Toffee Madeleines

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So we start with the best of intentions. We’re going to make madeleines the way they’re supposed to be made and they’re going to be wonderful. We’re not going to add any unconventional mix-ins or essences. We’re going to make classic French madeleines. So we start browning the butter to make beurre noisette just like our Leiths’s cookbook tells us to do. Then we keep reading and realise that we don’t like this recipe, we like David Lebovitz’s recipe. Then we realise we’ve run out of caster sugar. So we use dark brown soft sugar. Then we realise we do have caster sugar and it’s too late. But we keep going. And we end up with beautiful, brown, toffee-flavoured madeleines. Not like our childhood madeleines. Not the classic madeleines. But totally English and yummy. (We feel like the creator of the Bakewell pudding did when they messed up and produced something beautiful instead of what they were supposed to produce.)

You know what they taste like? They taste like sticky toffee pudding but without the stickiness and without the dates. This is fruit-free, people. If you wanted to really indulge, you could eat them hot with a bit of pouring cream. Yum.

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Makes 16 large madeleines
Adapted from David Lebovitz’s Lemon-Glazed Madeleine Recipe

120g unsalted butter, plus additional melted butter for preparing the molds
3 large eggs, at room temperature
2/3 cup (130g) dark brown soft
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
rounded 1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup (175g) flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
zest of one small lemon (optional)

  1. Butter your madeleine pan and put in straight in the fridge or freezer. (Apparently this helps to give the madeleines their lovely “hump” shape.)
  2. Make the beurre noisette. Put the butter in a non-stick sauce pan and heat on low heat until the fat solids separate and the butter turns a lovely caramel colour. Remove from the heat and put to one side.
  3. Using a stand or hand-held mixer, whisk the eggs, sugar, vanilla essence and salt until frothy and thick (about 5 minutes).
  4. Sift the flour and baking powder into the egg mixture. Gently fold into the mixture – this is to make sure the air isn’t knocked out of the madeleines.
  5. If using, add the lemon zest into the beurre noisette and stir. Dribble the butter into the batter and fold gently to incorporate.
  6. Refrigerate the batter for at least 1 hour.
  7. Preheat the oven to 200C (fan-assisted).
  8. Like David says, “plop” the batter into the madeleine molds so that each one is 3/4 full. Don’t spread, just leave it there!
  9. Bake for 10 minutes until the madeleines form little humps.
  10. Enjoy immediately or keep in airtight container for a few days.

So what do you think? Feel free to share your questions and comments below! We’d love to hear what you have to say.

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