For someone who is so intrigued with French pastry, it is quite strange that I have never had the pleasure of eating these little French cakes. I have this impression in my mind that these cakes are dense and dry. Don’t know where that impression came from. So all these years, even during my trip to France, I have never once wanted to try these cakes.
Until I read this article about baking the perfect Madeleine. Honestly, I was probably more intrigued by the challenge that anything else.
Not wanting to invest in a Madeleine pan, seeing they are pretty pricey, before I even tasted it, I borrowed the pan from a friend and was thankful that it just managed to fit in my oven, not 1mm to spare!
Makes 12 cakes
1 1/2 large eggs
62g golden caster sugar
3/4 tsp lemon zest
1/4 tsp pure lemon extract
30ml whole milk
94g plain flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
100g unsalted butter, melted and hot, plus extra for brushing
1) To prepare a day ahead, whisk the eggs, sugar, lemon zest and lemon extract in a large bowl. Then whisk in milk.
2) Combine flour, baking powder and baking soda in another bowl and whisk to remove any lumps.
3) Sprinkle the dry ingredients onto the wet ingredients in 3 or 4 additions, whisking just incorporated after each addition.
4) Lastly, whisk in the hot butter in 2 additions until mixture is smooth. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
5) At least 2 hours before baking, prepare the pan by brushing it with a thin coat of melted butter, then sprinkle flour to coat it. Tap to remove extra flour then place the prepare pan into the refrigerator.
6) Preheat oven to 230C fan.
7) Fill a pastry bag, fitted with a plain tip, with the cold batter, then work quickly to pipe batter into each mould. This amount fits the 12 moulds nicely. Tap the filled pan on the counter once or twice to remove any air bubbles.
8) Place filled pan into oven and lower the heat to 180C fan. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, until the sides are golden brown and the domes look dry.
9) Remove from the oven and unmould immediately, by holding the pan with both hands, tilt it slightly with the Madeleines facing away from you, and tap the pan on the counter until the Madeleines pop out.
I was surprised and very pleased to see the nice humps on my Madeleines. French pastries is my bane (think macaron and choux) so I was chuffed to get this right at my very first attempt. To make it even better, the cake is nice and moist with a light lemony taste!
I am going to the store tomorrow to get my very own Madeleine pan. I just can’t wait to experiment on other flavours!