Madeleines – Sweet Thursday

Music: Don’t Fear the Reaper – Blue Oyster Cult

I’ve always wanted to try Madelieines.  I always thought they were something too difficult to perfect in the home.  But thank goodness for my trusty guide through Parisian pastry, The Sweet Life of Paris (and a thank you to David Lebovitz for moving to France).  We recently purchased a Madeleine pan having always wanted one (does food that requires special tools intimidate you? – It intimidates me…).

There is a longstanding debate on whether or not to include baking powder in ones Madeleines (I did).  It has nothing to do with affecting the taste, just the appearance.  That signature “bump” is not necessarily historically accurate and when you speak with Frenchies, they might disagree about the bulbous shape an American Madeleine has taken on (I sense a social commentary brewing).  It is entirely up to you if you want a pregnant Madeleine.

We made these little treats for our Massachusetts road trip. I was shocked by how good they were straight out of the oven – so spongy and sweet.  Admittedly, they didn’t really taste the same a day later, but they were still good dipped in rich hot chocolate while sitting in a cozy 17th century home in New England (jealous?). Here are the sweet results!

What you’ll need:

3 large eggs, at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup  flour
1 teaspoon baking powder (optional)
zest of 1/2 a lemon
9 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature, plus additional melted butter for preparing the molds

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees
  • Melt butter in a small pot.

  • Brush the indentations of a madeleine mold with melted butter. Dust with sifted flour, tap off any excess, and place in the freezer.

  • Let the rest of the butter cool to room temperature.
  • Using an electric or hand held mixer, whip the eggs, granulated sugar, and salt for 6 minutes until frothy and thickened (seriously, that long)

  • Spoon the flour and baking powder, if using, into a sifter or mesh strainer and use a spatula to fold in the flour as you sift it over the batter.
  • Add the lemon zest to the room temperature butter, then teaspoon the butter into the batter, a few spoonfuls at a time.  Continue folding to incorporate the all butter.

  • Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. (Batter can be chilled for up to 12 hours.)
  • This is kinda the tough part.  Remove Madeleine pan from freezer and add enough batter in the center of each indentation to fill it 3/4 of the way. Do not spread it.

  • Bake for 9-10 minutes or until the cakes are golden brown around the edges nearest the pan.
  • Remove from the oven and tilt the madeleines out onto a cooling rack.

  • Eat immediately.
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Filed under cookbooks, Dessert, How to..., Kitchen Things, Sweet Thursday

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