Last Saturday I had the pleasure of spending the morning at Maman, one of my favourite French spots in Toronto, baking Madeleine’s with the lovely owner Laure. The morning that we went was the morning after the Paris attacks. I was feeling hesitant to go at first, wondering if it was perhaps in bad taste. I realized once we arrived that Laure is in fact originally from Paris and although I could sense her sadness she kept such a positive attitude throughout the entire morning. Baking the Madeleine’s with Laure at Maman made me feel like I was in some small way honouring Paris and my thoughts and prayers were with them that morning and still today. Madeleine’s, although they look simple and require only a few ingredients, are actually quite a finicky cake. I was glad to have the guidance of Laure for my first time baking them who assured me that it does take quite a few tries to get them right, but when you do it’s so worth it! The crisp outer layer of the shell shaped cake, synonymous with the Madeleine, paired with the light and fluffy inside can’t be beat. They are delicious when made classic like the ones we made with lemon zest or when ingredients like thyme of lavender are added. Both Laure and I agreed that they would also be stunning dipped in chocolate and sprinkled with edible gold dust for the holidays. Whichever way you decide to make Madeleine’s they are a decadent, delicious treat that you will be so proud of when you accomplish!
Preparation: 10 min
Baking: 15 min
Makes: 12 Madeleine
3.5oz of Flour
0.11oz of baking powder
3.5oz of butter
7 table spoons
¼ of lemon zest
4.3oz of sugar
1/2 cup plus barely 2 tablespoons
Sift the flour with the baking powder.
Melt the butter in a pan and let it cool down.
Chop the zest of the lemon.
In a separate bowl crack the eggs and pour the sugar on top of it.
Whisk eggs and sugar for 5 minutes to make the mix bubbly : add the flour-baking powder mixture, mix and then the butter and the lemon zest.
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Butter the Madeleine pan and add the dough to the 2/3 of the Madeleine pan. (you can also freeze the pan for 10 minutes before placing them in the oven).
Cook at 425°F for 5 minutes and then reduce the heat to 390°F and cook for 10 more minutes. Unmold the Madeleine (when they are at room temperature) and leave them to cool.
Photography by Raelene Giffin