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Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a cooling rack with waxed paper or a Silpat.
Melt the butter in a small pan and transfer to a small bowl to cool. Very lightly brush a nonstick madeleine mold with the melted butter, making sure butter does not collect in the grooves, and dust with flour.
In a small bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Place the eggs in a large bowl. Whisk with an electric mixer at high speed until pale and thick, about 2 minutes. Slowly add the sugar, liqueur, and vanilla extract and continue whisking at high speed until well incorporated.
Add half of the flour mixture to the egg mixture. Fold it in carefully. Then add half of the melted butter, folding carefully. Repeat again and fold until the flour and butter have been just incorporated. Do not overmix.
Spoon the batter into the prepared mold. Bake until risen and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from the oven and carefully invert onto the cooling rack. The madeleines should pop right out. Once cooled to room temperature, dust with powdered sugar and serve.
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg white
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch-process
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 3 tablespoons canola oil
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon instant coffee granules, or 2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest
- 1 ounce bittersweet (not unsweetened) chocolate or confectioners' sugar, for decoration
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a madeleine pan with cooking spray. Dust with flour, shaking out excess.
Place whole egg and egg white in a mixing bowl and set the bowl in a larger pan of hot water to warm while you are preparing the remaining ingredients. Stir the eggs occasionally.
Sift cocoa, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a mixing bowl set aside. Combine buttermilk and oil in a small bowl set aside.
Take the egg bowl off the water, add sugar and beat with an electric mixer on high speed until the mixture is thickened and pale, about 5 minutes. (The beaters should leave a ribbon trail when lifted.) Blend in vanilla and coffee (or orange zest). Alternately fold the dry ingredients and the buttermilk mixture into the egg mixture with a rubber spatula, making 3 additions of dry ingredients and 2 additions of liquid.
Drop the batter by tablespoonfuls into the prepared pan, filling each depression about three-quarters full you will use about half of the batter. Bake until tops of the madeleines spring back when touched lightly, 12 to 15 minutes. Immediately loosen the cakes from the pan and invert onto a rack to cool. Clean and prepare the pan as above and repeat with the remaining batter.
If decorating with chocolate, melt it in a small bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water. Drizzle over the scalloped side of the madeleines. Alternatively, dust the madeleines with confectioners' sugar.
Make Ahead Tip: The madeleines are best eaten the day they are baked, but they can be wrapped and frozen for up to 1 month.
- First things first! To make this recipe, you will need a Madeleine mold. If you don’t already own one, here’s a link to the best madeleine pan.
- Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s discuss brown butter! Because it’s the very first step in this recipe and it’s an important one. To brown butter you’ll need a saute pan, butter, and a little patience. You’ll melt the butter as normal, then continue cooking it over medium heat – stirring occasionally – until it reaches a golden brown color. Watch your butter closely as it browns, because it can burn easily! Once it’s nice and golden brown, remove it from the heat and pour it into a heatproof bowl – being sure to scrape all of the golden bits off the bottom of the pan. And that’s it! Easy, right? You’ll want to do this step first because the butter needs to cool a bit before being added to the batter.
- Because cold ingredients don’t bond, your eggs must be at room temperature before using them in this recipe.
- One of the most important steps in this recipe is beating the eggs and sugar together. You’re going to want to gradually add the sugar into the eggs, and beat the mixture for a long time about 3 to 4 minutes. I find 3 and 1/2 minutes is my “magic number”, but visually you’ll want the mixture to be pale and very thick.
- And the hardest part of this recipe?! The waiting! The batter must be refrigerated for at least 4 hours. The good news? You can keep it in the fridge for up to 2 days!
- When it’s time to bake the madeleines, you’ll want to grease your mold generously with softened butter and a dusting of flour. Otherwise they’ll stick!
- Finally, be sure to keep an eye on them as they bake. They’re ready when their “bellies” have risen and they’re golden brown.
Verdina Anna / Getty Images
If vanilla isn't entirely traditional in Madeleine recipes, then chocolate certainly isn't! However, this chocolate madeleines recipe is undeniably delicious and they can be a welcome change from classic French Madeleines from time to time.
Madeleines, either plain or chocolate madeleines, are small shell shaped French buttery sponge cakes. They were first seen in the Lorraine region in the mid 18th century. The French eat madeleines in the morning for breakfast with coffee or tea and in the afternoon as a &ldquogouter&rdquo or snack.
Typically, the batter, also known as a genoise, is composed of flour, eggs, sugar, butter, and baking powder. I added cocoa, coffee, and rum to these chocolate madeleines to get a different result. Chocolate always makes life better or so it seems! Generally the madeleines are plain and may have a touch of vanilla, or the recipe may add ground nuts, especially almonds, or a teaspoon of finely grated lemon zest.
Marcel Proust, a french novelist in the 1920&rsquos, made madeleines famous in his book &ldquoRemembrances of Things Past.&rdquo In the autobiography, Proust relates how biting into the petite madeleine flooded him with memories of his childhood. Proust describes the madeleine as &rdquo looks as though they had been molded in the fluted valve of a scallop shell. &rdquo he continues to describe the experience as &rdquo an exquisite pleasure that invaded his senses.&rdquo
I couldn&rsquot agree more. Madelines are delicate and light and only need a sprinkling of powdered sugar after baking before serving. If you make plain madeleines, you may also choose to dip them in a little melted chocolate to give them a chocolate tip.
You will need a special metal pan that has 12 shell shaped indentations for each small cake. This is a traditional french cake batter but if it is not baked in this shell shaped pan, then they are not madeleines! I urge you to order a pan to add to your cooking and baking equipment. Madeleines are perfect with tea or coffee like my iced Hong Kong style coffee, yuanyang. If you can&rsquot eat them all, they also make lovely gifts when bagged and tied with a bright ribbon. Happy Easter!