Madeleines

by
Eat Me!

Eat Me!

A few weeks ago, my mother-in-law sent me this link with a slight nudge that I try them out for her everyone’s enjoyment. It doesn’t take much to convince me to try out a new recipe, so for a small family gathering for Canada Day yesterday, I took the plunge. The only special piece of equipment you need is a madeleine tray, which I found at my local kitchen supply store.

Clearly David Lebovitz knows much more about cooking and baking than I do, and I couldn’t begin to go into the depth of analysis that he did (the wrong baking powder can leave a tinny aftertaste?) on how to make these lovely little cookies. I will say, however, that I can give a slightly simpler and hopefully less intimidating summary on how to make some yummy madeleines. They were much easier than I’d expected after I first skimmed his 11 step process (though steps 7 and 9 are inexplicably missing…). If you want the full science and lots of tips for making these *perfect*, please read David’s original post. If you want a quick rundown, here ya go:

Ingredients:

  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
    (Quick tip for room temp eggs – put them in a bowl of warm tap water for 10 minutes to safely bring them to room temperature!)
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder (optional – I used it… and just a standard brand)
  • zest of one lemon
  • 9 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature, plus additional melted butter for preparing the molds

For glaze:

  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar (or a bit more?)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons water
  1. Prepare the madeleine tray. Brush with melted butter, then lightly dust with flour. Tap off any excess, and place in the fridge or freezer to chill.
  2. In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, whip eggs, sugar, and salt for 5 minutes until frothy and thickened. You’ll need a good mixer for this – you want them really frothy!
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the flour and baking powder. Slowly incorporate into the egg mixture, either by using a sifter or a mesh strainer. Gently fold the batter to incorporate, but be gentle – don’t overmix!
  4. Add the lemon zest to the cooled butter, then slowly pour the butter into the batter, and again, fold gently to incorporate. You want to keep the light frothy consistency.
  5. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. (Batter can be chilled for up to 12 hours.)
  6. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

    Fluffy dough ready to bake.

    Fluffy dough ready to bake.

  7. Spoon batter into the madeleine tray, but don’t spread. He suggests enough to fill “about 3/4” of the indentation… I found that a bit confusing. I’d say it’s about 1.5 tablespoons? But as he says, eyeball it, but it’s not brain-surgery so don’t worry if you’re not exact.)
  8. Bake for 8-9 minutes or until the cakes just feel set. (I actually left mine about 10 minutes before they got nicely browned).
  9. Stir together the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and water until smooth.

    Hot out of the oven

    Hot out of the oven

  10. Remove from the oven and carefully flip the madeleine tray onto a cooling rack. They should plop right out, but if not – use a dull knife to gently pry it out.
  11. Once they’re cool enough to handle (which only takes a few minutes), dip each cake in the glaze, turning them over to make sure both sides are coated and scrape off any excess with a dull knife (Or if you’re like me, just use your fingers.).
  12. Rest each one back on the cooking rack, scalloped side up, until the cakes are cool and the glaze has firmed up.

Storage: Glazed madeleines are best left uncovered, or not tightly-wrapped; they’re best eaten the day they’re made. They can be kept in a container for up to three days after baking, if necessary. I don’t recommend freezing them since the glaze will melt.

My only changes for next time:

  • I would make a slight bit more glaze. I was running low by the end, and that meant the last few weren’t quite as nicely coated.
  • I’d either cut the recipe in half, or buy a second madeleine tray! One tray bakes 12, so that meant I baked 12, cleaned the tray, re-buttered and floured it, chilled it, and then did batch #2. A bit silly on my part.

Otherwise, they were just perfect. I’m quite happy with how these turned out. Really spongy and light. A big hit at the Canada Day gathering, and they went perfect with my coffee this morning.

Glazed and ready to eat.

Glazed and ready to eat.

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3 Responses to “Madeleines”

  1. mrsmarshall Says:

    You had me at Browned Cherry Butter Bars! Now I definitely have to add you to my igoogle blog list. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  2. Cari Miller Says:

    I’m glad you enjoyed them! The madeleines were far easier to make than I expected, and the cherry brown butter bars? Wow. Go make them right now! 😉

  3. Black Forest Sandwich Cookies « Life at No. 71 Says:

    […] annual tradition) and asked if I could bring a few types of cookies. I made her favourite again (Madeleines), and then had a vague chocolate-sandwich-cookie-with-conserve idea. I debated many options, but […]

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