Oh these lovely, buttery shell shaped little cakes. Crisp on the outside and soft like sponge cake on the inside. And that adorable little bump. It makes it a pretty little unique cake.
It was our 4th or 5th class in Le Cordon Bleu and the chef demonstrated this French traditional cake from the Lorraine region in France. I was astonished. That shell shaped structure looked gorgeous. And then the bump on the other side revealing the soft part inside. The edges – browned and crisp are a delight to bite into.
Madeleines are the perfect accompaniment to the evening cup of tea or coffee. They taste best when served warm fresh out of the oven. The crispness of the crust starts to lessen as it gets stored, but biting into a fresh madeleine is a real pleasure.
The traditional version calls for browning butter and then using it. But there is a very fine line between brown butter and burnt butter. So to avoid that, we simply melt butter with orange zest and that gives it the citrusy flavour. If you wish to get the nuttiness of browned butter, brown it in a pan for a couple of minutes, let it cool down and then use it.
This recipe is based on the one we learnt at school and I have further added orange zest and honey to it.
Honey Orange-zest Madelines
Makes 10 Madelines
What you will need :
- 100 gram all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 70 gram butter
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- 65 grams castor sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
What to do :
- Sift flour and baking powder to avoid any lumps.
- Melt butter in a pan or in microwave with the orange zest.
- In another bowl, whisk the eggs and add sugar. Whisk till it becomes pale and creamy.
- Add the vanilla extract
- Fold the dry ingredients into the egg mixture and then add butter and orange zest mixture. Fold it in with a spatula.
- Now transfer it to a disposable piping bag without any nozzle and refrigerate it for atleast 3 hours. You can even refrigerate it overnight.
- Before baking, pre-heat the oven to 200 C. Brush the shell pan with some melted butter and drizzle some flour on it.
- Pipe molds of batter on the pan and let it bake for 10-11 minutes till it is browned not he edges and cooked in the centre. The centre should spring back when touched.
- It is essential to refrigerate the dough so that the flour hydrates and it forms that quintessential bump when baked.
- This can also be used as a basic recipe and honey and orange zest can be substituted with any other flavouring.