Madeleines are well known small sponge cakes, famous for their little ‘bump’ and shell like shape. They originated in the town of Commercy in the Lorraine region in north-eastern France and were made for the King of Lorraine, Stanislas, in 1755 by a young servant girl whose name was, évidemment, Madeleine – which is why the King declared they would be known from then on as Madeleines de Commercy.
Madeleines are often associated with Marcel Proust who wrote about them and the childhood memories evoked by eating one.
- 2 eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 100g flour
- 20g ground almonds
- 100g sugar
- 125g salted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder (approximately 6g)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence extract
- Pre-heat oven to 210°C
- Melt the butter in a pan until it browns slightly (this gives a nutty flavour to your madeleines and is known as a ‘beurre-noisette’ in french which translates as ‘hazelnut-butter’)
- Mix the flour with the baking powder and the ground almonds
- In a bowl gently beat the eggs with the sugar and the vanilla essence
- Sieve in the mix of flour, baking powder and ground almonds and mix until the texture is smooth
- Add in the cooled melted butter and mix well
- Ideally if you have the time leave the batter in the fridge for 2 hours – this will help them rise and give the traditional ‘bump’ shape!
- Grease the madeleine pan (this isn’t necessary if you are using silicon pans) and fill each shell to about 2/3
- Bake in oven at 210°C for 6-8 minutes
*Other possible flavours for your madeleines : the zest of a small lemon or a few drops of orange blossom water
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