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Madeleines: Tips & Techniques


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I read Dorie Greenspans description/introduction to madeleines in her Paris Sweets book this evening. She got my brain working a little when she mentioned the recipe she published is flexible enough to be used as a base and you could be creative with it. Then I looked at Bellouets Petite Four book and the light went on. O.k. these don't have to be little lemon cakes, these can be anything I want little cakes. I particularly liked a combo of flavors Bellouet does where he pipes a second flavor into the center of the first.

Hum........like everything else there aren't really any rules.....oh yah. So when does it not become a madeleine?

I have to buy more pans for convience...........I'm leaning toward the flexipans unless someone here stops me. So they appear shinier, might they retain their moisture better?

And Dorie mentioned giving your madeleine a soaking after they are baked-I'm digging that!

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This is the recipe from "Les desserts de mon enfance" by Gaston Lenôtre (2001, pp 182-185).

Ingredients :

150 gr AP flour

125 gr melted butter, cooled

130 gr white sugar

3 large eggs

1 teaspoon baking powder

pinch of salt

zest from half lemon

20 gr acacia honey

Instructions :

Put eggs, sugar, salt and honey in the bowl of a standing mixer. Whisk at high speed until ribbon stage. Carefuly whisk sifted flour, baking powder, lemon zest and cooled melted butter.

Cling the bowl and put it in the fridge for 24 hours.

After the 24 hours rest, take the dough from the fridge and put the bowl on the counter for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, brush non-stick madeleines pans with melted butter and keep in the fridge.

After 1 hour, fill each cavity of the pans to 2/3 with dough.

Put the pans in the middle of a 220° C oven for 8 to 10 minutes. Be careful not to overcook (color must be light golden, not brown). Let cool on wires and keep in a tied fit container. Madeleines freeze very well.

Sorry for the poor traduction but I do what I can (I am french-speaking) :smile:

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i am reading paris sweets also, want to try both her classic madeleines and the chocolate version from chocolate desserts by p. herme. the recipe for financiers is also on my short list.

here is p. rigo's recipe for madeleines from american boulangerie:

3 cups+2 Tbsp ap flour

2.5 tsp baking powder

8 extra-large eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

14.5 oz unsalted butter, melted

2.75 cups powdered sugar

.25 cup light brown sugar, packed

3 Tbsp honey

In an electic mixer w/a whisk mix melted butter w/powdered sugar untill smooth, add brown sugar and honey. Add half of the flour/baking powder mixture, mix on low till smooth. Whisk together eggs and vanilla and gradually add w/ mixer on low, scraping sides and bottom of the mixing bowl till smooth. Add remaining flour. Refrigerate the batter at least 4 hrs or up to 2 days.

Butter and flour the pans, chill to set butter, fill each well 3/4 full, freeze for 10 mis and bake at 375F for 22-26 mins till golden brown. this recipe makes 35 madeleines.

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made more madeleines today, used recipe from paris sweets by dorie greenspan. the texture is lighter but the humps are less obvious than in p. rigo's recipe, will try her chocolate recipe next.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I made 4 recipes, 3 from Bellouets petite four book and the traditional lemon version from Dorie Greenspan. Bellouets were good......not great. His flavoring is so subtle that they're lost by taste alone. I made his pistachio version because I love p. paste- anyway if any of you make this add some food coloring......the natural color looks very unappealing.

I was more excited by Dories recipe. I think I will try each flavor from her book Paris Sweets. I got HUGE domes. I let the batter sit in the cooler for 4 days before I had time to finish using it. It bubbles up alot in the bowl but baked out fine.

I also experimented with silicone molds verses non-stick and reg. aluminum. I much prefered the silicone baked madeleines. I love the extra depth of the pan and I think that factor plus the tighter crumbed top leaves your madelienes moister then traditional pans. No matter which pan I use I don't think you can get a decent mini madeliene. There just isn't enough volume to remain moist. Both full sized and mini's were too dry if you let them take on any color at all.

So I have these as my monthly special as I mentioned earilier on thread........and we do a tasting for the waitstaff on these. My chef came back to me after the tasting with the comments being "they're a bit dry".........no one was very thrilled over this dessert. At first I was bumbed out. Now I have mixed thoughts. 1. I never found the excitement over these myself as I've read from others. In otherwords I agree they aren't really anything special. 2. Perhaps it's just not an American item. We wouldn't be caught dead eating plain lady fingers either.

To compromise, I've desided that brushing them with simple syrup after baking greatly increases it's appeal. I've haven't had time to flavor my s.s. but thats the next step I will take. So far my sales on this have been horrible...........so I need to rethink how I'm serving these. They totally need an accompaniment for my clientele.

I feel left out, cause I feel the same way about traditional macaroons..........I want to love them like everyone else-but really when it comes down to it, I'd rather eat an oreo.

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I want to love them like everyone else-but really when it comes down to it, I'd rather eat an oreo.

Wendy! Say it ain't so! :shock:


By the way, if you still want to try the mini madeleines, I would increase the oven temperature about 50 degrees and bake them very quickly. That way they won't have time to dry out all the way through before they're done. In fact, you might try that with the larger ones for a moister finish.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Several of my all-time fav. Madeleine sponge flavours are Lavender, Lemon-Almond, Pistachio, and Emily Luchetti's rich Brown-Butter version provides a delicate nutty flavour & aroma. Also, Chocolate-Frosted Orange Madeleines (qualifiying as something of a guilty pleasure because they remind me of... Orange Lu Pim's!)

Please consider these preparation tips:

*Be certain to butter-&-flour the moulds – and invert the pans in order to rap them briskly to remove excess flour!

*Whisk the eggs & sugar until the mixture is tepid (about 98° F.) promptly remove from the heat. Don't beat the eggs too much or you'll lessen the sought-after hump on the Madelienes.

*Use cake flour for a more tender texture.

*Be as gentle as possible when sifting the flour over the batter and folding it into the batter. (It really does not have to be completely incorporated; the less you can deflate the eggs when folding in the flour & cooled butter, the lighter your Madeleines will become. It is the butter, mind you, that is the real balloon-popper.)

*Spoon the batter into the moulds until only ¾ full.

*I quite agree w/ the contributor on this thread who recommeded a higher-than-usually-suggested oven temp. Preheat to the 425° to 450° F. range. Healy & Bugat (The French Cookie Book) go for a 475° F. oven! High temps ensure that a crust forms on the outside before the inside sets.

*After removing the pans from the oven, take the cookies out of the moulds immediately, by rapping the upside-down pan sharply on a work surface: the Madeleines ought to come tumbling out.

*Dust the Madeleines w/ powdered sugar while they are still warm, they again when cool.

*The authentic Proustian tea to drink w/ Madeleines is...Lime-Leaf. Then, expectantly, await a flood of memories to wash over your mind.

Edited by Redsugar (log)

"Dinner is theater. Ah, but dessert is the fireworks!" ~ Paul Bocuse

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  • 8 months later...

Hi, Everybody?

I am a big fan of this french cookie or cake.

I've been making these for my son pretty often.

Even though he loves them, I am not happy with the result.

Anybody has a good tip for making madeleines or a good recipe for a perfect madeline?




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Chris Thank you for welcoming me.

Le codon blue recipe looks simple and I can try it right away.

Hi Ellen, Thank you for the recipe.

I notice Gale Gand uses Brown butter. I guess brown butter makes better taste for madeleine.

I 've never made it with brown butter. I will try this too.

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You can call me madeleins hunter, since i`'m searching for the best recipe. Recently i found a recipe in boston.com from a cooking school (you need

to register first) , my familly swear that its the best , they even told me to open a bakery :biggrin:

Happy Baking.

Edited by ALTAF (log)
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Love all Madeleine.

As 4 da tip:

Forget brown or white sugar or the trillion recipes available.

iTS da eggs!!!

Are you using Extra Fresh Eggs?

You must use extra fresh eggs for Madeleine as it does affect both texture and taste.

Do not refrigerate or wash the eggs and use at room temp and ALWAYS extra fresh eggs.

Try it.

BTW. Nice pics

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ALTAF, Thank you for the tip but I could not find madeleine recipe in Boston.com. (I registerd)

The recipe uses brown butter? or just melted butter?

baking powder or not?

I am so curious.

Please tell me more about recipe.

Thank you.


Fresh Fresh eggs~ where are they? :biggrin:

I usually get eggs from Whole Food.

Thank you for the advise, I will pay more attention for eggs.

Edited by mukbo (log)
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The key for me has been raising the temp above what most recipes recommend. I usually bake them at 425. I know 'true' madeleines are supposed to be sorta dry (for dunking), but after having some incredibly great ones at a place called Django in Philadelphia, I've decided the best madeleines are crisp on the outside and moist inside. I still can't make them as well as Django, though. I've seen a few recipes that call for milk, which I've been considering trying.

Chris Sadler

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I made Earl Grey Madeleines using Paris Sweets.

She got the recipe from Mariage Freres tea salon.

I expected sweet smell of earl gery in my madeleine but mine dose not have much of it.

According to the recipe, tea should be infused in the melted butter.

It didn't seem to work very well.

Did Anyone try this recipe?

(I did not use Earl Grey Imperiale from Mariage Frees but used good earl grey. )

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I thought the madeleine recipes in Paris Sweets were the best I've made or tasted anywhere, to date. I didn't make the earl grey flavored one though. The core recipe for the madeleines are perfect so you need to adjust your flavoring to the taste you want.

I don't think these should be crisp on the outside at all. If you reach that your inside is bound to be dryish.....I'm definately wondering what that bakery in Philly is doing. I bake them until they just done and barely begin to take on color to retain their moisture when they've cooled off.

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Any one got a good chocolate madeleins recipe. I tried the one in "the Good cookie"  by tish boyle cook book........ it was dry, the author mentioned it was made for dunking.

Pierre Herme's chocolate book. See the thread by that name in this forum.

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I have tried several dozen madeleine recipes in the last two months, many of my own invention, including one I worked out via e-mail with Herve This involving a frozen center and liquid outside to produce a crisp exterior and molten interior, similar to Bras' coulant. The Mariage Freres recipe I found a tad cakey.

What are you trying to accomplish with your madeleine, and what flavor? Really, only lemon is worth making to me.

Edited by gfron1 (log)
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  • 6 months later...

Checked all the madeleine threads on eG but all the talk is about the usual sweet versions. I'd like to find some recipes for savory madeleines so I can offer up a couple of different kinds for a buffet. Anyone have a favorite recipe to share? ... or a basic formula I could use to adapt for various flavorings?


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