Thursday, 20 February 2014

Hear My Prayer

Madeleines are little French butter cake that most people think of more as a cookie. Crisp on the outside and soft on the inside, it is a perfect accompaniment to your afternoon cup of tea.
David Lebovitz in his madeleines post, gives precise instructions on how to bake the perfect madeleines.

  •  Follow his recipe.
  •  Use double acting baking powder (optional)
  •  Freeze the prepared molds.
  • Chill the batter for at least 3 hours in advance.
  • Do not spread the batter once you scooped it in.
  • Use a non stick pan.
Well, I did follow his instructions to the T, with care and patience, and was duly rewarded with these delicate fluted shaped buttery cakes.

The history of madeleines and their name is much debated. One story was told of a young girl named Madeleine who baked these scallop shelled cakes for pilgrims to pay their respect at the burial site of Saint Jacques in Spain. The scallop shell  is the traditional symbol of Saint Jacques. You could use another pan if you like,  but then they wouldn't be madeleines.

Whatever the history is, madeleines are simple and elegant cakes which would not be lost in the company of many lavish and elaborate pastries of today.

Lemon Glazed Madeleines
24 cookies

3 large eggs, at room temperature
130g granulated sugar
1/8 rounded tsp salt
175g flour
1 tsp baking powder, optional
zest of one small lemon
120g unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature, plus additional melted butter for preparing the molds.

150g icing sugar
1 tablespoon freshly-squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons water


  • Brush the indentations of a madeleine mold with melted butter. Dust with flour, tap off any excess, and place in the fridge or freezer.
  • In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, whip the eggs, granulated sugar, and salt for 5 minutes until frothy and thickened.
  • Spoon the flour and baking powder, if using, into a sifter or mesh strainer and use a spatula to fold in the flour as you sift it over the batter. (Rest the bowl on a damp towel to help steady it for you).
  • Add the lemon zest to the cooled butter, then dribble the butter into the batter, a few spoonfuls at a time, while simultaneously folding to incorporate the butter. Fold just until all the butter is incorporated.
  • Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (Batter can be chilled for up to 12 hours.)
  • To bake the madeleines, preheat the oven to  425F (220C).
  • Plop enough batter in the center of each indentation with enough batter which you think will fill it by 3/4's (you'll have to eyeball it, but it's not brain-surgery so don't worry if you're not exact). Do not spread it.
  • Bake for 8-9 minutes or until the cakes just feel set. While the cakes are baking, make a glaze in a small mixing bowl by stirring together the icing sugar,lemon juice, and water until smooth.
  • Remove from the oven and tilt the madeleines out onto a cooling rack. The moment they're cool enough to handle, dip each cake in the glaze, turning them over to make sure both sides are coated and scrape off any excess with a dull knife. After dipping,rest each one back on the cooking rack, scalloped side up, until the cakes are cool and the glaze has firmed up.
Storage: Glazed madeleines are best left uncovered, or not tightly-wrapped;they're best eaten the day they're made. They can be kept in a container for up to three days after baking, if necessary. I don't recommend freezing them since the glaze will melt.
Batter can be kept in the fridge for two days.

Linking this post to Little Thumbs Up "LEMON" hosted by Grace, Life Can Be Simple. Organised by Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids and Doreen of My Little Favourite DIY.

Psalm 39:12

Hear my prayer, LORD, listen to my cry for help; do not be deaf to my weeping. I dwell with you as a foreigner, a stranger, as all my ancestors were.


  1. I have sweet tooth but I must restrain myself or else my old colleagues and classmates won't be able to recognise me...haha.

  2. Hi Lian, lovely madeleines.
    I shall go and get the shell mold to do this :D

    1. Amy, I prefer the mini molds but can't find the non stick ones.

  3. I love the beautiful shapes of madeleines, and they're best warm from the oven! Love the wonderful aroma too.

    1. Oh yes, love the shape, so special I think.

  4. Hi Lian,
    Your madeleines looks wonderful! I love having madeleines with a cup of warm tea, there would be a big pot of tea ready as soon as the madeleines are out of the oven!
    I have just made some Lemon Madeleines too! Will post that soon!

    1. I had mine with a cup of tea too! So lovely when it was just warm. I would prefer them smaller though.

  5. Hi Lian,

    Your madeleines looks perfectly baked. I bought my mould for ages but have not do anything to them yet :p



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