The first time I had a madeleine I remember thinking that it was the perfect combination of flavours… butter, honey and lemon.
These moist little cookies are the perfect treat with a coffee or tea anytime. They’re simply amazing in every way. They’re not difficult to make and the madeleines pans are easy to find. If you live in Vancouver, you can find them at Gourmet Warehouse or if you’re lucky, HomeSense sometimes has them at half the price. 😉
My recipe is adapted from the recipe in Payard’s Cookies Cookbook written by Francois Payard. I found this cookbook in Powell’s Bookstore in Portland, Oregon. I love this bookstore. There are at least five aisles of cookbooks! Payard’s Cookbook is full of great French recipes. I can’t wait to try more of them. Here’s the link to Amazon if you want to order it for yourself.
I’m not a big fan of rich desserts, but I do enjoy cookies from time to time. If you’ve never had a madeleine before, you’re sure to love it. Even Proust was inspired to write poetry about them. They’re pretty special.
3 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp light brown sugar
Zest of 3 lemons
3/4 cup and 1 tbsp flour
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup room temp unsalted butter
2 tsp honey
Preheat oven to 390 degrees. Whisk the eggs, sugar and lemon zest in the mixer on medium speed for 12 – 15 minutes. I know…that seems like a long time, but it’s amazing what happens when you do. The batter gets really frothy.
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
Melt the butter and honey in a pan on medium heat until the honey is incorporated.
When the egg mixture is ready, add a couple of tablespoons of the butter/honey mixture to temper the batter. Stir by hand with a spatula from this point forward. Then add the flour mixture a little bit at a time until incorporated. Add the rest of the butter/honey mixture. Fold gently until combined.
Put the batter in a bowl, cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate it over night. I was too impatient for this, so I left it in the fridge for a few hours and it seemed to work just fine.
The author of the cookbook talks about how important it is to follow the recipe to the letter because otherwise you will not achieve that beautiful little hump in the centre of the cookie.
Butter and flour the Madeleines pan. Stir the batter to remove air bubbles before putting it into a piping bag. Fill the the madeleine pan three-quarters full. They will rise a fair bit.
Bake the madeleines for about 9 to 10 minutes. You want them to be golden brown. Remove the madeleines from the pan about one minute after taking them out of the oven. Turn them onto the shell side immediately so that you don’t flatten the humps.
This recipe makes about 2 dozen madeleines.