Madeleines for tea

These lovely scented cakes are quick both to make and to cook. There is an element of technique needed as you start by beating the eggs and sugar to the ribbon stage. If you’ve not done this before the term simply indicates a mxture that is whisked until thick, pale and light and one  that leaves a trail or “ribbon” of mouse on the top of the mixture when the whisk is removed.
Obviously this is easiest done using an electric whisk and I prefer my Kitchen Aid free standing mixer as I can wander around the kitchen and get the moulds ready while the machine does the hard work. Madeleines are baked in special moulds that give the cakes their distinctive shell shape but the mixture could be cooked in regular bun tins. The thing to remember is that the moulds or tins must be generously buttered. As you can see I have a silicone mould and two metal ones. If you are offered a choice, chose the silicone: they are a little wobblely going into the oven but the mixture really doesn’t stick and the finished madeleines have a good shape. Serve the warm cakes with camomile tea in an homage to Proust.

Makes  about 30. Lemon and Cardomom Madeleines

140g/ 5oz unsalted butter 155g/5½oz plain flour/ pinch of salt/ 4 eggs /140g/ 5oz caster sugar/ ½ teaspoon black cardamom seeds crushed/ butter to coat the moulds

Preheat the oven to 190’/375F/gas 5.

With a pastry brush, give the moulds a thin coating of melted butter.

Melt the butter and cool slightly. Sift the flour with the salt. Using an electric whisk, whisk the eggs with the sugar until the mixture becomes pale and very thick, when the whisk is lifted out the mixture should make a ribbon like trail on the surface. Fold the flour into the egg mixture, together with the grated rind of 1 unwaxed lemon and the cardomom, fold in the butter.

Spoon a heaped teaspoon or so of the mixture into each Madeleine mould, it should be about ⅔ full. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes or until just firm to touch. Cool the moulds for a minute loosen each Madeleine and turn onto a wire rack. Serve with dusted icing sugar when cool.


About thanecooks

Thane Prince stumbled into cooking by chance. Trained as a nurse, she began by cooking for the local deli, took a class in journalism and almost before she knew it was writing for the Daily Telegraph. She wrote for the DT for 12 years , did quite a bit of TV work and then moved on to open and co-run The Aldeburgh Cookery School in Suffolk. The school was a great success and received many accolades, judged as one of the top three in the UK at one time. Tiring of life in the country Thane moved back to Central London where she now lives, writes and eats. Thane’s twelfth book Ham Pickles and Jam is published in October 2011.
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5 Responses to Madeleines for tea

  1. I made some madeleines myself today but used a muffin tin. They are so good, I will be making them again. I think I will use lemon zest in my next batch. Thought I should let you know that when I searched for your blog via Google, it shows up with what I think must be an old blog address…not WordPress.

  2. Pingback: Try a Little Tenderness « Zeb Bakes

  3. Joanna says:

    We loved these Thane, thanks for encouraging me to make them and putting the recipe here for everyone. , they were just the thing for Borgen watching. I will be making them again. I only have green cardamon pods, do you think there is much of a difference in the aroma? I read somewhere that the black ones have a camphor like aroma and the green ones more citrussy? But as I’ve never had the black ones I wouldn’t know.

    • thanecooks says:

      I didn’t make myself clear I use the black seeds from the green cardamom pods. I crush the seeds having shucked them as there is less chaff once the pods are discarded.
      Black cardamom is generally considered to have a coarser flavour than the green.
      Cheers and I’m so pleased they were a success:)

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