I don’t know what compelled me to buy that madeleine pan. I don’t have a sweet tooth. I’m rubbish at baking, especially baking that requires finicky chemistry. I’m not usually swayed by housewares that have one use and one use only- like the pretty but ultimately not very versatile madeleine pan.
But here I was strolling through the aisles of my favourite cooking supply store and… it just kind of happened. I had had a Starbucks madeleine the previous day- one of those pre-fab curiosities made every day in El Paso, Texas and then shipped, individually wrapped, to ‘Buckies locations across North America. It was never going to be great. But wouldn’t you know- I kind of liked it! I kind of liked it a lot! These pretty, cakey, off-sweet little shells were really, really good! And MINE would be fresh out of the oven. Mine would be BETTER.
Now, these ARE very chemistry heavy sweets to make but even if you don’t achieve that classic madeleine ‘hump’ on the underside the first time around, they will still taste utterly delicious! Unless your friends are baking aficionados or mega-fans of Marcel Proust, it is likely no one will notice. Plus, while you practice achieving that legendary ‘hump’ just think of all the tasty little cakes you’ll get to sample!
This recipe is based off of Julia Child’s classic Madeleines de Commercy recipe. I added finely chopped dried cherries and a splash of amaretto to switch things up. That is the beauty of the madeleine- you can make it in any flavour you like from lemon to lavender to chocolate! I have even heard of savoury madeleine recipes like rosemary parmesan, but alas that’s an adventure for another day…
|Cherry-Amaretto Madeleines|| |
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- ⅔ cup sugar
- 1 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour (+ 1 Tbs)
- ½ cup unsalted butter (+ 1 Tbs)
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 tsp Amaretto or almond extract
- ¼ cup dried cherries, finely chopped
- 50 g good quality dark chocolate (optional)
- Melt the butter in a saucepan. If you like you can brown the butter slightly for a nuttier flavour but take care not to over-brown it. Set aside to cool slightly.
- In a medium bowl, mix one cup of the flour and the sugar, and set aside.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the two eggs with the vanilla, salt and amaretto until the eggs are frothy.
- And the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and, using a spatula, stir until just combined. Take care not to over-stir.
- Add the cooled melted butter and chopped cherries and stir. It may take a minute for the butter to blend into the mixture but once again, take extra care not to over mix.
- Rest the batter. Cover the bowl and place in the refrigerator to rest at least one hour and up to overnight.
- Prepare the madeleine pan with the extra Tbs of butter and flour- butter each shell-shaped mold and dust lightly with flour, tapping off any excess. Place the pans in the freezer for at least an hour.
- Preheat the oven and fill pans. Preheat the oven to 359°F. Remove the batter from the refrigerator and thepan from the freezer. Fill each mold with approximately 1 Tbs of the batter.
- Bake the madeleines for 10-15 minutes until the edges are browning and the middle is puffed up slightly. Using your forefinger, press lightly on the center hump- when the madeleines are finished baking, it should spring back at your touch.
- Remove the madeleines from the oven and let cool for 2 minutes. Then, using a fork, gently loosen the madeleines from their molds and arrange onto a cooling rack or tea towel.
- Many people like to dust their finished madeleines with a touch of confectioner's sugar but for these cherry versions I melted up some good dark chocolate and dipped half of each little cake.
- Madeleines are best eaten within a day of being made and go great with tea and coffee. Store in an airtight container if needed.