These lemon madeleines, which are easy to make and subtly sweet, make the perfect cookie or tea cake thanks to their lovely lilt of citrus.
Let’s dispense with all the talk about Proust and these lovely little tea cakes, shall we? Let’s instead just revel in the little-known fact that the batter for lemon madeleines can be stashed in the fridge for several days. Which means you can satisfy your craving in no time flat with freshly baked madeleines morning, noon, and afternoon.–Renee Schettler Rossi
How To Ensure Perfectly Shaped Madeleines
To ensure you get the characteristic madeleine shape, you need to do the following:
1. Chill the batter for at least 3 hours and chill the madeleine pan for an hour before baking.
2. Second, don’t overfill the mold, as this will result in a plain, domed madeleine without that classic hump.
3. And third, bake the madeleines at a relatively high temperature, as in this recipe.
Special Equipment: 2 full-size or petite madeleine pans (scallop-shaped is traditional)
Lemon Madeleines Recipe
- Quick Glance
- 25 M
- 3 H, 30 M
- Makes about 15 full-size madeleines
- For the madeleines
- 2 extra-large eggs (1/2 cup by volume)
- 1/2 cup (110 grams) superfine sugar (or just blitz granulated sugar in a blender until finely ground but not powdery)
- 3/4 cup (94 grams) all-purpose flour, plus more for the madeleine tin
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3 1/2 ounces (7 tablespoons or 100 grams) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled, plus more for the madeleine tin
- For the lemon glaze
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon (1 scant tablespoon grated zest and a scant 1/4 cup juice)
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (160 grams) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- Make the madeleines
- 1. Put the eggs and the sugar in a large bowl and, using an electric mixer, beat until thick and pale, about 6 minutes. Put the flour and baking powder in a separate bowl and whisk together to combine. Sift 1/3 of the flour mixture over the egg mixture, carefully folding to combine using a spatula, then add the remaining mixture in 2 additions in the same way.
- 2. Take a large spoonful of the batter and add this to a small bowl along with the butter, mixing them together to lighten the butter. Pour the butter mixture into the batter and gently fold together to combine. Press a sheet of plastic wrap onto the surface of the batter, then put it in the refrigerator to chill for at least 3 hours before baking. (The mixture can be chilled for up to 2 days at this stage.)
- Make the lemon glaze
- 3. Put the lemon juice, zest, and confectiners’ sugar in a medium bowl and mix together using a wooden spoon until you have a smooth, pourable glaze. Add more lemon juice or sugar as needed. Press a piece of plastic wrap onto the surface of the glaze until needed—this will help to prevent it from forming a crust.
- Bake the madeleines
- 4. About an hour before baking, butter a full-size or petite madeleine pan very well and dust with a little flour, tapping out the excess. Transfer the pan to the freezer to chill.
- 5. Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). When you are ready to bake, spoon the batter into the madeleine molds, being careful not to fill any of the molds more than 3/4 full. You don’t need to spread the batter, as this will happen in due course as the madeleines bake. Bake until the cake is cooked through and the edges have started to brown, 8 to 10 minutes for full-size madeleines and 4 to 5 minutes for petite madeleines.
- 6. Remove the pan from the oven and immediately turn the madeleines out onto a wire rack. Let cool for 10 minutes before dipping the madeleines into the glaze, coating them fully. Allow the excess glaze to drip back into the bowl before setting the madeleines on a wire rack set over a piece of parchment paper. Let the madeleines rest at room temperature until set, about 20 minutes. These are best served as close as possible to coming out of the oven and are spectacular the day they are baked.
- Madeleines are really versatile. The author has flavored them in all sorts of ways, from mixing cacao nibs into the batter to using a blood orange glaze and even dipping them in tempered chocolate.
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