One of the first things I learned in pastry school was how to make Madeleines. It turns out it is pretty simple and easy to bake these little shell shaped cakes; that’s why we learned how to make them early on in the program!
Madeleines are traditional French cakes shaped as small shells. This rare form is obtained thanks to special molds they are baked in: pans with shell-shaped depressions. They taste like pastry heaven: a mix of lemon and butter! Madeleines are commonly served as an afternoon snack in France (l’heure du goûter).
- Baking powder
Madeleines are easy to make. Start by mixing the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside. Melt the butter. Warm the milk and add the honey.
Using a stand mixer (or by hand using a whisk) with the whisk attachment mix the eggs, the zests of half a lemon and the sugar until the mixture has thickened and changed color to a pale yellow.
Add in the flour/baking powder/salt mixture into the egg/sugar/lemon mixture. Add the warm milk with the honey and mix until incorporated.
Add the warm melted butter to the batter until fully incorporated.
Transfer the batter to plastic container and refrigerate for 24 hours. This is important because it will help the madeleines develop their famous hump. You can even keep the batter for 2 days in the refrigerator.
Butter the molds evenly and generously. Then flour the molds and remove all excess flour by returning the pan.
Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (360 F) and put a empty baking sheet in the lower part of your oven. This will also help to develop the hump because of the thermic shock they will get once you put them in the hot oven on top of very hot surface. Making the temperature rise fast.
Fill the Madeleine molds with the batter using a piping bag or a spoon. Don’t over garnish the molds because the batter will not rise in the oven 😊.
Bake for about 10 minutes. Until they are golden, and the hump has developed.
I turned around my baking sheet halfway through baking because my oven does not cook evenly. I waited until the bump had developed in all the madeleines before turning it around!
Can you make Madeleines without a madeleine pan?
You can use muffin molds for example. They will no longer have their special shape, but they will taste as real French Madeleines: buttery and lemony. Don’t let the lack of a Madeleine pan stop you from making this super easy and delicious treat.
I wouldn’t freeze madeleines. They are better eaten when freshly baked. If you must freeze them, do so as soon as they cool off. You should properly wrap with plastic wrap each madeleine to keep the moisture.
How long can you keep Madeleines?
You can keep them in a hermetic container for about 4 to 5 days. That is if you can resist not eating them all first!
Let’s get to it! Happy Cooking!
12 regular size madeleines
Flour 75 g
Baking Powder 5 g
Salt a pinch
Eggs 2 u
Butter 75 g
Sugar 50 g
Honey 10 g
Milk 20 g
Lemon zest 1 u
- Mix the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
- Melt the butter. Set aside. Warm the milk, add the honey and mix well together.
- Using a stand mixer (or by hand using a whisk) with the whisk attachment mix the eggs, the zests of half a lemon and the sugar until the mixture has thickened and changed color to a pale yellow.
- Mix in the flour/baking powder/salt mixture into the egg/sugar/lemon mixture.
- Add the warm milk and honey mixture and mix until fully incorporated.
- Add the melted warm butter to the batter. Mix until de batter has come together.
- Transfer the batter to plastic container and refrigerate for 24 hours.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (360 F) and put a baking sheet in the lower part of your oven.
- Butter the madeleine molds evenly.
- Pipe batter into the molds.
- Bake until golden. About 10 minutes.
- Unmold the madeleines and let them cool down.