Madeleines - famously loved by just about everyone that comes across them. The melted butter makes these little cakes very easy to whip up with no need for a mixer. Store the mixture in the fridge until needed (and for a minimum of two hours). During the baking process, the chilled mixture meets a very hot oven, resulting in the signature hump-backed, shell-bottomed cake we know and love. This recipe makes fragrant lemon zested Madeleines, but leave out the lemon if you prefer them without.
1 large free-range egg
80g caster sugar
80g self-raising flour
60g salted butter, melted and slightly cooled
zest of ½ a lemon
Makes 12 madeleines
- Whisk sugar and egg for a minute until frothy.
- Sift the flour into the sugar and egg mixture and gently fold in with the silicone-headed spatula.
- Slowly trickle in the melted butter and fold again. Add the lemon zest and continue to fold until the mixture is smooth.
- Cover and chill mixture for at least two hours. Towards the end of the chilling time, preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius fan (356 Fahrenheit).
- Use the pastry brush to paint the 12 shell-bottomed indents of the madeleine pan with melted butter. (No need to melt more butter, just use the remains of the melted butter from the pan or container it was melted in.)
- Divide the mixture evenly between the 12 shell-bottomed indents of the pan (about a dessertspoon in each indent should do it.)
- Bake for 10-12 minutes until the cakes start to turn golden brown around the edges. Remove from the oven, allow to cool for five minutes, and then turn the cakes so that they are shell-side up. (Don't cool on a rack in case the criss-cross wires indent into the cakes and spoil their appearance.)
Madeleines freeze very well, but they are so easy and quick to make, you might want to make in smaller batches and bake as and when you need them.
The uncooked mixture will sit happily in the fridge overnight. Transfer the mixture to a more convenient small bowl to save fridge space.
Ring the changes by flavouring with lime or orange zest or half a teaspoon of vanilla paste.