Madeleines

The word madeleine to describe a small, shell like cake, first appeared in France around the middle of the 18th century. The cake is supposed to originate from Commercy and Liverdun, two communes of the Lorraine region in northeastern France.  I first encountered it whilst attending a French bakery class at Bread Ahead in London www.breadahead.com.  It is a delectable, light little sponge cake that requires a little patience as the batter must rest, preferably overnight but at least for 4 hours.  I prefer making them as mini madeleines as they are the ultimate little sweet treat.  This recipe would fill two mini madeleine tins giving you a total of 48 little cakes.  You could make them as normal madeleines and this would make 24. I am still working to create the perfect madeleine as I  don’t always get the desired, little bump but they taste delicious all the same.

Ingredients

45g clear honey
160g unsalted butter
4 eggs (1 egg = 50 grams)
150g caster sugar
20g demerara sugar
160g plain flour
10g baking powder
softened butter and plan flour for the tray

Method

  1. Put the honey and butter in a small saucepan and melt them together on a low heat, stirring.  Take off the heat and cool a little.
  2. Put the eggs and both sugars in a bowl and whisk (with an electric mixer, it will take about 5-6 minutes) until tripled in volume.
  3. Fold in the melted butter and honey.
  4. Then add the flour and baking powder, gently folding them in until all is incorporated into the mix.
  5. Put into the fridge to rest for a minimum of 4 hours or overnight.
  6. When are you are ready to cook the madeleines, preheat the oven to 200oC/fan 180oC
  7. Grease and flour the madeleine tray, shaking or tapping to release the excess flour.
  8. Take the madeleine mix out of the fridge and stir it.
  9. Whether mini or normal madeleines, spoon enough into each mould to 3/4 fill each.
  10. If mini madeleines, bake for 7 minutes.  If normal madeleines, bake for about 10-11 minutes.
  11. Take out and serve straight away while still hot,  These are divine dipped in hot chocolate sauce.  Enjoy!

Note: you can adapt the recipe to add some extras such as raisins or sultanas.  In terms of the finish, I quite like my madeleines ‘naked’ like this but many people dust with icing sugar.

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