Madeleines – small, delicious and very moreish
A madeleine is a small very buttery cake with a crisp edge. They have a distinct shell-like shape from the tin in which they are baked.
The story says that they were first baked in the Lorraine area of France in 1755 by a young cook, Madeleine Paulmier. The Duke of Lorraine, Stanislas Leszczynski was angry as there were no cakes for his guests. Madeleine came to the rescue with cakes based on her Grandmother’s recipe. So happy was he with the result, he named the cakes after the young baker.
Madeleines are supposedly best eaten on the day the are made – as if you need any excuse. However, I have found they keep really well for a few days in a sealed container. I made two versions, one topped with chopped pistachios and a few pomegranate seeds for colour, the second with chocolate drops. Make sure you butter the moulds very thoroughly indeed. This is where cake release spray really helps. Whilst you can bake them in a madeleine tin, they work in other small tins just as well.
Pistachio and Pomegranate Madeleines
Pistachio and Pomegranate or Chocolate Madeleines
- A madeleine tin or shallow cupcake tin
- 180 grams plain white flour
- 180 grams eggs ( approximately 4 eggs)
- 8 grams baking powder
- 180 grams caster sugar
- 200 grams butter
- 5 millilitres vanilla essence
- 15 millilitres oil vegetable or sunflower
- 75 millilitres whole milk
- 10 grams runny honey
- 25 grams chopped pistachios (optional)
- 1/4 whole pomegranate - seeds separated (optional)
- 50 grams dark chocolate drops (optional)
- pinch of salt
- Put the flour and baking powder in a bowl and mix well.
- Grease your madeleine pan very well with butter or cake release spray and set aside
- Put the butter in a saucepan and heat gently until just melted. If there are a few solids left that's fine. Add the milk, vanilla and honey. Let it cool.
- In a bowl, mix the sugar and eggs together. You can use a stand mixer.
- Mix in the flour and baking powder. Add the cooled butter mixture and mix well.
- Place the mixture covered in the fridge for an hour.
- Pre heat your oven to 200°C/400°F or Gas 6
- Using a spoon, fill the madeleine shell shapes equally, to about 9/10th. I found a tablespoon of mixture worked well for my cases. Do not over fill. Sprinkle with a few chopped pistachios and 3-4 pomegranate seeds or 3 -4 chocolate drops.
- Bake in the oven for 5 minutes and then turn the temperature down to 150°C /350°F/Gas 4 and bake for a further 7 minutes - do check as your oven may bake them more quickly.
- Let the cakes cool before removing them from the tin.