Madeleines are an amazing little snack I used to have all the time as a child in Paris. They’re easy to make, incredibly tasty (seriously, try eating just one!), and in my opinion, carry an elegance that’s lost when serving most alternatives – for example, cupcakes.
I happened to be reading a copy of Bon Appetit magazine not too long ago in which the Editor-in-Chief, Adam Rapaport, recounts a charming story of how his wife, one evening, served madeleines to guests, prompting him to remark, “When did you decide to go all Boulud on us?” He also provides Daniel Boulud’s Madeleines recipe on the same page (February 2015 Issue, Volume 60, Page 10).
Madeleines became my snack of choice to serve any guests visiting me over the course of that weekend (it helps that it only takes 5 minutes to bake a batch of mini madeleines). Though I used Boulud’s recipe as a starting reference, I ended up adapting it quite a bit (as I almost always tend to do when trying to follow a recipe). At the end of the weekend, there wasn’t a single batch where there were any uneaten, leftover madeleines. That’s definitely a success in my books!
If you’ve not tried one before, you’d be forgiven for assuming that they’re just shell-shaped cupcakes or sponge cake. Though similar, madeleines tend to be lighter and airier with a crisp edge, dangling somewhere between the realms of cake and cookie. Often flavoured with a bit of lemon zest (as in Boulud’s recipe), I included poppy seeds to add a little crunch to my variation.
- ¾ cup All-Purpose Flour
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- ½ tsp Sea Salt
- 2 Large Eggs
- ⅓ cup White Sugar
- 1 tbsp Brown Sugar
- 1⅓ tbsp Honey
- 1 tbsp Lemon Zest
- 1 tsp Water
- 6 tbsp Unsalted Butter, melted
- 1 tbsp Poppy Seeds
- Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a small bowl.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, white and brown sugar, honey, lemon zest, water, and poppy seeds until a smooth mixture is produced. Whisk the dry ingredients in until just incorporated, and then add the butter, whisking until the mixture is smooth and sticky. Transfer to a plastic bag or a pastry bag (that is, if you're planning to pipe the batter. Otherwise just cover your bowl with cling film), and chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour, ideally overnight.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly coat mini madeleine pan with butter and dust with flour, tapping out any excess. Pipe or spoon (it doesn't affect the shape of the madeleine) the batter into the pan, filling ⅔ of each madeleine well. Bake for 5 minutes (about 8-10 minutes when using a full-sized madeleine pan), until edges are browned slightly and spring back when pressed lightly.
- Tap to release the madeleines. Dust with icing sugar. Serve warm.
Serve warm, fresh from the oven… that’s the only downfall of the madeleine in my opinion – they don’t keep well. Ideally eaten fresh out of the oven, their taste is seriously lessened even a day later. Airtight containers are crucial. Using a standard mini madeleine tray (20 madeleine wells), I managed to get three batches – 60 mini madeleines – with this recipe.
It amuses me that my first attempt at madeleines utilises Daniel Boulud’s recipe. I bought my madeleine pan months back with the intention of trying out the Lemon Curd and Raspberry Madeleine recipe in Rachel Khoo’s book, The Little Paris Kitchen… though her recipe requires a full-sized madeleine pan, not the adorable, but less versatile, mini madeleine pan that I own. *sigh* One day…
Calling all madeleine snobs! Have any of you tried Daniel Boulud’s or Rachel Khoo’s recipes? What did you think? Comment below, and let me know.