Lemon Vanilla Madeleines | How to make French Madeleines are light, buttery tea cakes, often thought of as cookies and they can be recognized by their scalloped shell shape. It is kind of ribbed on one side and a small hump on the other side. They have a wonderfully moist crumb and a slightly crisp edge. They are best eaten when they fresh and warm out of the oven. 

Lemon Vanilla Madeleines | How to make French Madeleines

Lemon Vanilla Madeleines | How to make French Madeleines can be made with a variety of different flavors but the classic lemon-vanilla combination is just a favorite amongst many, and rightfully so! It has the most amazing aroma as they bake, citrusy and so summery. These dainty little cookie like cakes are the perfect tea time offering. They are most often than not, dusted with some powdered sugar just before they are served warm, straight out of the oven. One could also glaze them with a light lemony sugar syrup. They taste the best on the first day when they are baked.

Their origin can be traced back to French town Commercy, Lorraine somewhere in the 18th century. I read somewhere that these dainty little confectioneries were served to Stanislaw Lezczynski, Duke of Lorraine. He liked them so much that he named them “Madeleines” after the girl who made them. Well, that is the little story behind these delicious bites.

Lemon Vanilla Madeleines | How to make French Madeleines

Lemon Vanilla Madeleines | How to make French Madeleines have a very light texture. This is because of the recipe used for making them involves making a genoise,  it is a sponge cake like batter. Like most sponges, it starts with the usual steps of beating eggs with sugar, followed by adding sifted flour and so on. The slight difference when making a genoise batter is that we add melted warm butter which gives a lot airiness to the end product, Madeleines, in this case. The melted butter should be warm so that it mixes well with batter and does not create streaks of flour.

These little cakes are unique for a reason, it is the shape. They are baked in scalloped shaped forms that gives them the ribbed patterns on one side and the tiny hump on the other. Although if you don’t have the classic Madeleine pan, use mini muffin tin or mini pie tins. It is crucial to properly butter and flour the forms/ tins so that they release as soon as they come out of the oven. 

The batter for the Madeleines can be used immediately post whipping it, you will neither get the correct texture nor the small humps. So the batter needs to rest and chill in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 hours before you can bake them. This batter can be stored for up to 2-3 days in the refrigerator, just keep it a bowl and cover it with a cling wrap. But do not store it beyond that because the Madeleines won’t have the perfect texture and they will lack the flavor.

I have been baking them for years following Joy of Baking and my suggestion us that you only bake as many Madeleines you plan to serve at one go, keep the remaining batter for 2-3 days and bake them in batches. But incase you baked them all in one go, you can store them for up to 48 hours post baking and cooling them in an airtight container. If you plan on serving them right away, only then dust them with sugar, else store them as is and dust them just when serving them.

Lemon Vanilla Madeleines | How to make French Madeleines

Let us bake some Lemon Vanilla Madeleines | How to make French Madeleines, they are fun and easy but a little technical so follow closely.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Keep it aside but it must be kept slightly warm.

In a mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Set that aside.

In another mixing bowl, beat the eggs with the sugar for 4-5 minutes (I use an electrical whisk) or until the mixture is pale and thick.

Lemon Vanilla Madeleines | How to make French

Beat in the vanilla extract and lemon zest next. Beat again for a minute.

Then add 1/2 of the sift flour into the beaten eggs. Fold gently using a silicon spatula.

Fold in the remaining sifted flour. Again, gently fold in the flour. Do not over mix as that could deflate the batter.

The batter looks like this. ( Refer the picture below).

Lemon Vanilla Madeleines | How to make French

Now, add the warm (not hot) melted butter to the batter and again gently fold everything together.

Lemon Vanilla Madeleines | How to make French

Cover the batter with a cling wrap and refrigerate for 2-3 hours. Refer the picture below, this is what the batter looks like before refrigeration.

Lemon Vanilla Madeleines | How to make French

This is the texture of the batter after 2.5 hours of refrigeration.

Lemon Vanilla Madeleines | How to make French

Preheat the oven at 190’c. Generously butter and flour the molds. This is an important step. The molds need to be greased well else the Madeleines will stick to them post baking. Refrigerate the pans till the butter hardens completely, it take about 7-8 minutes.

Lemon Vanilla Madeleines | How to make French

Fill each mold with 1 tbsp. of the batter into the center of each greased and floured mold. Do not spread the batter. Just leave it mounded in the center of each mold.

Bake the Madeleines for 11-12 minutes or until the edges are crisp and slightly browned and the centers spring back a little when touched.  Please note each oven works differently so bake them accordingly. do not over them as they can quickly turn very dry.

Lemon Vanilla Madeleines | How to make French

Once they are  baked, remove them from the oven immediately, tap the molds and release the Madeleines. Cool them for 5-10 minutes on a wired rack and serve them warm. You can dust them with some sugar. You can store them for up to 48 hours post baking them in an airtight container. Ensure that they completely cool before you store them in the container.

Lemon Vanilla Madeleines | How to make French Madeleines
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Lemon Vanilla Madeleines | How to make French Madeleines

French Madeleines are light, buttery tea cakes, often thought of as cookies and they can be recognized by their scalloped shell shape. It is kind of ribbed on one side and a small hump on the other side. They have a wonderfully moist crumb and a slightly crisp edge. They are best eaten when they fresh and warm out of the oven.

Course Breakfast, Brunch, Dessert, Tea Time
Cuisine French
Prep Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 42 minutes
Servings 24 Madeleines
Author Shreya Ashish Tiwari

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup all purpose flour maida
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 nos. large eggs at romm temp.
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar you can 2 tbsp more of sugar if you like them sweeter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp freshly grated lemon zest
  • sugar to dust suggested serving

Instructions

  1. In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Keep it aside but it must be kept slightly warm.

  2. In a mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Set that aside.

  3. In another mixing bowl, beat the eggs with the sugar for 4-5 minutes (I use an electrical whisk) or until the mixture is pale and thick.
  4. Beat in the vanilla extract and lemon zest next. Beat again for a minute.

  5. Then add 1/2 of the sift flour into the beaten eggs. Fold gently using a silicon spatula.

  6. Fold in the remaining sifted flour. Again, gently fold in the flour. Do not over mix as that could deflate the batter.

  7. Now, add the warm (not hot) melted butter to the batter and again gently fold everything together.

  8. Cover the batter with a cling wrap and refrigerate for 2-3 hours.  (refer to stepwise pictures above)

  9. Preheat the oven at 190'c. Generously butter and flour the molds. This is an important step. The molds need to be greased well else the Madeleines will stick to them post baking.

  10. Refrigerate the pans till the butter hardens completely, it take about 7-8 minutes.

  11. Fill each mold with 1 tbsp. of the batter into the center of each greased and floured mold. Do not spread the batter. Just leave it mounded in the center of each mold.

  12. Bake the Madeleines for 11-12 minutes or until the edges are crisp and slightly browned and the centers spring back a little when touched.

  13. Please note each oven works differently so bake them accordingly. do not over them as they can quickly turn very dry.

  14. Once they are baked, remove them from the oven immediately, tap the molds and release the Madeleines. Cool them for 5-10 minutes on a wired rack and serve them warm. You can dust them with some sugar.

  15. You can store them for up to 48 hours post baking them in an airtight container. Ensure that they completely cool before you store them in the container.

Love,
Shreya

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Lemon Vanilla Madeleines | How to make French Madeleines

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