Lemon-Glazed Madeleine Recipe
This is the post I never thought I’d write.
I never wanted to tackle madeleines. I thought they were something that…darn it…you just needed to eat in France. Like hamburgers and bagels, some things just don’t translate cross-culturally. If you wanted a madeleine, darn it, you came to France to have one. I mean, did you ever have a bagel in Banff? Do you even know where Banff is?
Anticipating the avalanche of questions madeleines inspire, I urge you to simply follow the recipe. The question of baking powder is up to you. If you use it, there’s a greater likelihood they’ll be a hump and the cakes will be fuller and plump. But some say baking powder shouldn’t even be in the same room with madeleines, so I’ll leave that decision up to you.
A few factors make these madeleines humpy…
Freezing the prepared molds before baking plus chilling the batter for at least 3 hours in advance seems to help. My fridge seems to have developed an ever-present ‘No Vacancy’ policy, even after a recent tenant was forcibly evicted, but I’m managing to make do with what’s available around here.
Just as important is to not spread the batter in the pan once you’ve scooped it in. If you have space in your freezer, you can put the batter in the pans and chill them all together. (Oh my, all these options; I think I’m losing you.) But I’m sure Parisian pigeons like madeleines as much as the rest of us around here so I’m not tempting fate and somehow found room in the icebox for those.
And do I hear little voices out there asking, “How do I know how much batter to put in the pan in advance since it’s going to spread?”
You need to develop your extra-keen sense of perception and eye-ball how much you think will fit in the mold, which will spread during the first few minutes of baking. You’ll just have to guess, but I know you can do it. I just know you can.
If that scares you, then go ahead and estimate how much batter will fill each indentation to 3/4’s, measure or weigh it, bake it off and see what happens. If it’s right, great. If not, then repeat all those steps until you get it right. After each batch clean the pan, then bake the rest, using your previous calculations as a guide to re-plunk the batter in.
I’m happy to take a stab at guessing. And if given a choice, I choose happiness over washing extra dishes, thanks.
The other question is which kind of pan to use. Years ago on a trip to Paris, I bought traditional unlined madeleine pans at MORA with every intention of baking madeleines all the time back in California.
Guess how many times I made madeleines in California?
I just hope whoever bought them at my garage sale a few years later got more use out of them than I did.
The trusty non-stick ones that I have now are much easier to use and the little devils just slide right out. And into my mouth.
Madeleines from 101 Cookbooks.
Persimmon madeleines from Lara.
Pim tackles madeleines.
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Clotilde discovers chestnut honey madeleines in Paris.
My favorite madeleines in Paris (which I doubt are roof-cooled.)
Josh’s post-Proustian madeleines.