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May 11, 2005 12:41 PM

Madeleines a la Proust, anyone?

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This article spoke to both the Chowhound and Lit major in me. Ah...

Does anyone have a great madeleine recipe he/she'd like to share? How are the recipes on epicurious?

Finally, I know the pan is key, but can good practice cookies be made some other way before I shell out the money to buy a pan with only one purpose? I was thinking about baking little round "madeleines" in the bottom of a cupcake tin?

If this article is to be believed, I guess what I want is a non-Proustian madeleine. Buttery and light for me, please!


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  1. I've made Madeline Kamman's before and loved them. I managed to find my pan at a resale shop for pretty cheap. So you might try checking there. I personally think that at least 25% of the appeal of them is their shape.

    What the author of the article is forgetting is that French is a language of verbs, nouns don't really matter anywhere near as much as in English. In Shakespeare he uses 100s of words for flower in Racine he only uses the word "fleur." So chances are Proust didn't literally mean crumbs.

    I've soaked bits of madelines in tea and they do break apart a little and I've ended up with madeline crumbs at the bottom of my cup.

    1 Reply
    1. re: LisaLou

      There's a great recipe in JC's The Way to Cook. You can make them in a muffin tin and they are called commerce cakes, I think.

    2. Really, madeleine pans aren't expensive (since they're just thin metal), and if you're going to make them, a big part of their charm is their sweet little shape. What I like to do is make the batter before dinner (it usually needs to rest for an hour or so anyway) and grease/flour my pan. Then, just as dinner is finished, fill the pan and pop the madeleines in the oven. Since they take less than 10 minutes to bake, you can serve hot fresh madeleines for dessert. It's always a big surprise and people love them.

      2 Replies
      1. re: dixieday

        Any recommendations for mail ordering or buying from a national chain? I'm in SF, and madeleine pans are $16-20 at Williams-Sonoma (big surprise). I usually get my baking pans somewhere like ROSS or Marshall's, but they've never had anything as special as a madeleine pan.

        1. re: nooodles

          Whatever you do, make sure you just go ahead and buy the teflon-coated ones. Don't be stupid like me and try to pinch pennies with the regular metal ones, eat stuck on, chipped madeleines for a while (still delicious!), and then spend more to buy the teflon ones. Haven't tried the silicone molds myself, but I've heard that there are some problems with them flopping and not browning correctly. ?

      2. Thanks for posting that was a pleasure to read. I adore Madeleines and I became obsessed with them a few years ago. I have used the recipe posted below and found it to be a pretty decent one. What I do now is fool around with the I substitute orange blossom water or steeped lemon verbena for the orange, lemon or vanilla extract.

        Mmmm...I need to bake some tonight. Yum!