So Madeleines, the technical delightful french dessert. So incredibly light and yummy they really will have everyone wondering just how you made such a tasty and treat. You will be happy to know its very simple to get done. But first you may be asking what are they?
Madeleines are very small sponge cakes with a distinctive shell-like shape acquired from being baked in pans with shell-shaped depressions.
For this recipe you may have guessed you are going to need a Madeleines tin. I have 2 tins, a small one and a standard sized one. The standard size tin is the one you want to use. While mini Madeleines are super amazing the standard size will create a light more airy cake.
The tins can be found here on amazon if you need one… click to shop……
The recipe is actually quiet simple. As long as you follow the steps your going to have the most yummy cake you have every made. You can decorate them at the end by using either icing sugar to give a dusting or use the chocolate dip method.
A Clouded History Behind the Madelienes
While researching for this post I have found that no one can be sure of the origin. They are a number of stories about where and how the cake came to be. While the history might remain clouded here is a few generally accepted ideas behind the little french dessert.
In 1755 King Stanislas of Lorraine was hosting a luncheon. His chef stormed out of the kitchen near the end of the meal without having prepared dessert. A young assistant saved the day by preparing a little cake her grandmother made at home in Commercy. The king and his guests were so delighted, they named the cake after the girl, Madeleine.
Another version suggests that the little cakes were invented by Avice, Talleyrand’s famous pastry cook, and still another insists that Marie Leczynska, the wife of Louis XV, perfected them with the advice of her own cook, Madeleine.
The cake is still linked with the town of Commercy in the Lorraine region in eastern France, where a large number of commercial Madeleines are produced. The most famous brand, A La Cloche Lorraine, produced by Maison Grosjean, is packaged in handsome oval wooden boxes and sold in speciality shops all over France.
Decorating The Madeleines
To spice the Madeleines up we can go a number of ways. The most common way I see Madeleines being decorated is with a simple sprinkle of icing sugar at the end. For me this is the best way when following the recipe below. Then we have the chocolate dipped way of doing things. Dipping things in chocolate is awesome right? Well I have the perfect chocolate dip recipe here and of course it’s so simple.
- 50 g good-quality Dark Chocolate (use at least 70% cocoa solids)
- 25 g butter
- 125 ml double cream
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of barely simmering water until completely smooth (see step-by-step).
- Heat all of the remaining ingredients in a small saucepan until evenly combined. Remove from the heat and stir through the melted chocolate. Dip the made Madeleines in the Chocolate sauce and enjoy.
How To Make Madeleines
We have our tin at the ready so let’s find out exactly how we are going to make the super simple yet truly delicious dessert.
- 2 Eggs
- 100 g caster sugar
- 100 g plain flour + dusting
- 1 lemon juice and zest
- ¾ tsp baking powder
- 100 g butter melted and cooled + extra for greasing.
- Preheat the oven to 200° Brush the madeleine tray with melted butter then shake in a little flour to coat, tapping out the excess.
- Whisk together the eggs and the sugar in a bowl until frothy. Lightly whisk in the lemon juice and zest, baking powder, flour and butter. Leave for 20 mins
- Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the mixture has risen a little in the middle and is fully cooked through. Alow to cool but don’t wait to long these are best within an hour of cooking.
To Conclude The Food
See I did say it was a simple recipe right? With a delicate lemon flavour these are the perfect treat with a cup of tea or if you are in France at the 4 pm goûter. (French equivalent of the British afternoon tea.) They are sure to become a firm favourite in fact they are so good, they were chosen to represent France on Europe Day in 2006.