I’m Mel and I simply adore madeleines; I’m enchanted by the soft sponge biscuit. The story behind this blog posts actually begins in 2004. I think I’ve mentioned it before, but in addition to owning too many cook books, I also like to borrow them from the library. There’s is rarely a time at home when I don’t have a cookbook or culinary magazine that I’ve borrowed from the library (Currently back issues of Delicious and the River Cottage Year). In 2004, as my final high school exams were approaching I walked into the library to borrow a book about Australian History, and I left with Nigella Lawson’s How to Be a Domestic Goodess, but this is not a post dedicated to the book, that will come at a later time. Almost instantly I was enchanted with the Rosebud Madeleines.
However, I didn’t have the madeleines tin. The fruits of the obsession were born. I couldn’t go near a store, that might be connected to baking, without searching for the tin. It really was quite sad. Finally in May of 2005 I found a store that stocked the tins! It was amazing! I walked out on a culinary high. I made the recipes and instantly loved the small treat.
The recipe I’m sharing today is my favourite madeleines recipe, inspired by a recipe published in The Age’s The Good Weekend , in September 2008. The recipe published was for honey madelines. I think the honey while lovely, can be sticky for such a small delicate treat. Instead, the lemon provides a nice ballance to the sweetness of the madeleines, and it my personal preference. Others may disagree.
What I love about this recipe is the ingredients are simple and you only require such small quantities of them. Should I not have a lemon, I do make the honey recipe. I did make them once with one jar of Apple Box honey I made, which was quite nice. At the time I didn’t realise Apple Box is only harvested about once in every 10 years and I only had one jar of the lovely Beechworth Honey produce and I simply wasted it.
40g of unsalted butter needs to be melted, and left to cool. In a mixing bowl place 2 eggs, 60g of caster sugar, 10g soft brown sugar, a pinch of salt, the zest of lemon and the juice of half a lemon.
Whisk until the mixture is pale and has doubled in volume. I used electric whisks but as the mixture is small the manual labour isn’t too taxing. 75g of flour and 1 teaspoon of baking powder are folded into the mixture. The melted butter, which has cooled is then folded into the mixture.
The mixture needs to be refrigerated for at least an hour, but can kept for up to two days, which is perfect if you’re wanting to prepare them ahead of time. As they don’t take long to bake, I’d suggest preparing the batter in advance. I don’t think (but I could be wrong, I’ve never tried it) the actual madeleines would freeze well.
The madeleines are baked in a moderate to hot (190C/375F) oven for 4-6 minutes. They are ready when they are light golden. They overcook very easily so keep an eye on them.
You can sprinkle them with icing sugar, but isn’t strictly necessary. They make an excellent morning or afternoon tea snack.
Makes about 18-24 small madeleines.
40g unsalted melted butter, left to cool
60g Caster Sugar
10g soft brown sugar
pinch of salt
75g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
icing sugar (optional)
1. Melt the butter and leave to cool.
2. In a bowl place the eggs, sugars, salt, rind of lemon and juice of a half a lemon. Whisk until the mixture has doubled in volume.
3. Sift the flour and baking powder. Fold into the mixture. Add the melted butter and gently fold the mixture to combine.
4. Refrigerate for at least an hour.
5. Cook in a preheated oven set at 190C/375F for 6 minutes or until golden brown.