Madeleines or “French Butter Cakes,” as they are called in the US, originated from the northeastern part of France in the Lorraine region. If you have lived in France or had the opportunity to visit, you know how we love our special treats and Madeleines are synonymous with France. Madeleines are a French teacake shaped like a shell with a light smooth and soft texture. We’ve loved eating them since we were little children and baking them always resurrects our childhood memories. These small cakes are soft and make the perfect coffee/tea snack. Nowadays, they can be found at any café around the world. Even Starbucks has adopted them.
Quite frankly, they are also very easy to make. One of the many things we enjoy about them is the variety you can easily make. We’ve made them with lemon, lavender, honey or tiny chocolate chips, or dip them in chocolate or simply dust them with confectioner sugar.
The basic ingredients for making great madeleine are unbleached flour, sugar, eggs, and butter. We find that French butter imparts a unique flavor and texture to baked goods; therefore, we always bake using French butter. Most American supermarkets carry French butter, usually President brand, and other European butters. If you cannot find European butter, you may use other butter, but the results will not be the same. We mainly use unbleached King Arthur Flour for all of our pastries. Madeleines are best when freshly baked and eaten the same day. You may store them in an airtight container to keep them fresh.
Now let’s get to the fun part. We will teach you how to make them. We hope you will enjoy them as much as we do. First, you must get a madeleine mold – they are quite inexpensive. We prefer using the original metal one, but you can also use the silicon mold; however in our experience the cakes taste better when baked in the original metal mold.
And just remember everything in moderation!
This recipe produces about 12 madeleines
- 1 Madeleine Mold
- 150 g Unbleached flour
- 150 g confectioner sugar
- 150 g unsalted butter
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon of fresh Lavender
- 1 teaspoon of unsalted butter and flour to grease the madeleine mold
- Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F).
- Melt and brown butter in a small saucepan. The color should be a hazel look alike.
- Set aside the melted butter to cool.
- In a large bowl (you can use a hand mixer if you don’t have an electric mixer), or use the bowl of an electric stand mixer, whisk the eggs and sugar together until you obtain a pale and thick mixture.
- Add the flour, baking powder, honey, lavender and melted butter. Mix until everything is well incorporated. The batter should have a thick consistency.
- Leave the batter to rest in the fridge for at least 1 hour (optional).
- Grease the madeleine mold with butter and flour.
- Place a teaspoon of batter in each mold filing up to 2/3. You can also use a piping bag if it’s easier.
- Bake the madeleines until they have risen and are lightly golden on top. Cooking time is roughly about 7- 10 min. You are looking for a caramelization on the border.
- Finally, when the madeleines are cooked, remove them carefully and cool them for about 10 min on a baking rack.
Now “à l’attaque” like we say in French. Enjoy!