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.