Jutting out among a stack of baking tins and probably bringing to my attention… that I haven’t baked any madeleines recently and my mini madeleine tin was in need of some baking love. The shelled shaped baking tin creates delicate indentations on the bottom of these feather-light French tea cakes and gives them their distinctive shape. When baked, madeleine’s are slightly crisp on the outside and soft on the inside and are best enjoyed on the day of baking. Once your store them in a container they lose their crispness, but are still perfectly delicious.
Love to flavor them with orange zest and orange blossom and when fresh out of the oven and cooled, dust them over with some rose petal sugar. Some madeleine recipes call for browning the butter, others use ground almonds and other flavorings, some recipes have no baking powder, others have double action baking powder and then there’s talk of a “hump”. What about the cake batter, is it better to use it straight away or leave it in the fridge for 1, 2, 3, or even 12 hours or maybe even longer? I usually leave the batter in the fridge for about an hour to an hour and a half, for the batter to thicken. My madeleines are slightly rounded on top but don’t have the big “hump”.
You might want to have a look at David’s Leibovitz take on the “hump” and he also shares a recipe for Lemon Glazed Madeleines. I say… enjoy baking them and try not to take the “hump” in the process. When filling the madeleine tin, it’s easier to scoop the batter using an appropriate size measuring spoon and with the help of a little tea-spoon, scrape the batter from the measuring spoon into the madeleine tin.
Perfect sweet morsels of sponge-like cake to enjoy with your next cup of tea or Arabic Coffee or baked for your next family gathering. Madeleines are also a perfect accompaniment to serve with individual creamy desserts like Crème Brûlée, Lemon Posset or a Mixed Berry Mousse.
Orange and Rose Petal Madeleines
(makes about 48 to 54 mini madeleines)
- 75g un-salted butter
- 75g castor sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon of grated orange zest
- 1 teaspoons of orange blossom water
- 75g plain or all-purpose flour
- 1/2 a teaspoon baking powder
- extra 15g butter (for greasing the madeleine cake tin)
For dried rose petal sugar
- 1 heaped tablespoon of dried rose petals (or remove the petals from about 6 dried rose buds)
- 1 tablespoon of castor sugar
You will need: A 24-hole mini madeleine tin. Unless you have a second tin you will need to wash and grease the baking tin between batches. You also might prefer baking the second batch the next day, as the batter stores successfully in the fridge.
How to make: In a small saucepan on low heat, melt the butter. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Meanwhile, add the castor sugar, eggs, orange zest and orange blossom water into a mixing bowl. With an electric beater, whisk the ingredients together until the mixture is lighter in color, thick and creamy.
Sift the flour and baking powder together into a small bowl, then sift again over the egg mixture and gently pour the melted butter down the inside of the bowl. Quickly but gently fold ingredients together using a large spatula. Make sure no melted butter remains at the bottom of the bowl and that the flour and butter are fully incorporated. Once mixed lay a piece of cling film over the surface of the cake batter and leave in the fridge for one hour to one and a half hours.
Melt the extra butter and using a pastry brush, generously grease the madeleine tin, making sure to grease every crevice, leave the baking tin in the freezer until needed.
To make the rose petal sugar, whizz the dried rose petals and sugar in a spice grinder until powdery or you can grind the ingredients using a pestle and mortar.
About 20 minutes before you are ready to bake your madeleines, pre-heat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/180ºC Fan/Gas 6.
Remove the cake batter from the fridge and the madeleine tin from the freezer. Using a half teaspoon measuring spoon, drop rounded spoons of the batter into the madeleine tin, use a small teaspoon to help scrape out the batter. The mixture will spread with the heat of the oven so no need to level batter. Bake the madeleines for about 6 to 7 minutes or until the tops feel firm to touch and golden. Remove from the oven and leave for about a minute, then tip them out from the baking tin on to a wire cooling rack. Dust with the rose petal sugar before serving. Best eaten fresh, store madeleines in an airtight container for up to two days.
To those around the world that celebrate Eid Al Fitr (end of Ramadan), I would like to take this opportunity and wish family, friends, subscribers and readers an Eid Mubarak. :)