Feeling fancy? Create a little bit of France in your own kitchen with these lovely, easy pastries. Small sponge cakes baked in special shell-shaped baking tins, madeleines will really dress us your holiday buffet or brunch table. (Or your desk on your coffee break.)
Are you wondering who Madeleine was? Nobody knows, but this cake appeared in western Europe in the late 1700s and is popular today, in various incarnations, in France, Spain, Britain and Poland.
We used toasted and finely chopped hazelnuts, but you can substitute almonds, pecans or even macademia nuts and achieve a tasty result. Be sure not to overbake - the delicate genoise sponge cakes dry out quickly!
Properly baked, the cakes will have a small "belly" on the non-shaped side. If you overfill the tins and the cakes spill over the tops of the pan, you can trim the edges with a pair of clean scissors.
This recipe makes about 24 standard size madeleines.
ingredients & special equipment
There are a number of shapes, materials and sizes for madeleine pans. We used a traditional size and shape pan with a non-stick coating. You may also keep an eye out at second-hand shops, as it's frequently a rarely used baking pan and takes up space. If you're interested in the pan we used, you can click on the image below and be transferred to Amazon.
If you order this pan after transferring, we will receive a small referral fee.
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