Madeleines

Sometimes it’s nice to have a sweet snack along with a hot cup of mid-morning tea or coffee. Especially now when the weather has been so cloudy and gray these last few weeks. Not that I’m complaining. Hopefully it’ll rain enough this year to get out of this drought.

Anyway, I bought myself a madeleine mold to make these little mildly sweet cakes that are a nice accompaniment to a hot drink. In theory you could bake these off in any shaped mold that you’d like, however the shell shape is traditional. I opted to purchase a silicone mold since I really like how they’re easy to clean and how food releases from the molds so cleanly.

Instead of jumping on the first madeleine recipe that I found, I decided to peruse through my cookbook collection and compare the various recipes. For the most part, the ingredient ratios were relatively similar. The most distinguishing factor between the recipes was the use of different sweeteners. Some used just white sugar, some a combination of white sugar and honey, and a few used white sugar, brown sugar, and honey.

Most procedures called for a process similar to making a genoise – warm up the eggs and sweeteners, then beat until pale in color and at least tripled in volume to ribbon stage (using the whisk, the foam should leave a trail on the surface for 2-3 seconds until it sinks back in). Fold in the sifted dry ingredients, then temper in the melted butter. Then, let the batter rest for an hour to overnight for the flour to fully hydrate before baking.

It seems to me like a lot of effort to make this light fluffy egg foam cake batter, just to let it sit around and deflate. Plus, most of these recipes have baking powder in it anyway. Luckily one of my recipes totally skipped this method entirely, which is the procedure I used to make mine.

Ready to eat

Ready to eat

Madeleines

Yield 12-14 individual cakes, depending on pan cavity size

  • 61g Sugar
  • 10g Honey
  • pinch of salt
  • 78g Whole Eggs
  • 34g Cake Flour
  • 34g All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 68g Unsalted Butter, melted
  • Powdered sugar, for dusting, optional
*Variations: 
Vanilla – add 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
Brown Butter/Beurre Noisette – substitute brown butter for unsalted butter

Green Tea – add 5g green tea powder, sift with the dry ingredients

  • Sift together the flours and baking powder, set aside
  • Combine sugar, honey, salt and eggs with a whisk until incorporated
  • Fold in sifted dry ingredients into the egg mixture with a spatula in 2-3 additions
  • Fold in melted butter to incorporate
  • At this point, the batter may be stored in a container to rest for at least one hour and then piped into prepared molds, or piped into the prepared pan to rest for at least one hour before baking.
  • Thoroughly spray mold with pan spray, then pipe batter into cavities no more than 3/4 full.
  • Bake at 350ºF for 11-15 minutes. Cakes are done when the center springs back when gently pressed.
  • Allow to cool in pans for 5 minutes before de-panning
  • Dust with powdered sugar, if desired, prior to serving

These are really easy to make and plan ahead. The batter can be made and piped into the pans or stored in a container for 2-3 days before baking. They are best served the same day they are baked. However, if you only plan to have 1-2 madeleines every day, such as for personal consumption, bake off the cakes and keep in the freezer and thaw as needed. Throw them into the oven for a few minutes to freshen them up and enjoy!

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