27 Aug Madeleines
27 August 2020
PREP. TIME: 15 MIN - COOK TIME: 15 MIN - YIELD: 30
These plump little cakes, are just the right size to be enjoyed at any time of day or night, dipped into a cup of tea. They are said to have originated from Commercy in Lorraine. They are baked in a mould that looks like a small pilgrim's shell. The special moulds not only characterise the shape of the cake but they also allow the mixture to rise in a central dome. If the cakes are made in normal patty tins, they look like any other small cake. It follows, that a variety of cake mixtures can be baked in the moulds creating the same effect as a madeleine.
It is becoming increasingly popular to glaze the cakes once cooked. A dusting of icing sugar is all that is really needed though.
Given that madeleines are best eaten the same day as they are cooked and the fact that most madeleine pans usually have only 12 shells, if you cannot borrow another one you will have to reuse the tray - taking care to wash it clean between each bake. The other suggestion - which may be of particular interest to smaller households, is to store the leftover mixture in a screw top jar in the fridge and make fresh madeleines each day over the next few days.
100 g Butter plus extra for melting
125 g Caster Sugar
3 Large Eggs
120 g self raising flour plus extra for dusting the pan
1 tablespoon Orange Flower Water, Water or Milk
Icing sugar for dusting the cooked madeleines
Small Basting Brush
Electric Mixing bowl and beaters - recommended
Measuring cup and spoons
2 Desert Spoons
Wire Cake Cooling Rack
Soften the butter by leaving unwrapped at room temperature.
Cut the butter into dice.
Preheat the oven to 220C
Prepare the moulds
Melt about 15g of the butter in a small saucepan and brush into the creases of the moulds or use your fingers to do this.
Dust the moulds with a small handful of flour, tipping the tray to cover the whole mould and then tap it gently on its side and shake out any excess flour.
Cream the butter with the electric beaters
Add the sugar while beating
Crack an egg into a small glass and add it to the sugar mixture with a third of the flour, beating well to combine before repeating with the next 2 eggs alternating with the remaining flour in the same way until you have a smooth batter.
Remove the beaters and stir in the orange flower water or water or milk into the batter.
Using 2 desert spoons, carefully place a spoonful of batter into the cavity of each mould to about 3/4 capacity.
Avoid spillage on the tray as this will make it more difficult to remove the cooked madeleines intact.
You do not need to smooth the batter, this happens in the heat of the oven.
Bake on a middle tray in the oven until golden and risen into small mounds - about 10 - 12 minutes. You need to take care because the moulds are so small, the cakes will cook quickly and continue cooking once removed from the oven.
When you insert a skewer or knife into the centre of the cake it should come away clean.
Place the cooked tray of madeleines on the wire rack.
Prise them gently from the mould with the tip of a knife.
After 5 minutes the tops will be dry.
Turn the cakes onto the rack to cool.
Serve warm or at room temperature with a cup of Lime-Flower Tea or regular black ceylon tea
Recipe by Jane Grigson, The Enjoyment of Food - The Best of Jane Grigson
Adapted by Elizabeth Peddey
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