Monkey went to chef camp last week and as a result has become a baking demon. I found him whipping up pastry from scratch the other night to make fruit tarts – his crust was amazingly flaky – and today he turned his hand to Madeleines. Madeleines have long been a favorite of his. It’s not something I have understood, after all, it’s just plain cake – or so I thought. As it turns out, I was wrong. Madeleines are much more than just regular cake batter cooked in a fancy baking tin.
It turns out the secret is in extensive beating of the batter. You have to beat the eggs on high in a stand mixer for five minutes. Then you add powdered sugar (not regular granulated) and beat that for another five minutes. As Monkey exclaimed: “Look, it’s just like a custard.” And he was right. After all that, you gently fold in sifted flour and a teensy amount of baking powder, before adding the final ingredient, melted butter. If you’ve ever baked, you’ll know that this not how we make a regular cake. No siree bob.
Here’s the recipe, which incidentally and conveniently came with the baking tin.
– 1/2 cup of butter (preferably organic)
– two eggs (preferably from pasture-raised chickens)
– 1 cup of powdered sugar
– 2/3 cup of sifted flour
– 1/4 tsp of baking powder
– optional flavorings e.g. 1 tsp zest of grated orange + 1 tsp of orange extract
– Butter wrapper to grease Madeleine pan
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees Farenheit and grease your Madeleine pan.
- Melt your butter over a low heat and set aside to cool.
- Sift the flour and baking powder and set aside.
- Crack the eggs into the bowl of a stand mixer, add any flavorings (optional) and set to beat on high for five minutes. I set a timer so Monkey wouldn’t walk away and forget. We also used the “K” beater, not the whisk attachment.
- Add the powdered sugar to the eggs, a little at a time, and then beat for another five minutes by which time it should look thick and custard-like.
- Remove the bowl from your stand mixer and carefully fold in the flour mixture a little at a time using a metal spoon and being careful to incorporate air and not over stir/mix.
- Finally, add the melted butter.
- Fill the Madeleine tin with the batter – not quite going to the top to allow room to rise.
- Pop in the oven and set your time for around 8 minutes. The goal is for the edges to be lightly browned and the center to be springy to the touch. Ours were ready after about 10-11 minutes but this will vary depending on your oven, so keep a close watch.
- Once they’re cooked, allow to cool in the tin for a couple of minutes and then gently loosen with a spatula before cooling on a wire rack. If you like, you can sift a tablespoon of powdered sugar over the top – it makes them prettier! Enjoy!