While these chocolate orange madeleines may look fancy, you’ll find that these tasty little shell-shaped French treats are actually very easy to make; a perfect accompaniment to a cup of coffee.
Why a recipe for chocolate orange madeleines
I’ve grown up eating madeleines. Living in Paris as a child, I had two indulgences: chocolate croissants, and wonderfully airy madeleines. I used to get both daily (yes, daily.) from the boulangerie located almost right under our apartment.
(Boulangerie is French for ‘bakery’. Yes, I lived on top of a bakery. And yes. It was every bit as wonderful as you might imagine.)
I wanted to create another madeleine recipe because I feel like these little French treats are just so versatile, and so accessible. They’re a perfect baking project for days when you don’t have a huge amount of time available.
What are French madeleines?
For the uninitiated, the classic French madeleine may resemble a cookie or a cupcake, but that would be wrong. They’re actually closer to a combination of the two with a slightly crisp exterior, but a soft and spongey interior – perfect alongside a cup of tea or coffee.
In the case of this recipe for Chocolate Orange Madeleines, we’re infusing the luxuriousness of melted chocolate with flavourful orange zest to create an indulgent twist on the classic French madeleine.
What is the part of a madeleine that rises called?
Different people call the rise on a madeleine different things. Most commonly, it is referred to as the hump or bump of the madeleine. I’ve recently heard it called the belly, which I think is adorable.
Remember that boulangerie I told you about earlier? Well, the boulanger (French for ‘baker’) was a middle-aged man with a long, thick moustache (think vaudeville, bestie). Many years ago, when I asked him, he laughed, kissed the bump of the madeleine, and told me it was referred to as the nipple.
So, uh…take from that what you will.
How to get that perfect madeleine hump
For a more traditional madeleine recipe, I’d tell you to refrigerate the batter for up to 4 hours. However, the melted chocolate in these chocolate orange madeleines changes things up a little – if we refrigerate it for too long, the melted chocolate will harden. Ce n’est pas bon, bestie.
…okay, fine. The chocolate will melt once you stick the pan in the oven. But I’m just not a fan of refrigerating chocolate. It’s a weird personal quirk, I guess. I honestly don’t have any good reason to dislike it…but you know, C’est l’jeu, ma pauvre, bestie.
(So…the joke above is in French. And you may not speak French, which would mean you don’t get the joke. But it’s actually much worse than that. You see, even if you do speak French fluently…unless you’re over 30 years old, happened to live in France, and watched a very specific French TV advertisement, that joke will mean nothing to you. However, the four of you that do get it, will be clutching your bellies in hysterics, and wiping tears of nostalgia from your eyes, while simultaneously commending me for my comedic genius.)
Instead, I’m going to suggest you let your batter rest for one hour at room temperature, and freeze your madeleine pan before piping the batter into it.
This is completely optional. The reason for it is that many say that a colder batter results in a bigger bump/hump forming on the back of the madeleine once baked. It’s not something that particularly matters to me, so I’ll let you guess whether I bothered to take that step or not.
How to store chocolate orange madeleines
Madeleines lose a lot of their moisture fairly quickly, so they are definitely best eaten when still warm and fresh from the oven. You can keep them in an airtight container for 1-2 days.
After that…you’ll have delicious shell-shaped rocks to throw at that noisy neighbour that keeps you up at night because he used to be in theatre, and his theatre friends still come by on weekday evenings just so they can jam together, and they probably sound beautiful…except, you have a wall between you. So, to you, it sounds like someone rhythmically screaming into a jar, but really it’s 2.47am and you have work tomorrow, and you JUST. WANT. TO. SLEEP. because your colleagues already hate that you show up late most days because you’re kept up every night by a high-pitched devil that’s decided to rendition the entire catalogue of Cats! OKAY, CARL? OKAY?!
You can probably freeze the batter for up to 3 months. I’ve not tried it though. If you want to do this, I’d recommend piping it into the madeleine pan, and then freezing the pan itself after shrink wrapping well.
More madeleine recipes to check out
Madeleine recipes make me want to sing. Here are a few others for you to check out:
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Chocolate Orange Madeleines. How are we feeling about this recipe? Are you going to make it? Have you already made it? Drop me a message to keep me in the know.
Disclaimer: No Carls were harmed in the making of this recipe. Yet.