When visiting my son’s godmother who lives in Paris, I came home with a Madeleine tray. You can of course buy them in many cook shops, but this one feels special because it was bought in their country of origin. They were first made as early as the 18th century and named after their maker.
The first time I made these I followed the recipe exactly. The second time, I increased the butter because it was just a little bit dry. Also for some reason they were more delicious shortly after they were made, so if you are going to keep them, put them in a sealed container unlike me who left them out. Granny Dot suggests brushing them with jam or sprinkling with nuts or dessicated coconut. I sprinkled sugar on half of them and added jam to the other half; both very good, the former reminiscent of Savoiardi Lady’s Fingers.
In the words of Granny Dot:
‘ Ingredients. – 2 eggs, 3 ozs. of flour; 1 oz. of margarine; 1/2 teaspoonful of baking powder; 2 ozs of sugar; grated rind of half a lemon; flavouring essence.
Method – Break the eggs into a basin, whisk a little, add the sugar and whisk until thick and cramy. Sieve the flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt, and stir lightly to the eggs alternatively with the melted margarine, add the lemon rind and flavouring and put into small greased tins. Bake in a quick oven about 12 minutes. Turn out on to a sieve, and when cold brush over with a little jam rubbed through a hair sieve, or with a little dissolved red currant or crab apple jelly. Sprinkle with desiccated cocoanut, or chopped almonds or walnuts.’
(The Daily Mail Cookery Book, 1922, Mrs C.S. Peel)
3 oz flour (I used Italian 00 flour which is very fine and light.)
3/4 tsp baking powder
2 oz sugar
2.5oz melted butter, cooled a little
1. Whisk up the sugar and the eggs until light and fluffy.
2. Add the flour, baking powder and grated lemon zest.
3. Add the butter.
4. Put the mixture into a buttered Madeleine tray if you have one, or a Yorkshire pudding tray perhaps, or a cupcake tray. Let it rest while the oven heats up. (You will be in trouble if you do not butter the tray, unless it is non stick but for confidence I would still lightly butter anyway as I did once forget and it was impossible to remove them.)
5. Heat the oven to 200 degrees C.
6. Sprinkle sugar on top (I used golden caster sugar) if you like, or nuts, or whatever you like. If you are adding jam, do so when they are hot after baking.
7. Put the tray in the oven for 10 minutes.
8. Remove from the tray and let them cool, or eat warm. Seal very well if keeping. They will not be good for long.