Madeleines are one of my favourite things to make. These perfectly sized bites of cake satisfy you without the over indulgence. To get into the festive mood, I spiced up a basic madeleine recipe with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and allspice and a dose of crystallised ginger pieces. As these bake in the oven, a lovely aroma fills your kitchen and suddenly, all that rain outside doesn’t matter. The couch, a steaming mug of tea and a plate of these cookies are all you need in the world.
I used David Lebovitz’s lemon glazed madeleine recipe for guidance when it came to ingredients’ measurements, baking time and temperature. If you’re not in the mood to go foraging in your kitchen cupboards for spices but have some chocolate lying around, make these chocolate madeleines instead.
Whichever one you try, you’re guaranteed to have a crowd pleaser on hand.
Ingredients (makes 24 cookies)
3 large eggs at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1-1/4 cup all purpose/plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp finely chopped crystallised ginger or 1/4 tsp ground ginger
zest of one lemon
4 tbsp (120g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled plus extra for greasing moulds
Grease a madeleine mould with butter. Sprinkle some flour on the inside of the mould, tap it to spread the flour evenly around and shake out any excess. Place the prepared mould in the refrigerator.
Using a stand mixer, whip together the eggs, sugar and salt until frothy and thick for about five minutes. Sieve together flour, baking powder, spices and ginger. Add this to the stand mixer bowl along with the lemon zest. Fold in the melted butter and bring everything together.
Refrigerate the batter for at least an hour.
After an hour, transfer the chilled batter to the madeleine mould, filling the mould using two tablespoons. Place the mould on a baking sheet in an oven preheated to 425F/220C.
Bake for about 10 minutes or so until the madeleines are just set and the edges are beginning to brown.
Remove sheet from oven. Transfer madeleines to a cooling rack.
These can be eaten warm or at room temperature and are best on the day they are baked.
These little cakes are great for a lazy afternoon spent in solitude or with loved ones. So go on and give them a try. On that sweet note, here’s wishing you a very happy holiday season. Have fun and let’s meet again in the new year!