Yes, I know! Strictly speaking Madeleines are not an Italian sweet treat. So what are they doing in my Authentic Italian food blog, you may rightfully ask?
It’s one of the best known, most loved French buttery delight, but the geographical vicinity with France, the French influence in Val D’Aosta and Piedmont, both in language and cuisine and the fact that Italy and France have been calling one another “cousins” for centuries makes me feel entitled to love and share this recipe with you.
Also, the batter itself is a Génoise cake batter …
Génoise means “from Genoa”, the main city of Liguria, in Italy, another reason why Italians claim this sweet as, partially, theirs…
The recipe is fairly simple. It’s a combination of the usual suspects: self-raising flour, eggs, sugar, butter, lemon and vanilla.
The secret to a perfectly moist and soft Madeleine though, is in the time you allow for the batter to rest.
I have had a few failures with these lovely, shell-shaped nuggets and it was only after reading the Roux bothers cook-book, the bible of French dessert, that I realized that even cakes need their beauty sleep! And I’m not talking about a power-nap. The batter needs to rest for a minimum of 6 hours, up to 24.
So, if you have an instant craving for Madeleines, think again. But if you are prepared to make this batter today and bake your sweets in the morning, by the time you’ve had a shower, you’ll be able to dunk a few warm ones in your morning coffee.
Believe me, it is worth it.
3 whole eggs at room temperature
100 gr sugar (half a cup)
2 tbsp honey
120 gr of butter (3/4 of a cup)
175 gr (1 1/2 cups) of sieved self-raising flour
Grated rind of one large lemon, or two small ones
Vanilla paste or essence (or seeds, if you have them)
Melt the butter over low heat and add the grated lemon zest. Turn off the heat and set aside.
Whisk the eggs with the sugar and the honey until pale and creamy. Sift over the sieved flour and fold gently. Don’t over work the flour or the gluten with make the batter too dense.Fold in the lemon butter and a teaspoon of vanilla paste.
Cover with cling wrap and rest for up to 24 hours in the fridge.
The next day, bring your oven to 180 Celsius (390 Farenheit). Spoon the batter onto a greased and floured madeleine mould. The cakes will rise in the oven, so only fill the mould to 3/4 full.
Bake until golden and cooked-thourgh.
Dunk in your coffee and have a très magnifique day!