This post comes to us courtesy of food blogger Margie Tsai.
“Madeleine,” said my husband suddenly.
“Madeleine, who?” I replied, half paying attention.
“No, madeleines! You remember, on our honeymoon, that cafe in Paris with the espresso and those shell cookies?”
Oh yes, I remember: a crisp November afternoon, a sidewalk cafe in Paris on the Champs-Élysées, two espressos with madeleine cookies. In all fairness, they’re not actually cookies. Madeleines are actually small spongy cakes with a distinctive shell-like molding on one side. They originate from the northeastern region of France.
After our honeymoon, I purchased two nonstick madeleine pans. The pans have performed beautifully throughout the years; the tinned steel heats evenly and efficiently, ensuring a wonderful crispy exterior to the cakes. The dark non-stick surface helps the madeleines release as easily now as they did when I first purchased the pan — just tip the pan over, and they pop out.
I make a batch every year for our anniversary. The first batch fresh out of the oven always brings back memories of that Paris cafe. Over the years, I’ve tried all different flavors: classic with orange blossom water, honey, chocolate. My favorite substitutes the orange blossom water for the zest of half of a Meyer lemon. I prefer Meyer lemons to regular lemons because they provide a slightly sweeter, milder lemon flavor with less acidity. The result is a perfect, subtly flavored petite cake without the floral note that orange blossom water often brings.
What’s your favorite madeleine recipe? Here are some delicious ones to try:
About the author: Being an engineer at heart, Margie Tsai has developed a passion for kitchen gadgets. Over the years, she has amassed quite a collection and is always on the lookout for new kitchen Tools, Electrics, Cookware or “kitchenTECH”. Margie hopes that someday she will have a gourmet kitchen large enough to house all of her kitchenTECH.