At work, we have this tradition of bringing back goodies from a holiday/conference destination. It was one such occasion that someone came back from France and brought back these little, buttery, shell-shaped parcels of goodness. I can’t say I have seen them in the UK very often (surprised anyone ?) but I learnt their name – Madeleines. Since that day I’ve been wanting to make them. I decided to demand a Madeleine tray for a birthday present and it was dutifully delivered by my partner. As a thank you present, I decided to make some the following weekend.
I looked around for a few recipes and settled on David Leibovitz’s one for proportions. I got tips on how to get the browned butter taste/smell into the madeleines from the Asutralian SBS website. The inspiration for orange flavoured ones came from Chez Pim though I didn’t actually use her recipe. Finally, the rose water was my little addition to the lemon madeleines. Hope you try them and like them – we sure did. I gave a whole batch and half away and everyone who received it loved it too.
Ingredients (makes 24 – based on David Leibovitz’s recipe):
3 large eggs, at room temperature
2/3 cup (130g) of granulated sugar (use cane sugar if feeling healthy)
1/8 rounded teaspoon salt
1 and 1/4 cup (175g) flour
1 teaspoon baking powder (optional)
150g unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature (If using salted butter, leave out the 1/8th teaspoon of salt)
For the lemon-rose water version:
Zest of one large lemon
Juice of 1 large lemon
3/4 cup (150g) icing sugar
2 tablespoons of rose water
enough water to make a smooth, slightly watery icing
For the orange-vanilla version:
Zest of one large orange
1/4 cup (150g) icing sugar
2 teaspoons of high quality vanilla extract or the seeds from 1 whole vanilla bean
Method in pictures:
1. Watch them carefully and don’t let them burn.
2. The Australian SBS chef dips the cooked madeleines in more butter before serving. I didn’t but I’m sure that would add a lot to the taste.
3. This is not vegan, dieter or artery friendly but I see no harm in it being a rare treat.
4. If you are faced with the dilemma of having to wait for an hour between baking batches, either (1) halve the recipe (2) butter the tray while it is still warm, dust it and continue on with the second batch. I did so and the taste wasn’t compromised.