I love madeleines, they are one of the most iconic French pastries. When I received the book French Appetizers from Marie, the fellow Canadian food blogger of Food Nouveau I was so excited to try the Spiced Madeleines with Salted Caramel Sauce recipe. Marie is so inspirational in many ways, she is a mother, she shares many great recipes on her food blog, and French Appetizers is already her second book. I have also written a post on her first book on Sesame Kumquat Financiers. Let’s get started with the madeleine recipe!
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup heavy cream, divided
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- Scraped seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean, 1 tsp vanilla bean paste, or 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp flaky sea salt (such as fleur de sea flakes or another smooth-tasting sea salt)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/2 tsp ground allspice
- 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- Pinch of kosher salt
- 3 eggs
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp finely grated orange zest (about 1/2 orange)
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature (plus more for butter the madeleine pan)
- Add the water and sugar to a medium stainless steel saucepan. (I used a copper one, it cooks sugar much faster and easier.) Set pan over medium heat and stir until the sugar fully melts. Bring the mixture to a boil and let it roll, gently swirling the pan from time to time, until the sugar turns to a beautiful amber color. Remove the heat and then whisk in 1/4 cup of the cream. (Be careful as the mixture will release hot steam and bubble up significantly.) Return pan to the heat and bring back to a boil, whisking constantly. Whisk in the butter, vanilla, and salt, then stir in the remaining cream. Cook for 2 minutes, until thickened and smooth. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a glass jar. Serve immediately or refrigerate in an airtight jar for up to 1 week. Rewarm before serving.
- In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cardamom, allspice, nutmeg, and salt; set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs and sugar together for 3 minutes, or until the eggs are pale and fluffy. Mix in the zest and vanilla. With the mixer running at slow speed, drizzle the butter unto the batter, mixing just to incorporate. Using a spatula, add the reserved dry ingredients, 1/3 at a time, folding between each addition until just incorporated. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate the batter for 30 minutes to 1 hour, or up to overnight. *I usually like to transfer my madeleine batter to a clean container with a tight-fitting lid and age it overnight the flour and moisture fully saturate and for the flavours to develop.
- Preheat oven tp 400 F. Brush a madeleine mold with butter, making sure the butter gets into every nook and cranny. Sprinkle the pan with flour and shake off the excess. (A small sieve would be handy for this.) Place the pan in the freezer for 10 minutes.
- Take the prepared madeleine mold out of the freezer. Take the batter out of the refrigerator. Using a spatula, gently mix the batter to relax it and remove the excess bubbles that may have formed while resting. Fill each shell-shaped cavity with about 2 heaping teaspoons of batter for regular madeleines, or a scant 1 teaspoon for mini madeleines (the cavities should be about 2/3 full). Return the remaining batter to the refrigerator.
- Bake the regular madeleines for 12 minutes or mini madeleines for 8 minutes, or until puffed and golden. Unmold as soon as you take the madeleines out of the oven by turning the mold upside down and tapping an edge of the pan against the working surface. Gently coax uncooperative madeleines out with the tip of a butter knife.
- To bake the remaining madeleines, clean the pan, lightly grease and flour again to the freezer for 10 minutes, fill with more batter, and bake as indicated.
- Serve the madeleines warm or room temperature with Salted Caramel Sauce on the side. Madeleines are best served the day they are baked. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days, or freeze up to 1 month. To return the madeleines to their freshly baked state, bring to room temperature before warming in a 300 F oven for 6-8 minutes.
Madeleines get their signature appearance from the shell pan, which is widely available online or at kitchen supply stores. What I love about this recipe is the salted caramel sauce. Madeleines are the best eaten warm, or within an hour after baking. Their buttery flavour and tender crumb are my favourite characteristics. They tend to get a little dry a little while after baking, which is why the caramel sauce is so great. It adds a wonderful flavour to the light spice, and makes the little cakes even more enjoyable.
French appetizers has a great deal of creative savoury and sweet recipes for French apéro. (There are even recipes like Tapenade and Parmesan Madeleines and Savoury Palmiers!) Most recipes are quite easy to follow and are in smaller bite-size portions, perfect with a drink or two. Not to mention its beautiful photography.
Who is ready for a giveaway? I am giving away a copy of French Appetizers by Marie Asselin! To enter, comment below on one appetizer you always have at your apéro hour before Friday, May 3, 2019, 11:59 pm PST. Follow me, Marie on Instagram, and tag a friend for extra entries. The giveaway is open to Canadian and US readers. I will randomly pick a winner on Saturday, May 4, 2019, good luck!
[Update May 9, 2019: Thanks for entering. Congratulations Linda, you have won a copy of this French Appetizers!][Update May 13, 2019: Congratulations Vienna, you have won a copy of this French Appetizers!]