recipe, snack, sweet

Classic French Madeleines

Fresh, warm little madeleines are such a special treat, and they’re particularly wonderful because there is nothing quite like them. They are both delicate in texture and robust in density, and the buttery scent balances out the subtle lemon zest flavour.

The classic scallop-shaped madeleine mould makes them so attractive, I truly believe they wouldn’t taste quite so wonderful if they were poured into a regular square or circle mould. You eat with your eyes, they say!

As with most French treats, their complexity is more than meets the eye. This madeleine recipe will provide a pillow-y soft and buttery cake with slightly crisped edges- the perfect vehicle for dunking in coffee or tea. Or, you know, eating delicately with a raised pinky finger- whichever you prefer.

This particular recipe is by Chef Daniel Boulud. In case you aren’t familiar, he is a French-American celebrity chef and restaurant owner including Maison Boulud in Montreal. These madeleines are served at all his restaurants alongside coffee or tea. Once you make them, you will surely see why!

Chef Daniel Boulud’s Madeleines

Ingredients:

– 1 tsp baking powder
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
– 2 large eggs
– 1/3 cup granulated sugar
– 1 tbsp brown sugar
– 1 tbsp honey
– 2 tsp lemon or orange zest
– 6 tbsp (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
– powdered sugar

Equipment: small or large madeleine pan

Directions:

1.Whisk baking powder, salt, and flour in a small bowl
2. Whisk eggs, granulated sugar, brown sugar, honey, and lemon zest in a medium size bowl until smooth. Fold in dry ingredients just until incorporated, then transfer batter to a pastry bag and chill for at least one hour.
3. Preheat oven to 400F. Lightly coat madeleine pans with oil and dust with flour, tapping out excess. Pipe the batter from the pastry bag into the molds, filling about 3/4 full (you might have to play around with dough quantity until you fill them perfectly and they don’t overflow).
4. Bake until the madeleines are golden brown and puffed, about 5-10 minutes depending on the size of your cake mould.
5. Remove from pan and dust with powdered sugar. Serve warm and eat immediately.

Chef’s note: the batter can be made one or two days in advance. Keep chilled.