Tonight I finally made madeleines! I have been desperate to make madeleines for weeks now but my main problem was that I didn’t own a madeleine tin. I did a lot of research and visited every cookware store in the area but couldn’t find what I was after. Madeleine tins are elusive! The one tin I could find had poorly defined edges and I thought that at that price it should be perfect. Eventually I managed to find one on ebay for £8.50, only a 9 hole silicon one but it had nice crisp looking edges so I bought it. Even better, when it arrived it was not evil orange as in the picture but a lovely red colour. It arrived earlier this week and I would have made them before this evening but I was dead of cold, hence my lack of posts recently. I had taken to my bed and stayed there! Tonight, after over 12 hours sleep, I finally felt relatively well again and I couldn’t wait to get in the kitchen. The time for madeleines had come!
I chose this madeleine recipe from the dozens and dozens I’ve looked at because it didn’t use baking powder. I was always told that if you use baking powder in a recipe you should cook it as soon as possible as it activates as soon as it is mixed with liquid. Since madeleine recipes generally call for a period of rest before cooking I couldn’t quite see the logic in adding it. I also liked it because it didn’t make dozens and dozens as most recipes seem to. The end result is a beautiful light little cake, a perfect addition to afternoon tea I would say, although they were equally good as dessert. I made them with orange flower water this time but next time may try for a lemon or vanilla flavour. In an interesting discovery my mother can’t seem to taste orange flower water when I cook with it. It’s more of an aroma than a solid taste but I love the delicate nature of it, to my mother it just doesn’t seem to register.
Makes 12 (Doubles easily to make ~21)
50g unsalted butter
1 large egg
40g caster sugar
pinch of salt
45g plain flour
1 tbsp orange flower water/1 tsp vanilla essence/zest of half a lemon
icing sugar for dusting
– First melt the butter and allow to cool. (I usually microwave for 1 minute if straight from the fridge but even so it sometimes explodes so cover it!)
– Beat together the sugar, egg and salt for 5 minutes using an electric mixer on high. It should become thick and pale, or as the recipe said “as thick as mayonnaise”.
– Sift in the flour (don’t just put it in you want to keep as much air as possible in the mixture).
– Lightly fold in the flour then add the butter and orange flower water/vanilla/lemon. Mix well but not too much as you are trying to keep it light and airy.
– Leave to rest in the fridge for 1 hour.
– Remove from the fridge and allow to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
– Heat the oven to gas mark 7 and grease the moulds with a little melted butter.
– Put one spoonful of mixture in each scallop, don’t fill the scallop, it will spread out when it goes in the oven.
– Bake for 12 minutes. (If you only have a 9 hole tin like I do then do it in two batches.)
– Turn out onto a rack to cool* and then dust with icing sugar before serving warm or cold.
*I’ve never cooked with silicone before, except for the odd bun case, I was very impressed with how easy it was and how well they came out of the mould, I just tipped it upside down et voila, out they came! I did stand it on a baking tray to cook though as I was worried that the wire racks in the oven wouldn’t keep it straight.