If you have friends or family coming round for coffee and want to bake something lovely but don’t have much time, madeleines are the solution. They are quick and easy to make, fill the house with the wonderful smell of home baking and look gorgeous. In fact they are so easy to make that it’s best not to let on – just enjoy them with your friends and then bask in the praise and admiration that follows.
My recipe for madeleines comes from a card I picked up in Waitrose some years ago and you can see the original on the website here.
Unfortunately madeleines are something that you can’t really bake without the proper equipment – a madeleine tin. I bought mine when they were on offer in Lakeland a few years ago and it was an excellent investment. This recipe makes exactly the right quantity of mixture to fill just one tin.
I suppose you could at a push use a bun tin and make little flat round cakes – I haven’t tried that myself but don’t see why it wouldn’t work.
The original recipe uses orange zest to flavour them but I also use lemon zest if that’s all I have in the house and they are just as delicious. You can of course make them in lots of different flavours – honey, chocolate, ginger – you can just use your imagination and adapt the recipe.
Personally I love the citrus flavours and so I am entering my madeleines into this month’s Tea Time Treats challenge, hosted this month by Karen at Lavender and Lovage and alternately Kate at What Kate Baked. For January the challenge is to bake something with citrus flavours, a lovely idea after the rich stodginess of all the Christmas goodies – which I absolutely love but am ready to leave behind by now. Something nice and light with a hint of orange or lemon goes down a real treat in January.
The texture is light and fluffy and very moreish. I don’t think they keep for very long but somehow that doesn’t seem to be an issue – they usually all disappear on the day.
Another good thing about this recipe is that it produces a minimal amount of washing up !!
60g unsalted butter
50g caster sugar
50g plain flour
1 orange, zest only, finely grated
icing sugar for dusting
Preheat the oven to 190°C/170°fan.
Melt the butter and measure out 50ml. Put this on one side to cool. Brush the holes in a madeleine tin with the remaining butter – there may be some left over that you won’t need.
Put the egg and sugar into a medium bowl and whisk with an electric whisk until the mixture becomes thick and mousse-like. When you lift the beaters out of the bowl they should leave a definite trail in the mixture.
Sift the flour and fold in gently. Then fold in the cooled melted butter and the orange zest.
Spoon the mixture into the tin, dividing it as evenly as possible. Bake for 7-8 minutes until they are light golden brown.
Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. Dust with icing sugar before serving.
Makes 12 madeleines, depending on the size of your tin.