Madeleine: A Petite French Cake

Madeleine: A Petite French Cake

This was my first attempt at making Madeleine (pronounced Mad-el-ayne). Madeleine is a  petite French sponge cake that is baked in a shell shaped tin which gives its distinctive look. The cake is made from a genoise batter which uses whole eggs and melted butter. Sometimes the batter is made the night before or left to stand for an hour. It can be served plain but is often coated in castor sugar, and is generally baked just before eating.

I used Sam Linsell’s recipe from Drizzle & Dip, combined with the original Donna Hay recipe to make these. When it comes to baking it is always best to follow a recipe, as baking is a science!

Some of the basic ingredients include: cake flour, baking powder, castor sugar, eggs, honey and butter. I added lemon zest to my batter as I wanted an extra lemony taste, as well as a few drops of rose essence. Usually these two flavors are friends but I didn’t like the taste of both combined. When I make it the next time I will do either of the two.

This is what the batter looked like when all the ingredients were mixed together. It was quite thick and the longer it stood for the thicker it got. You can see some bubbles from the baking powder which activated once the melted butter was added.

Fill your Madeleine pan until it is almost full. It took me a few tries to get this right. I think I could have baked them for longer than the 8-10 minutes which is what was recommended. Interestingly, the longer the batter stood for the puffier the madeleines got so they ended up being much bigger than the first batch.

I dusted mine with plain castor sugar, then added some finely chopped pistachios to the last two batches. I should have ground the pistachio’s in a coffee grinder as I wanted light green pista dust, which I think would have looked really pretty. This recipe made 32 madeleines, the recommended amount was 24, so either my Madeleine pan was just really small or … hey I’m not complaining.

I really enjoyed making these and I will definitely give them another go. Have you made or eaten madeleines before? What’s your favourite flavor?


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