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Place the flour in a medium-sized bowl and sift in the baking powder. Add the salt and whisk together.
Combine the eggs and granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and mix on medium-high speed for about 1 minute, warming the bowl gently as needed to dissolve the sugar. Increase the speed to high and whip until the color lightens and the batter doubles in volume, about 4 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the butter, brown sugar, and honey in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, whisking to dissolve the sugar, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.
Remove the bowl from the mixer stand and fold in half of the dry ingredients, then fold in the remaining dry ingredients until just combined. Scrape the bottom of the bowl to incorporate any dry ingredients that may have settled.
Pour the warm butter mixture over the batter, add the lemon oil, if using, and fold until the mixture is incorporated and the batter is smooth. Place the batter in a covered container and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Brush the madeleine pan with butter. Refrigerate or freeze the pan to harden the butter.
Transfer the batter to the pastry bag, or use a spoon. Pipe or spoon the batter into the molds. Tap the bottom of the pan against the work surface to smooth the top of the batter.
Bake until the tops are browned lightly and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, 7-8 minutes in a convection oven, 8-9 minutes in a standard oven. (The bottoms of the madeleines will brown more quickly than the tops, so keep the tops on the lighter side.) Immediately unmold the madeleines and cool on a cooling rack.
The madeleines are best the day they are baked, but they can be stored in a covered container for up to 1 day.
The art of madeleines is to obtain their particular shape with a nice bump in the middle. What I learned by doing some research on the Internet and in particular in the article of Cuisine Acutelle on the secret of the madeleines bump is that everything is played at the time of cooking!
After doing several tests, I give you below my 2 tips to get madeleines with a nice bump!
1. Your dough should be cold
Indeed, the bump of madeleines are formed thanks to a thermal shock. This is why it is advisable to place the madeleines dough overnight in the fridge, then pour it into the molds and place the molds in the fridge for another hour.
If you don’t have too much time, you can also leave the dough for two hours only in the fridge, pour it into the molds and put it in the oven directly. The tastes of the madeleines will remain the same!
2. Turn off your oven
Then, when it comes to bake the madeleines, the whole process is highly timed! There are several ways to achieve thermal shock without overcooking madeleines.
Personally, I chose Christophe Michalak’s method which consists of preheating the oven to 200 ° C (rotating heat) then turning off the oven until the bump of the madeleines is formed. Then turn on the oven again for about 3-5 minutes to finish cooking the madeleines.
I recommend you for your first madeleines to stay near the oven and check the cooking minute by minute because it goes very quickly.
A Classic French Madeleines Recipe
These madeleines are sweet, buttery and perfect with a cup of coffee or tea! They’re a tasty cross between cake and a cookie. They aren’t hard to make, but they do require a little bit of attention to detail to get them just right.
For many, the sign of a perfectly baked madeleine is the “belly,” or hump, that they get in the middle when baking. The hump is all about the rise, which should indicate a lighter or fluffier madeleine. With this recipe, your madeleines will rise perfectly every time!
Is Madeleine a cake or a cookie?
Madeleines are actually small butter cake with the beautiful shell shape. It&rsquos not really a cookie as a cake batter is used in the recipe. It&rsquos sometimes referred as a cookie because of its beautiful cookie shape and the petite size.
My creation is almost perfect, each Madeleine is firm with crunchy edges, with the cutest signature hump in the middle of the cake! And yes, they are oh-so-good with a cup of hot coffee or tea!
Method/Directions: Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease the madeleine pan with butter. Make the batter by beat the eggs and sugar.
Add lemon juice and lemon zest and blend well. Fold in the flour and melted butter, stir and blend to form a smooth batter. Transfer the batter into the madeleine pan and bake for 12 minutes.
- 2 eggs
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ cup butter, melted and cooled
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease and flour twenty-four 3-inch Madeleine molds.
In a medium bowl beat eggs, vanilla and lemon zest with an electric mixer on high speed for 5 minutes. Gradually beat in the confectioners' sugar. Beat for 5 to 7 minutes or until thick and satiny.
Sift together the flour and baking powder. Sift one-fourth of the flour mixture over the egg mixture, gently fold in. Fold in the remaining flour by fourths. Then fold in the melted and cooled butter. Spoon batter into the prepared molds, filling 3/4 full.
Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 10 to 12 minutes or until the edges are golden and the top s spring back. Cool in molds on a rack for 1 minute. Loosen cookies with a knife. Invert cookies onto a rack and cool. Sift confectioners' sugar over the tops or melt semi-sweet chocolate chips and dip the tips in the chocolate. Store in an airtight container.
Strawberry ShortcakeIngredients: />
- Slice the strawberries thinly and place in a large bowl. Sprinkle with sugar, set aside.
- In a clean mixing bowl, whip cream until almost-stiff peaks form, beat in sugar and vanilla extract, or to taste.
- In each glass, layer 2 Traditional Madeleines, spoon in strawberries, layer with whipped cream, repeat, topping final product with whipped cream.
- Garnish with any leftover strawberries and serve immediately with remaining whipped cream or refrigerate until ready to serve.
What you need to make this recipe.
- Butter - I've used unsalted. I prefer butter rather than margarine, because of the fat content which gives a really nice buttery flavour.
- Soft Brown Sugar - White Caster sugar is fine.
- Eggs - Medium sized - Always at room temperature
- Vanilla Extract - Learn how to make your own Vanilla Extract
- Wholemeal Self Raising Flour - White Self-raising flour is fine. But wholemeal flour gives a really nice wholesome nutty flavour to these Madeleines.
Note: Scroll down to find a full list of ingredients and quantities on the recipe card.
Classic Madeleines Recipe
Walking through a local grocery store, I was reminded of how popular madeleines (French butter cakes) really are. An authentic French madeleines recipe should produce little cakes that are light and quite spongy. While a classic madeleine recipe is made to be eaten sans fork, don’t be mistaken into thinking that this dessert should be any less fluffy and moist than a picturesque, tiered cake would be.
While you may be tempted to pick up some Costco madeleines, I have to assure you that a homemade madeleines recipe can be whipped up just as easily. In fact, you can make French madeleines as quickly as cookie dough and they will bake just as fast.
Madeleine cakes (also known as madeleine cookies) are not very fussy, but they do require a madeleine pan to get that famous shell shape. Don’t fret, however, as a madeleine pan only costs a little more than a store-bought package of madeleines, so it’s worth the investment.
One of my favorite things about a French madeleine is the delightfully tender crumb. Whether you’re making a flavored madeleine recipe, such as a honey orange or lemon madeleine recipe, or going for a classic like this Julia Child madeleine recipe, you will love how moist and fluffy the interior of these madeleines are.
I also think this easy madeleine recipe from Julia is one of the best madeleine recipes out there. It works as the perfect foray into the world of madeleine baking. Once you realize just how easy madeleines are to make, you will feel excited to experiment with other variations like Christmas madeleines or chocolate madeleines.
Tips for Making Madeleines
If it’s your first time making madeleines, here are some tips to ensure you’re successful and accomplish these with the upmost ease:
- Beat the sugar and eggs together well. You want the sugar and egg mixture to look pale yellow in color. A handheld mixer can help make this an effortless process.
- Grease your madeleine pan well. Use a nonstick pan for the best results and a nonstick baking spray or softened butter.
- Follow the recipe instructions and simply fill each mold with a heaping tablespoon of batter. Don’t spread the batter out to fill out the entire mold. The batter will spread and form a hump as it bakes.
- Let the madeleines cool in the pan for a few minutes before you try nudging them out on a wire cooling rack.
You can see that for this madeleines recipe, I decorated the cakes with a dusting of powdered sugar. This is a very traditional and simple method of garnishing madeleines.
Other ways you can decorate your madeleines include dipping them in chocolate or drizzling melted chocolate onto them. Once they’ve been garnished with chocolate, they can also be adorned with sprinkles or chopped nuts for a fancy finish!
Some of you may recall that a few weeks back I did a series of interviews chez d’autres auteurs in blogalandia. During the course of one of those interviews, I let it slip that I had never read Proust.
Please note that I did not say that I wished to read Proust. I’ve read more than my share of French classics already, to the tune of 500 or so of them. And analyzed them which is a bad way to ruin a good book.
No, I just said that I wished that I had read him so that I could discourse intelligently about him.
Of course, news of this slipped out, mostly because I am a blabbermouth and now that I had confessed it to the world at large, the subject kept preying on my mind until I had also confessed it to my colleagues.
At which point, every single French professor in the room confessed that they had never read all of Proust, either, or even been tempted to. But one.
He waxed indignant. “You’ve never read Proust? No, but–especially you, you’re a novelist. You have to read Combray at least.” He was so transported he had to lapse into French even though it’s not his native language, which happens to us in our half-French world sometimes. “C’est–c’est délicieux.“
Well. You know me. Describing a book as delicious is pretty much the most likely way of getting me to read it.
My vision of my next book is, of course, that it would be printed entirely in chocolate ink and that people could nibble on the cover whenever they got hungry while staying up until 2 a.m. in heedless absorption over its contents. Its verbal contents.
So when people say “delicious”, that’s the vision that pops into my mind.
Also, I was teaching the too-famous-for-its-own-good madeleine passage to students the next week, and I always feel guilty at such moments that I’ve never read more than excerpts myself.
Plus, when I got to work the next day, I found my colleague’s copy of Combray sitting on my desk.
Which is PROSYLETIZING, if you ask me.
What can I say? Proust does not work for me. I have the most intense urge to grab him by the shoulders and shake him.
But, of course, ANY excuse is a GOOD excuse to try a new recipe, AND I DON’T CARE IF IT’S A CLICHE.
Look at my little madeleines.
Whenever I make a new thing, I usually work from three or so recipes plus all the comments posted about those recipes on cooking sites.
Which is not a cooking method for the faint-hearted, trust me.
During this particular juggling act, I accidentally used the half a cup of clarified butter in this recipe instead of the 1 cup of softened butter it was supposed to have.
Also, I used 7/8 cup of almond flour instead of grinding my own from blanched almonds, and I halved the lemon juice on purpose and with more regret the lemon zest. (Only one lemon in the house.)
Sébastien liked them, but he also doesn’t usually like French bakery madeleines, so I don’t know if that’s a good guide. He said: “They have less of that arrière-gout that I don’t like.”
Arrière-gout is roughly the equivalent of the English “aftertaste”, but in French you get the impression of a flavor lurking in hiding in the back of your mouth, ready to leap out at you when you least suspect it.
Well. I liked them. You’ve got to take a break from chocolate to explore other culinary literature from time to time, right?
Even though I agree with this artist’s take on the whole thing. Except I imagine Proust adding, “Curse it all, if only I had written about chocolate, this could be a good hell.”
That’s why I write about chocolate a lot. I like to keep my bases covered.
Traditional Madeleines and More
- 136 g all-purpose flour (scant cup)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 3 large eggs
- 110 g granulated sugar (1/2 cup + 1 Tbs)
- 132 g unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for greasing (9 Tbs)
- 18 g honey (1 Tbs)
- 18 g dark brown sugar (4 tsp)
- Zest of 1/2 lemon
The original recipe (1/2 the amount listed above) called for 83 grams of eggs, which is just a bit over one and one-half eggs. We figured we’d double the amounts in the original so we could use three eggs. Full disclosure, we did weigh the eggs, and three eggs came to 174 grams, just slightly over the 166 grams needed if we followed the recipe exactly. (Another disclosure, we did scoop out just a bit of egg to make the weight match — it was less than a tablespoon of egg). So, with all that egg discussion, what kind did we use? Yes, eggs from true free-range hens, happy hens, because that makes us happy, too, and provides the best eggs. Of course, only use unsalted butter, because no one likes salty cake. The lemon zest is our variation the original recipe called for 1 to 2 drops lemon oil.
Variant: Finally, the “more” part from the title. We indicated that we also made chocolate madeleines, and, while we used a (slightly) different recipe, we suggest that if you want chocolate, substitute 35 grams (1/3 cup) of cocoa for 35 grams (1/4 cup) of flour before sifting. And use 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract in place of the lemon zest.
Procedure in detail:
Sift to fluff, whisk to mix. So you whisk the flour and baking powder to fluff, then whisk in the salt to mix.
Sift drys. Okay, time to break out the sifter. Yes, we know it’s way, way, back in the cupboard. And don’t say that the bag of flour indicates it’s pre-sifted, because there are two reasons one sifts dry ingredients: to remove lumps, and to fluff. Saying pre-sifted means without lumps you want to fluff. So sift the flour (and cocoa, if using) and baking powder together into a medium bowl. Then whisk in the salt. Why not sift the salt? If you tried it, you’d know the crystals are too big to fit through the screen.
Beat eggs and sugar. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs and sugar on medium for 1 minute. This will begin the mixing and start the eggs aerating so they won’t splash out of the bowl. After the initial mixing, crank the mixer up to high (see, no splashing), and whip until doubled in volume, about 4 minutes.
Melt butter and sugars. The mixer is whirling away, so, rather than watching it, place the butter, brown sugar, and honey in a small saucepan over medium high heat to melt. Once melted, give everything a good whisking to make sure the sugar and honey are dissolved and remove from heat.
Fold in flour mixture. Remove the bowl from the mixer, and, using a spatula, fold the flour mixture into the eggs in two additions. Make sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl, because flour likes to hide down there and not get mixed in. That tricky flour don’t let it get away with hiding.
Fold in butter and zest. Drizzle the melted butter over the top, add the lemon zest, and fold, fold, fold, until all the butter is folded in. Like the flour, some butter likes to hang around in a small pool at the bottom of the bowl. Don’t let it get away with that fold it all in.
Rest. Not you you still have a bit more to do. Transfer the batter to a bowl and press a piece of plastic wrap right onto the surface. Refrigerate overnight to allow the flour to hydrate. Now you can rest.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously butter madeleine pans. Be generous. Very. When you’ve finished buttering the pans, place them in the freezer for several minutes to firm up the butter prior to adding the batter.
We use disposable piping bags, and if you set them in a large measuring cup, they’re easy to fill.
Transfer batter. Transfer batter to a piping bag fitted with a plain tip. We used a 1/4-inch tip, because that’s what we had, but anything around that size will work. If you don’t have a piping bag, you’ll just fill each madeleine cup with a heaping tablespoon of batter, so it’s not really a necessity, but the piping bag makes filling the cups a whole lot easier and far less messy. Trust us.
Fill cups. Fill each of the madeleine cups about 3/4 full. Chef Keller suggests using 20 g of batter for each cup, so you could set your pan on a scale and measure as you go. Full disclosure: we did try it for the chocolate madeleines, just to be sure it worked. If you happen to make both chocolate and traditional batter, you can make half-and-half madeleines by piping a bit of each batter into each cup. Pretty fancy, huh?
Bake. Slide into the oven and bake 11 to 13 minutes, or until the tops begin to brown around the edges and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
Cool. Immediately remove the cakes to a baking rack to cool completely. Oh, all right, try one. You’re the baker, you can, and should.
Of the two recipes (Thomas Keller’s and Williams-Sonoma), we preferred dealing with the careful measuring of Keller’s recipe. It resulted in a lighter, moister madeleine, and we’ll be using that version from now on. The chocolate versions were drier, partly due to the cocoa, and partly due to the slightly smaller amount of butter when we made them, we were a bit worried because the batter collapsed somewhat when we added the flour/cocoa mixture. It puffed up admirably during baking, though. We especially liked the chocolate-lemon half-and-half madeleines. They looked cute, something like bumblebees in the tin, and the lemon chocolate combination was perfect. The lemon flavor was very mild, mainly a hint of lemon, while the chocolate had a slight bitterness that made for a great contrast. Five stars.Worth the trouble?