A classic French madeleine comes in a beautiful shell shape- soft cake, a slight perfume of lemon, and with this recipe, a delightful crunch from the glaze on top.
Tips to achieve the perfect French Madeleine:
#1 Rest your batter overnight in the fridge. I do this in a piping bag but you could simply put plastic wrap over the batter in a bowl.
#2 Grease your pans- no matter if it’s nonstick- with butter and flour. You can brush melted butter into the tin, or I just use a paper towel with a bit of butter on it.
#3 Chill your greased pan, pipe in the batter, then straight into the hot oven to help with lift and the signature “bump”.
And what’s the deal with the glaze besides being oh so pretty and delicious? Well, it serves a functional purpose too. Madeleines usual dry out within a day- they’re still good with tea at that point but maybe not as incredible as freshly baked yumminess. The glaze acts as a protective coating helping these little cakes keep from drying out. I just dunked the top, but you could absolutely glaze the whole cake. Pro tip: sprinkle while the glaze is still wet.
On top, I sprinkled my favorite mix of dried culinary flowers from Aromandise (not sponsored), because Pierre le Pigeon has taken up hopping from one plant box to the next on our window sills (yuck.). I’ve also started drying my own using edible flowers from the Potager du Roi just around the corner. So easy as well- just leave the flowers out, let dry, and package away in little glass jars.
Link to my favorite madeleine pan in case you’re interested: HERE (affiliate link). ps- Gobel just in general is a great brand for pasty things.
Glazed French Madeleine Recipe
Adapted from the Rachel Khoo recipe. This makes 24 madeleines in all their shiny glory!
- 200 g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 3 eggs
- 130 g granulated sugar
- 200 g cake (or pastry) flour
- 10 g baking powder (in France, this is 1 sachet)
- 1 lemon
- 20 g honey or jam
- 60 g whole milk
- edible flowers (optional)
- 250 g powdered (confectioners) sugar
Make the Madeleine batter
Melt the butter in a small saucepan and set aside to cool.
In the bowl of an electric mixer with the whisk attachment (or with a hand mixer), whip the eggs and granulated sugar until they’ve tripled in volume, the color has lightened, and when you lift the beater the mixture falls like a ribbon. This will take 5-10 minutes.
Mix together the flour and baking powder in a separate bowl. Zest the lemon into this mixture and whisk together.
To the melted butter, add the honey or jam and the whole milk. Whisk well to combine.
Pour the butter mixture into the eggs, folding to combine. Then add the flour in two additions, again carefully folding to not deflate the eggs too much.
Place in a piping bag, or cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill overnight. (The batter will last up to 3 days in the fridge)
When ready to bake, butter and flour your madeleine mold and place in the refrigerator.
Preheat your oven to 180C/350F.
Pipe about a walnut-sized amount in the middle of each tin. Again chill the baking tray for about 15 minutes, so it’s nice and cold when it goes in the oven.
Bake 10-12 minutes. Layout a clean kitchen towel and once cooked, tap the pan on one side over the tea towel to release the madeleines. Allow to cool.
Make the Glaze
In a small-medium sized bowl, measure the powdered sugar. Tare the scale bringing it to zero, then add the juice of one lemon and enough water to come to 60ml altogether. Whisk!
Dip each cooled madeleine into the glaze, either just the tops or the entire cake. Using a clean finger, wipe off the access and set on parchment or wax paper. Sprinkle with edible flowers (if using) and then wait until the glaze is set (this takes 1-2 minutes max).