Madeleines are delicious little sponge cakes and a classic French treat, for kids snack or grown-ups teatime alike. I have tried several recipes with mixed results (too lemony, too bland, too dense, hump-less) and finally came up with my own. The addition of brown sugar and maple syrup give my madeleines a nice golden color, as well as a subtle, yet distinctive flavor.
To me, the trick to achieving the ultimate “bosse” (hump) every time is to chill the batter and the pan (the thermal shock helps the batter rise quickly) and allow the batter to spread while baking (vs. filling and spreading the uncooked batter in the molds). Also, most recipes recommend to preheat oven to 425°F or even 450°F. At that temperature, my madeleines always ended up with a burnt bottom so 400°F is what works for me but you may have to experiment.
The madeleine pan, critical to get the traditional shell-like shape, can now be found in most stores. You don't need to buy several pans, just work in batches but make sure you cool, clean, butter, flour and chill pan between each batch.
Makes 24 madeleines
- 3 eggs = 3 oeufs
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons sugar = 75 g de sucre
- ¼ cup brown sugar (packed) = 50 g de vergeoise ou cassonade
- Pinch of salt = une pincée de sel
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup = 1 cuillère à soupe de sirop d'érable
- 1 cup all-purpose flour = 120 g de farine
- 1 teaspoon baking powder = 1 cuillère à café de levure chimique
- 10 tablespoons butter, softened + extra for greasing pan = 140 g de beurre, ramolli + extra pour graisser les moules
In bowl of standing mixer, beat together eggs and sugars for about 5 minutes. Add maple syrup and beat for one more minute. Sift flour, baking powder and salt together and gently fold it into the previous mixture. Add butter and mix until just combined. Cover with plastic wrap and chill batter in fridge for at least 2 hours.
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 400°F / 200°C. Brush madeleine molds with butter. Dust with flour; tap out excess. Place in the freezer for a few minutes. Drop 1 scant tablespoon batter into each mold.
Bake madeleines until golden about 9-10 minutes. Immediately remove from pan and cool on a wire rack. Enjoy!