I have made Madeleines a few times over the years, always following Gale Gand’s recipe and they turned out alright; no one ever returned one saying they didn’t like it. This time however, I went to the Joy of Baking and I am much happier with the results. Their recipe called for making the batter the day before and refrigerating the batter overnight; both recipes called for buttering and flouring the Madeleine molds, but this step is to make sure that your Madeleines don’t stick, not change the taste or texture.
The ingredient list for Madeleines isn’t very long; 1 cup of sifted unbleached flour, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 8 tbsp of melted butter, 3 eggs, 1/2 cup of sugar, 2 tbsp packed brown sugar, 1 tsp vanilla and lemon zest.
The eggs, sugars, vanilla and lemon zest, I beat on med-high speed for at least 10 minutes until they were light, creamy and thick. I folded the flour mixture lightly into the beaten eggs and sugar and then I put the melted butter into a small bowl, folded a bit of the batter into it, whisked the two together and then folded that back into the batter. Once everything was gently folded together and homogenous, I covered the bowl with aluminum foil and pop into the fridge.
I found and both the baby boy and my hubby said it as well; these Madeleines seem lighter and spongier, maybe it was the resting in the chilled environment of the refrigerator that made the difference or the gentle folding at every step, either way I have found my new favorite recipe and technique for making Madeleines.
They aren’t the prettiest, but they are quite tasty. I would say that making a pot of coffee and enjoying one or two Madeleines on a cold day makes the work involved baking these little cakes or cookies definitely worth it.