Portion/Yield:Makes about 40 miniature madeleines or 20 large ones
These pretty little madeleines are my favourite. I love a madeleine; for me they are amazingly sophisticated and complex little morsels of deliciousness, all in one mouthful. The mini madeleine mould I use for this recipe was a gift to me from a friend; I have had it for many years and cherish it dearly.
The mixture itself is not complicated to make, and once you have mastered making the nutty brown butter (beurre noisette), the rest is pretty easy. A ‘beurre noisette’ is the French term for ‘brown butter’ (literally ‘hazelnut butter’) – butter that has been cooked until golden or brown; some would even describe it as ‘burnt’.
The next step is what tests my patience. The mixture has to rest and chill for a minimum of 6 hours before use (in fact, it’s best left overnight, if possible). This is the part where I struggle, as I am very impatient and incredibly disorganised at times, so invariably, I forget to make the mixture a day in advance and then get stuck on the day that I was hoping to bake these. Anyway, once I get myself organised and the mixture is made, it’s fantastic because it also lasts well in the fridge (for up to 3 days), so it doesn’t need to be used all at once.
I bake these madeleines in batches (see Cook’s Notes). If you like, you can use different fresh fruits instead of raspberries, such as blueberries, mulberries, loganberries, blackcurrants or blackberries. Or simply use no fruit and bake them plain.
Ingredients & Method
- 120g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
- 100g icing sugar, sifted
- 40g ground almonds
- 20g plain flour, sifted
- 2 large egg whites, lightly whisked
- 1 teaspoon clear honey
- finely grated zest of 1 lime or lemon
- 20 fresh raspberries, cut in half
- 2 tablespoons caster sugar
- ¼ teaspoon freeze-dried raspberry pieces
Make and refrigerate the madeleines mixture a day in advance or at least 6 hours in advance, before using it.
First prepare the beurre noisette. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over a medium heat, stirring occasionally. Once it starts to foam, reduce the heat to low, stir, and continue cooking for about 5 minutes or until the solids start to turn golden brown, then remove from the heat. Pass the beurre noisette through a fine sieve and leave it to cool completely.
Combine the cooled beurre noisette, the icing sugar, ground almonds, flour, egg whites, honey and lime or lemon zest in a mixing bowl, stirring to mix well. Cover and refrigerate the mixture overnight or for a minimum of 6 hours. The madeleine mixture can be made up to 3 days in advance, if kept covered and refrigerated.
Meanwhile, for the decoration, using a pestle and mortar, pound the sugar and freeze-dried raspberry pieces together to make a raspberry sugar. Store in a small airtight container until needed.
To bake the madeleines, preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4 and grease a mini madeleine mould with butter (see Cook’s Notes).
Remove the madeleine mixture from the fridge at least 10 minutes before you want to use it – this will soften it slightly and make it easier to use (as the butter will have solidified during chilling). Stir the mixture, then spoon some into the prepared mould, filling each hole about two-thirds full. I then dip my finger in water and push the mixture down into each hole. Place a raspberry half in the centre of each, pushing it down slightly into the mixture.
Bake in the oven for 8–10 minutes or until cooked – the madeleines should be golden brown on the outside with a fluffy texture on the inside. Remove from the oven, leave to cool in the mould for a couple of minutes or so, then carefully turn the madeleines out onto a wire rack. Leave to cool for a further 5 minutes, then lightly toss them in the freeze-dried raspberry sugar, coating them all over. Bake, cool and coat the remaining madeleines in the same way. Serve them warm or cold.
The baked madeleines will keep for up to 3 days in an airtight container at room temperature. You can warm them through before serving, if you like (warm them in a preheated oven at 160°C/Gas Mark 3 for about 5 minutes).
My mini madeleine mould has 20 holes, so I bake the madeleines in 2 batches (the mixture also keeps well in the fridge for up to 3 days, so you can bake the 2 batches a couple of days apart, if you like).
If you choose to use a larger standard madeleine mould, then you’ll need to increase the total baking time by about 5–6 minutes for each batch, then test to see if they are cooked. Again, with the larger madeleine mould, it’s best to bake them in batches as you probably won’t have enough holes to bake them all at once.
If you are baking these in batches, make sure you wash and cool the madeleine mould between each batch.