With memories of Paris’ esthetically (and tastebud) pleasing La Cure Gourmande in mind, I decided to try a madeleine recipe in advance of some entertaining this week. While this first batch is nowhere near as elegant as those that were initially packed in the tin pictured with today’s goodies, family members enjoyed the home made version – and they’re nice tucked in tins as hostess gifts.
Mea culpa: I’d intended to publish this recipe for you before the holidays were well underway, but you can see that didn’t happen. So, if you’ve had your fill of cookies for this season, you may want to keep this recipe in mind the next time you’d like to serve or gift a special little something.
- a madeleine pan; these come in various sizes, and you’ll see I went for a French pan that yields 20 small madeleines
- parchment paper
- a lemon zester or, if you don’t one, a simple grater will do just fine
- 3/4 cup (170 grams/1.5 sticks) butter
- additional butter to grease madeleine pan
- 1 lemon – from which you’ll prep two tablespoons of lemon zest, or more to taste (as much as the zest of one lemon)
- 4 extra large eggs; if you buy medium size, use five
- 2/3 cup (133 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup (140 grams) cup flour
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- a pinch of fine grain sea salt, if desired
- icing/confectioner’s sugar, to dust over baked madeleines if you wish
- additional flour for coating madeleine pans, depending on the pan you use
- Variations: optional/alternate ingredients can include poppy seeds to taste, 1/3 cup of finely shredded coconut, either of which would be nice with the lemon zest. If bypassing the lemon zest, you may wish to mix in 1/3 cup of cocoa powder.
Preparation – Lemon Zest
Don’t go shopping for lemon zest; have a look here or here to see how others prep their zest. You’re simply removing the outer layer of a citrus fruit and, while you can acquire a lemon zester for this purpose, you can also use a simple grater you likely already have at hand.
Preparation – Butter
Bypass the microwave. Instead, melt 3/4 cup of butter slowly in a small pot, until it gives off a nutty flavour. Set the butter aside to cool while you prep the pan and start on the batter.
Preparation – Madeleine Pans
Whether you use butter or a spray product, grease the madeleine mold. Much as you would with a cake pan, you’ll be advised to dust the pan with flour before turning it over to tap out any excess – but I stopped doing so after the first batch, with no issue. This will depend on the pan you use.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Combine the eggs, sugar and vanilla on a medium speed; cream for three minutes, or until fluffy and pale
- Stir in the butter; blend well
- Mix in the flour, baking powder and lemon zest and/or optional ingredient(s) of your choice
- You’ll have preheated the oven to 375 F
- Spoon batter in to the madeleine pans; while you’ll fill large pans half full, I went for broke and filled our tiny pans full – this took less than a teaspoon of batter per madeleine
- Tuck the madeleines in the oven and bake for eight to 12 minutes if using small pans, or 12 – 14 minutes if using larger pans. In either case, a madeleine will spring back when gently pressed.
- While the madeleines are baking, line an extra cookie sheet (or tray; use whatever’s handy) with parchment paper
- On removing the madeleines from the oven, tap them on to the parchment lined sheet; you needn’t let them set in the pan
- Once the madeleines have cooled slightly, dust with icing (confectioners’) sugar, if desired