Madeleines

When I spotted some Tefal Madeleine pans in the aisles of a Qatari supermarket, I think I may have actually squealed with joy. Prices in Qatar are insanely low and I managed to nab, not just one, but two Madeleine pans for under £10.


I’m not joking when I say I was overjoyed.

Fast forward to today and the dull greyness that is the UK. I was sitting at the kitchen table, furiously job hunting & I realised if I looked at one more job site, I would go bonkers. So what do I do when I’m bored/annoyed/tired? Bake.

Madeleines are gorgeous little, fluffy pillows of sponge cake but have a bit of a reputation in the baking world for being a laborious task to make. But, do not fear. I have just the recipe for you!

Having read through quite a few Madeleine recipes online, I found they all had various different ‘traditional’ ways of baking these little beauties, but many of them sounded long winded & downright exhausting.

So I stuck my thinking cap on and condensed the methods into a slightly shorter, but definitely easier approach.

This recipe is all about being prepared, so you will need to have all your ingredients weighed, measured & to hand. If you follow this advice then you’re Madeleines will turn out light & fluffy, but if you don’t they will be much more dense and chewy.

You will need:

2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract 
The zest of half a good sized lemon (you can swap it for orange if you prefer)
125g icing sugar 
1/4 tsp baking powder
100g plain flour 
125g of butter melted & cooled
An electric whisk or standing mixer
Madeleine pans (if they aren’t non-stick you will need to lightly grease with kitchen roll dipped in melted butter and then a light sprinkling of flour)

Pre heat your oven to 180°C (or 350°F)

Crack the eggs into a large bowl (or the bowl of a standing mixer) and add the vanilla extract & lemon/orange zest.



Weigh out the icing sugar into a small bowl and set aside.
Weigh the flour into another small bowl, add the baking powder and mix together.
Melt the butter, either on a gentle heat in a pan or in the microwave. Once melted, allow to cool.



Whisk the eggs, vanilla and zest together for about 5 minutes, until they become a pale primrose yellow colour.


With the whisk still running, add spoonfuls of icing sugar until all incorporated. 
Whisk for a further 5 minutes.
By this time you should have a pale but much thicker mixture, about the consistency of melted ice cream.

Grab a spatula and carefully scrape down the sides of the bowl, folding in any extra icing sugar.
Sift just a tablespoon of flour into the egg mixture and fold in.
Keep adding the flour a tablespoon at a time and gently folding it into the egg mix.
Once all the flour has been added, carefully pour in the melted butter (slowly!) and fold through the mix.
It will look like something’s gone wrong when you put the butter in, but trust me, keep gently folding and it will all mix together.
 
Now spoon a small amount of the mix into each Madeleine shape and pop into the oven for 8 minutes.

 

Use a flat ended knife to gently lift the cakes out of the tin and while they’re still hot, lightly toss them in caster sugar. 


TIP: If yours have little bump on top and you don’t like it, while they’re still hot, lightly press them down with a spoon.


Pop them onto a wire rack (put the wire rack on top of some parchment paper to catch the sugar!) & allow to cool.

 



Store these little beauts in an airtight tin and they’ll keep for a few days….or alternatively, dispense with the delicate nature and dunk ’em in a big old mug of tea.

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