Exquisite Madeleines Recipe

Rediscover a superior quality mini-cake.

Madeleine recipe


The Madeleine is a typically French mini cake with a characteristic shape. There are many recipes with many flavours. However, I have rarely been impressed by the quality of the cake itself, whether it is sold by major brands, pastry chefs or family recipes. They were either too dry, stuffy, greasy, sticky, soft, overbaked… I developed this personal recipe with a lot of diligence and multiple tests until I was completely satisfied. The Madeleines are humpy, melt-in-the-mouth and airy, excellent and of superior quality. But are they still Madeleines?

You thought you knew this familiar recipe and its typical taste? Rediscover this great classic as if it were the first time. Guaranteed success among gourmets. Everything is detailed so that you can make it right on the first try.

Don't be obsessed with making a Madeleine with a big hump, don't focus on aesthetics at the expense of taste. I find it prettier and more appetizing when it has a well rounded back and a harmonious shape. And, frankly, a badly bumpy or exaggerated outgrowth unbalances its texture.

The success is in the mixing time from the incorporation of the flour, lasting from 3 to 4 minutes in total, to start structuring a light glutinous network, then resting time (at room temperature or in the refrigerator) to relax and develop this network thanks to the high humidity of the dough, and infuse the flavours. This network will trap gases and inflate the dough. If the hump deflates, either there is not enough protein or the protein has not had time to clot due to lack of baking. Temperatures and baking times will have to be adapted according to the ovens. Because of the particular shape of the pan, baking a chilled dough in a very hot oven helps to form a large hump.

Ingredients for about 24 Madeleines:

  • 125 g all-purpose wheat flour T65 type,
  • 110 g quality butter with taste,
  • 110 g eggs (2 medium eggs, beat, weigh and set aside),
  • 60 g blond cane sugar to be ground into icing sugar (about 45 seconds in a blender/chopper),
  • 35 g full-fat milk,
  • 30 g sweet liquid honey neutral in taste,
  • 5 g vegetable oil neutral in taste,
  • 5 g baking powder (1 rounded teaspoon).

The choice of flavour:

    The 2 best choices are tonka bean or lemon:
  • grate 1/2 tonka bean (1 g);
  • lemon: add the zest to the dough and make icing: in a bowl, mix 150 g of icing sugar and 40 g of lemon juice, dip the hump side of a cold cooked Madeleine but not the shell part, place it on a baking tray to collect the drippings, bake at 200° for 2 minutes to dry and barely caramelize, set it immediately in the cold to solidify the icing;
  • 3 g (3/4 teaspoon) of Tahitian-style vanilla powder or 7.5 ml of natural liquid vanilla extract or the seeds of a vanilla bean and add a pinch of salt;
  • 20 ml (1 1/2 tablespoons) of orange blossom water.

Course of the recipe:

This recipe produces a dough with a micro-foam to give a smooth, airy and plump Madeleine. All ingredients are at room temperature. Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat or in the microwave on medium power, and allow to cool down. In a bowl, pour the eggs and icing sugar, with the whisk of the electric mixer, beat for 2 to 3 minutes at high speed. Then pour in the oil and beat for 2 minutes. Then, pour the milk diluted in liquid honey (if necessary, warm it to make it more liquid), beat 1 minute to obtain a dense and fine foam, and triple its volume. Add the flavour (zest, vanilla, tonka bean, orange blossom) and whisk at low speed for about 30 seconds until everything is incorporated. In another bowl, carefully mix the sifted flour and baking powder, pour into the dough once or twice and whisk at low speed for 2 minutes. Pour the slightly warm melted butter over the dough and whisk on low speed for 1 to 2 minutes maximum until completely blended, but no longer so as not to create an elastic dough. Then let the dough rest and cool for 2 to 4 hours in the refrigerator so that its temperature is around 10° and the fragrance takes time to infuse (ideally, prepare the dough the day before). The dough will keep for 2 days in the refrigerator in a closed container.

Preheat the oven to 180° or 230° for 10 to 15 minutes to be hot. If necessary, place a baking tray under the rack in the middle of the oven to spread the heat. For a nice hump, prefer metallic moulds, which are better heat conductors to create a thermal shock. Brush some soft butter into the pan. With a tablespoon, fill 3/4 of each imprint without breaking the foam. Transfer them to the oven for 17 to 20 minutes at 180° (or bake at falling heat: 3 to 4 minutes at 230° and then 6 to 8 minutes at 160°). Insert a pin in the centre of the cake, if it comes out with a few crumbs, it is cooked, if it comes out dry, it is overdone. Take them out of the oven, unmould them immediately and let fully cool on a wire rack. The Madeleines are light blond in colour, just barely cooked, with a nice hump and a thin crust around the edges. They are spongy and finely crunchy for the first few hours. Freeze them for at least a day, they will be better with a tender texture and more aromas.

They will keep for 3 weeks in the freezer in a closed bag or 3 days at room temperature or in the refrigerator in an airtight box with a paper at the bottom.

After thawing or taking them out of the refrigerator, leave them at room temperature for at least one hour. To enjoy their taste and texture, always eat them at room temperature around 20°.

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