In addition to lady fingers (aka boudoirs in French), madeleines are the perfect little cakes you give to young children. But like Proust, every adult has a little madeleine story (au propre comme au figuré, non?)
While children would eat them for their gouter, adults are more and more tempted to eat them with their after-lunch espresso... or with a cup of tea over the week-end... or with no special reason! I even know people who have them for breakfast instead of the traditional tartines de confitures!
We grew up eating madeleines while we were with my grand-parents in Normandy. My grand-father was spending part of his summer near Semur-en-Auxois in Burgundy and every year, on his way back, he'd stop at the Biscuiterie du Mistral to stock on madeleines (and other butter cookies). I had not had madeleines for a while until this past summer when one of my cousins ordered cookies direct from the biscuiterie via internet! So yes, all of us, now adults, were savouring these little treasures while rememoring good old times! And children were starting to build their own memories!
Proust did not make madeleines famous in France but did contribute to making them more popular overseas. I long for a good madeleine once in a while and I recently realized that I needed to bake them more often so that my children start to appreciate them more (seeing them loving those double-sided cream cookies makes me
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup (125 gr) sugar
- 1/3 cup (80ml) meyer lemon syrup (make this first)
- zest from 2 lemons
- 2 cups minus 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1.5 stick(12 tablespoons or 180g) melted salted butter, cooled to room temperature
Meyer Lemon Syrup
- 100ml lemon juice
- 1 cup sugar
- Prepare the syrup:
- Cook the lemon juice and sugar over low-medium heat so that it turns into a syrup and reduces in volume.
- Reserve and cool entirely!
- Prepare the dough
- In a bowl, beat the sugar and eggs together until light and fluffy
- Add the cold syrup, the zest and stir well
- Sift the flour and baking powder together.
- Gently stir in the dry ingredients into the wet until fully incorporated.
- Pour the melted butter and stir until smooth.
- Cover with a piece of plastic wrap, making sure that the plastic touches the dough to avoid crust forming
- Chill in the fridge for at least a couple of hours. The longer the better!
- When ready to bake:
- Preheat oven to 450F (225C)
- Butter and flour madeleine molds
- Fill the molds about 2/3.
- Bake in the oven for 6 minutes
- Lower the temperature to 400F (200C), open the door and cook for another 2-4 minutes
- Remove them from the oven when the edges are brown and the top springs back when touched.
- Cool before serving.My Personal comments:
- I like to make the syrup in the evening, then the dough in the morning to let it rest all day before baking. Alternatively, you could make the syrup in the morning, the dough in the afternoon and let it rest overnight in the fridge.