When I was in high school we all had to read Marcel Proust’s ‘In Search of Lost Time‘ as part of our French curriculum. Although I can’t remember most of the book (I wasn’t a particularly studious 16-year-old), the famous ‘episode of the Madeleine’ did stick with me. In this scene, the main character eats a Petite Madeleine, which instantly transports him back to his childhood and unfurls a series of happy memories. It’s quite an important moment in the book (or so I’m told) and it shows how taste and memories can be so beautifully interlinked sometimes.
Don’t worry though, you don’t need to have read the book or to experience some sort of philosophical breakthrough to enjoy these delicious buttery treats. Fresh out of the oven, dusted with icing sugar and paired with a hot cup of tea, these little madeleines are quite an experience on their own…
Bon appetit x
3/4 cup (95g) flour, sifted
1/2 tsp of baking powder, sifted
1/2 cup of white sugar
6 tbs (80g) unsalted butter, melted but still warm
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tbs lemon zest
icing sugar for dusting
♥ In the bowl of an electric mixer beat the eggs and sugar at high speed until thick and creamy (about 3-5 mins). Beat in the lemon zest and vanilla essence. Switch to a rubber spatula and gently fold in the dry ingredients followed by the melted butter. Do not over-mix or the batter will deflate.
♥ Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and keep in the fridge for an hour (you could skip this step but the madeleines will not rise as much).
♥ Pre-heat your oven at 190 C.
♥ Butter your mini Madeleines pan (or mini muffin pan) and dust the insides with flour. Tap out the excess. Drop a generous teaspoon (or tbs if using a larger pan) of batter into the center of each mold – don’t worry about smoothing it as it will spread during cooking.
♥ Cook until the Madeleines are golden, puffed and spring back to the touch (about 8-10 minutes for mini madeleines and 10-12 for larger ones).
♥ Remove the cookies from the pan and leave them to cool for a few minutes. Dust with icing sugar and serve with tea or coffee.