizzled over could add a lot of value and will try this……chocolate, more vanilla, lavender…..
I also stumbled upon quite a bit of debate on whether they need to have a hump or should be flat….. it’s not conclusive, but my opinion is that they should be flat, and the lightness achieved through the integrity of the recipe vs. a raising agent.