Ah, the madeleine. Petite, palatable, and perfectly formed, like a few other French icons I can think of. These light, buttery morsels look impressive however they’re fairly simple to make so long as you have the right pan, and a good recipe.
The pan. If you want a sturdy, durable madeleine pan check out Chicago Metallic. Yes, they sound like a mid-Western steel factory rather than a purveyor of fine kitchen gadgets, but the pan is great value and to date mine has always popped out these delicious treats with minimal fuss.
The recipe. A while back I stumbled upon David Lebovitz and his wonderful eponymous food blog, & I have been in sugar heaven ever since. His book The Sweet Life in Paris is a gorgeous thing, made up of funny anecdotes, charming musings and brilliant recipes. One of which I’m sharing with you now.
Check out the original recipe; the adapted version shared below has a little less sugar, and a little more lemon juice.
So go on, make these lemon madeleines and I promise you won’t be disappointed. Neither will your friends, families, partners, loved ones and pets (not that I’m advocating feeding baked goods to dogs).
Makes approx 16-18 in my madeleine pan.
- 135g of unsalted butter (melted & cooled) plus 15-20g extra to brush the pan with
- 3 large free-range eggs
- 100g granulated sugar
- 1/8 tsp of salt
- 175g of plain flour
- 1 tsp of baking powder
- 1 tsp good vanilla extract
- Grated zest of 1 lemon (preferably unwaxed)
- 75g icing sugar (confectioner’s sugar)
- 2 ½ tbsp of lemon juice
- 1 tbsp of cold water
- Pinch of salt
- Melt the extra butter and liberally brush the molds of the madeleine pan. Scatter with 1tbsp of plain flour and tap off any excess. Place the pan in the fridge whilst you make the batter, giving the butter and flour time to set. This makes it so much easier to pop the cakes out later.
- Place the eggs, granulated sugar, and salt into a bowl and whisk for 4-5 minutes until pale and frothy using an electric whisk.
- Sift the flour and baking powder into the egg mixture and gently fold in using a silicone spatula for best results.
- Take the melted butter, now cooled to room temperature, and add the grated lemon zest and vanilla extract. Stir.
- Slowly add the lemony butter bit by bit into the egg & flour mixture, again folding softly but firmly so you’ve fully integrated all of the ingredients without whacking the air out.
- Cover the bowl and pop into the fridge to chill for at least one hour (avoiding chilling it for longer than 12 hours)
- Whilst the mix, and you, are chilling, preheat your oven 210°C (425°F). Note – get to know your oven, this is key to stress-free baking. My oven is fierce so I go slightly under to 200°C.
- Take the madeleine pan & batter out of the fridge and, using teaspoons, drop the batter into each indentation. Don’t go right to the top; about two thirds should do it.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes until golden, then pop the madeleines out onto some greaseproof paper to cool whilst you place the next batch into the pan. I keep some melted butter and a pastry brush on hand to grease the indentations before round two.
- Whilst the cakes are cooling make the glaze by mixing the icing sugar, lemon juice & water until smooth.
- Dip the slightly cooled madeleines into the glaze on one side and leave to set on the greaseproof paper. The cakes will keep a few days in a sealed container, assuming they last that long!