March Madness for Madeleines!
When we put out a call for your most beloved madeleine recipes back in November, we expected a healthy response. We expected (as we always do from our talented readers) an assortment of delicious and tried-and-true methods for making variations on the madeleine—maybe one with chocolate, maybe one with a glaze. What we didn’t expect was an influx of breathless excitement and exclamation-point–studded e-mails; personal stories of lives intertwined with these delectable treats, of madeleines baked for soldiers abroad or to comfort a spouse living far from his home country, of madeleines used to sway members of a zoning board or satisfy restless kids on interminable shopping trips; and we certainly didn’t expect a vast and mouth-watering variety of recipes that not even the wildest baker could have dreamed up on her own—Pistachio cardamom madeleines! Rosemary polenta madeleines! Chocolate olive oil! Apple buckwheat with sea salt caramel!
Well, that’s what we got.
So we got out our madeleine pans and set to work reading your stories and testing your recipes. Over the past three months, scores of madeleines were baked, hundreds of fingers licked clean of batter, dozens of bags of flour used up, and countless friends and colleagues enlisted as taste-testers. Amazingly, though the perfect little madeleine shell-shape remained unchanged from batch to batch, each recipe had such unique and diverse flavors that not a one of us were sick of madeleines by the time the whole process was over. Our taste buds (if not our waistlines) thank you.
And the result of all this grueling effort is the forthcoming We Love Madeleines, hitting bookshelves this coming October. You’ll recognize it by the as-yet-unreleased cover, which I feel confident personally dubbing The Cutest Book Cover In The Universe, and inside you’ll find more than 40 delicious and approachable madeleine recipes (plus glazes and other toppings!), more than half of which came from kitchen-savvy Chronicle fans.
As we ooh and ahh over the fruits of our labor here at the Chronicle offices, October just seems like too long to wait to share the excitement! So here’s a sneak preview of one of the marvelous madeleine recipes from the book to get you as revved up as we are for this tres mignonne baking book. Yum!
3/4 cup/90g cake flour, plus more for dusting the pan
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
4 eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup/100 g sugar
1/4 cup almond paste
2 tbsp honey
6 tbsp/85 g unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for greasing the pan
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Into a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs, sugar, and almond paste on low speed until just combined. Increase the speed to medium and beat until the mixture is light and airy and has increased in volume, 5 to 6 minutes. Reduce the speed to low, add the flour mixture, and beat until just combined. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the honey, melted butter, and vanilla until well blended. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours.
About 20 minutes before you are ready to bake, position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375ºF/190°C/gas 5. Grease a madeleine pan with melted butter and dust with flour, tapping out any excess.
Spoon or pipe the batter into the prepared pan, filling each mold about three-quarters full. Do not smooth out the batter. Bake until the madeleines are puffed up and the edges are just starting to turn brown, 7 to 9 minutes.
Immediately turn out the madeleines onto a wire rack and let cool. Wipe out the pan and let cool. Re-grease and re-flour the pan, re-fill, and continue baking until all the batter has been used. Serve warm or at room temperature the same day they are made, but if you need to store them, layer them in a wide, shallow container with a tight-fitting lid. Use waxed paper to separate the layers if you want to stack them.
Makes about 18 madeleines.
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