Madeleines – these delectable offspring of cookie and cake seem daunting to make. To top it most classic recipe call for browning butter and thorough whisking off eggs, rest times and careful mixing of flour and eggs. Why bother with all these when the store – the big box ones to the neighborhood bakeries carry these. The brown butter does add a unique taste. But if you are like me, someone who gets called away from the kitchen ever so often, here is a way simpler recipe and it tastes heavenly right out of the oven.
Technically madeleines are bite sized sponge cakes. These are made in the madeleine molds and acquires a cookie like bite. Call them a cookie if you like ‘coz these are perfect with a cup of hot tea. The recipe here has a little baking powder, which can very well be avoided. I add it as an added insurance to compensate for loss of aeration when mixing in the flour . As long as the eggs are fluffed up well, there is very little chance of messing up this recipe.
Melt the butter over low heat or in a microwave . If you plan to brown it keep a hawks eye as soon as it starts to melt . Set aside to cool a bit – but should still be in liquid form . Sift the dry ingredients together and set aside . Powder the sugar if the granules are big . Pre-heat the oven to 350°F (190°C). If using metal madeleine molds butter it well.
Beat the eggs well till they have doubled in volume. Do this by hand , if you must, but I recommend the mixer a t this stage. Indeed this is a good workout for the arms 🙂 . Add the vanilla essence and mix well . Slowly add the sugar and beat well to incorporate , taking care to keep the mix aerated well.
Add the sifted dry ingredients to the egg mix in batches . Mix in the flour using circular motions (low paddle setting in the stand mixer). Stop mixing as soon as all the flour is blended in . Slowly stream in the melted butter and mix using a spatula . You will see the melted butter pooling on top of the batter initially , but after a few turns with the spatula the butter mixes in and the batter changes visibly and acquires a silky sheen . Stop mixing as soon as all traces melted butter is gone .
Transfer to the waiting molds and bake for 8 to 10 minutes if using a metal pan , or 10 to 12 minutes in a silicone pan. Remove as soon as they turn brown on the sides .
Using Silicone Pans – Silicone pans are very convenient when making madeleine as they don’t require any extra greasing. But placing these directly on the oven rack often times tends to tilt the molds and skews the shape. In order to prevent this place the silicone mold on a baking sheet and transfer to the oven. Remove it from the sheet and place directly on the rack at around 8 to 10 minutes and finish cooking to the desired brownness . Leaving the cookie sheets for total duration of cooking browns the bottoms unevenly as in the picture below .
On the other hand the metal pans create a very even browned look and shaves a few minutes off the cook time as well .