Quick history lesson! Madeleines are believed to have been created in Commercy, France and are named after a 19th-century baker, Madeleine Paulmier. Another theory says that she may have been a cook in the 18th century for the king of Poland, whose son-in-law, Louis XV of France, named them after her. But Madeleiens are most associated with Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time.
All I know is that they are light and fluffy and are so much more customizable than you might think.
The process is pretty simple! You start out by melting the butter and setting it aside so it’s cool by the time you need to use it. Next, you’re going to mix together the sugar and eggs, then add in the flour and baking soda, and lastly, the extracts and melted butter. Most recipes I’ve seen say to add about a tablespoon of batter to the pans and bake immediately, but I have come across a few that say to chill the batter in the fridge for an hour before baking. I’ve tried both, and honestly, I couldn’t tell much of a difference. I think the chilled batter yielded a slightly softer madeleine, but you’ll get tasty results either way!
Tomorrow morning I’m making my first tv appearance and will be making these madeleines on the Talk of Alabama! My stomach is a big squirmy ball of nerves, but I’m super pumped at the same time. I’m going to split this batter into a few smaller bowls and make some different flavors. So if you’d like to learn more, tune in at 9am tomorrow morning!
Classic French Madeleines
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 cup butter melted and cooled
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tbsp lemon zest optional
- powdered sugar for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray two madeleine pans with non-stick spray.
- Place butter in a microwave safe dish and microwave in 30 second intervals until completely melted. Set aside to cool.
- Combine sugar and eggs in a bowl and mix on medium-low speed using an electric hand-held mixer. Mix well until slightly foamy. Next, add flour and baking soda, and mix until combined. Then add melted butter and vanilla extract. (And lemon zest if you want!)
- Add about one tablespoon of batter to each of the shell-shaped cavities on the madeleine pans. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until edges are golden brown and the tops of the madeleines no longer jiggle.
- Let the madeleines cool in the pans for a few minutes, then gently remove them from the pans with a knife and let them finish cooling on a wire rack. Dust with powdered sugar before serving!