My project for this month is to perfect madeleines, those soft little French tea cakes baked in the shell-shaped pans. I started with plain ones because I wanted to get the method right before I tackled more complicated variations of flavourings and additional ingredients. They turned out amazingly light and fluffy and even without additional flavourings they taste great. This recipe is a combination of about a dozen variations on ingredients and methods but I think it is pretty close to the traditional, although there does seem to be some debate as to whether the recipe should include baking powder… Mine does.
If you don’t have a madeleine pan, you can use a mini muffin pan.
Stay tuned for the next installment when I try a new flavour combination.
Makes 16 – 18
95g all-purpose (plain) flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
85g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs, at room temperature
powdered sugar for dusting
Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
Melt butter and allow to cool.
Whisk sugar and eggs with an electric mixer for 5 minutes on high speed, until the mixture is light and fluffy.
Add flour mixture and gently fold into the batter.
Gently fold in melted butter.
Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 200°C.
Butter a madeleine pan and spoon the batter into the molds, filling each one about 3/4 full. Be careful not to overfill.
Bake madeleines for 11 to 13 minutes, or until they are golden and the tops spring back when touched.
Remove from molds straight onto a cooling rack. If they are difficult to unmold because the edges have stuck as a result of overfilling, they can be gently lifted with a fine plastic spatula.
Dust with powdered sugar immediately before serving, if desired. Best served the day they are made.
Note: If you only have one madeleine pan so are baking in batches, be sure to wipe out the pan and let it cool completely before buttering it for the second batch.