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Madeleines

[NOTE: This discussion was split from a thread about canelés, which can be found here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/731123 -- The Chowhound Team].

I agree with buttertart that madeleines will be a cinch to make. I can almost make them in my sleep. One thing you will like - the batter needs to rest too, but only for 30 minutes. I can give you a recipe or refer you to a book - La Varenne Pratique, which, if I recall correctly, buttertart does not have. I have two shiny pans and two dark non-stick from W-S. They all work equally well. I have even added melted chocolate and added it to the batter; I hate to work with cocoa.

You supposedly do not need beeswax in non-stick pans. They should hold up okay in high heat. When I try it out I plan to just dump the batter into the pans with no treatment.

Darn right Pilinut, you are not abandoning ship. Retribution would be swift as you are so close to Starfleet headquarters!

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  1. You're trying to get buttertart to buy another book aren't you? Or maybe you're planning to get all of us hooked on more cookbooks, which seem, like Cynsa's tribbles, to multiply on one's shelves. (Though at $411, new, on Amazon, La Varenne Practique risks extinction.)

    So, please, do share the recipe and baking tips for the madeleines! No rush, though, as I have several bananas awaiting metamorphosis into a more delectable form. And I don't have any pans yet. I'm hoping buttertart and co. will help me with my terminal indecision on that topic. I'm going to go with the tinned steel, but there are several brands on Amazon, and I haven't decided which ones to get: are the French ones better than the ones made elsewhere? Are heavier ones better than light ones? Is it required by galactic compact that the molds be seasoned once, then never washed or scrubbed again, as is the case for the ever-loving canelé molds?

    71 Replies
    1. re: pilinut

      Who? Me? Trying to get buttertart to buy a new book ? Why would I want that? I only made the observation that she does not have it. At $411 I would not buy it; I bought mine many years ago. Do you guys ever check amazon.ca ? The book is available used for $60 there, $88 on amazon.com. Shipping is a bit more, of course.

      I like the WS non-stick dark metal Madeleine pans, but have found that you need a sheet pan underneath or the underside bakes too fast. The reason I like it is that the cakes come out very easily. I find that with the tin pans it is a bit more trouble to get them out. Whichever ones you use, you do have to butter and flour them well. I wash mine after use.

      BTW the manager at a WS store told me that she could never get Madeleine recipes to work, so I emailed her mine, taken from La Varenne Pratique.

      1. re: souschef

        I have those WS non stick madeleine pan, but mine STICKS. I too am interested in your madeleine recipe. Please

        1. re: trewq

          Even though they are non-stick you do have to butter and flour them. I find that room temperature butter is best, and you have to use your hands to do the buttering. Take off the gloves and wash your hands before doing so. Or run them under the sonic shower.

          1. re: souschef

            "Or run them under the sonic shower."
            My hands or the pan? ;)

            Why can't I butter them with the gloves on?

            1. re: trewq

              "Why can't I butter them with the gloves on?"

              You need to do it to find out why not.

      2. re: pilinut

        off-topic: when I took my old tinned madeleine pans out of storage, they were pitted - do they need to be retinned before I can bake in them?

        1. re: Cynsa

          I don't see why they would not work as is, though cleaning would be a bit more work with the pits. Is it possible to get them retinned, and if so is it cheaper than buying new molds?

          1. re: souschef

            Buy new ones, depending of the extent of the pitting. That's the issue with tinned bakeware, ptting is inevitable over time, unless great care is taken in reducing moisture, and it seems to happen regardless. Not worth retinning, unless the plaques are a family heirloom, as it's a pricy proposition.

            1. re: bushwickgirl

              too expensive to have them retinned - I can buy new for less. meanwhile, I do have the dreaded silicone molds and with a little baker's spray, they will have to do until I can budget new metal bakeware - the flexible silicone molds cannot be easily tapped to release air bubbles and I had to stir the batter once it was poured into the mold to release bubbles.

              this batch needs the powdered sugar to finish it - it's the souschef recipe with cake flour and clarified browned butter. I tasted three out of the oven - because I couldn't stop at two. delicious - my house guests get a treat today

               
              1. re: Cynsa

                Hey Cynsa, I'm glad it worked fine for you.

        2. re: pilinut

          Here is the madeleine recipe from La Varenne Pratique.

          Makes about 2 dozen madeleines
          125 gm flour
          1 tsp baking powder
          4 eggs
          135 gm superfine sugar
          1 tsp orange flower water or grated zest of 1 orange or lemon
          125 gm butter, melted

          Sift the flour and baking powder together. Beat the sugar and eggs to the ribbon stage. Beat in the orange flower water or zest (I sometimes just use Grand Marnier). Take a cup of the batter and WHISK it into the butter until well-combined. This is so that the butter does not sink to the bottom of the batter when added. Sift the flour into the batter in three batches, folding it in each time, adding the butter mixture with the last batch. Chill for 30 minutes (the batter, that is, not you).

          Preheat the oven to 450F. Grease the molds well with room temperature butter, then flour them. Fill each mold so that it is almost full. Bake 5 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 400F. Bake for 5-7 minutes more till golden brown, Transfer to a rack to cool. If you use dark molds place a sheet pan under.

          For chocolate madeleines melt with the butter 100gm of the very best dark chocolate you can find.

          1. re: souschef

            Have you ever used baker's joy? It's the oil/ flour spray.

            1. re: trewq

              No, I have not. The butter/flour thing works for me so I stick with it. I should ask the mods to spin off this discussion into a new thread.

              1. re: trewq

                I just made a batch of Madeleines in a plain old aluminum Madeleine pan using the WIlton Quick Release. It worked like a charm -- the madeleines released instantly even though I had slightly overfilled them. I used Dorrie's recipe from Baking From My House to Yours, and I neglected to remember to put the batter in the molds before chilling. But they taste great and have that cute little hump on the back. I am starting to feel like I am shilling for Wilton...

                1. re: roxlet

                  That will make my madeleine making much less hassle. Good to know.

              2. re: souschef

                People have told me it works well to make a paste of soft butter and flour and brush it on the medeleine molds (might be a Julia Child thing).

                1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                  This is the first I've heard of that. It probably works, but it's more work that buttering and dusting with flour.

                  Once when I did not have room temperature butter I used cold butter and it did not work so well. I used to also use a paper towel to spread the butter and found that it worked better with the fingers.

                  1. re: souschef

                    I think it was lauded as more effective (perhaps on non-nonstick pans), but I don't remember all the details of the exchange. No reason to take an extra step if what you do works well!

                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                      That's what I do, the butter and flour slurry. And PAM on top, belt and suspenders. It works quite well.
                      Our favo(u)rite recipe is from Marion Cunningham's Fannie Farmer Baking Book -I love that book - it's the génoise type, egg and sugar warmed with citrus rind, beaten to 3x volume, flour and butter folded in.
                      They are wonderful just baked (and my husband likes them stale so they're a staple around our house).
                      I'll try souschef's though for comparison (no LVP in the house yet, never say never).

                      1. re: buttertart

                        Speaking of La Varenne, I made an exception last night to my 'no more cookbooks' rule and ordered Anne Willan's "From My Chateau Kitchen"; she is to me what Jane Grigson is to Buttertart, though I don't have her picture on my fridge. I had been looking at the book for a while, but at $232 new there was no way. I got it used on amazon.ca for $28.

                        1. re: souschef

                          That is a beautiful book, I've lusted after it too.

                          1. re: buttertart

                            Hey Buttertart, I got "From My Chateau Kitchen" a week ago (took a long time coming). Really nice book; the recipes are more country style than haute cuisine. The first thing I intend to make is the wonderful-looking apple cake on the cover. I was thinking of you when I saw an unusual recipe, which Anne Willan says she found in an old cookbook. It's a walnut cake with breadcrumbs used instead of flour, and unusually, glazed with caramel and decorated with walnut halves. There is also a pumpkin soup with wild chestnuts. I'm glad I bought the book.

                            1. re: souschef

                              Nice-sounding recipes! Must have another look at it.

                          2. re: souschef

                            From my Chateau Kitchen is a real treasure. Fortunately I got it when it came out, which was around the time I stayed at the Chateau (and cooked in the kitchen - although not with Anne). If you're lucky, the book will stay clean enough to show off on your coffee table. (When I bring it into the kitchen, I take the jacket off...)

                          3. re: buttertart

                            So it's the same as mine, with the exception of the baking powder?

                            Did you ever try it with "beurre noisette"?

                            BTW the book is available on amazon for $35.

                            1. re: souschef

                              2 eggs, 1/2 c sugar, grated lemon or orange rind, 1/4 tsp salt, whisked in stainless steel bowl over hot water until just hot to the touch (I use a frying pan 3/4 full of simmering water and tip the bowl so that the egg mixture is in maximum contact with the heat, if you just stand the bowl in the water it takes longer. I use the whisk attachment from the KA to whisk it, thereby cleverly avoiding getting another whisk dirty). Beat at high speed until at least tripled in volume. Stir in 1 tsp vanilla. Sift in 1 c previously sifted flour in 3 additions and fold carefully after each. Fold in 1/2 c melted and cooled butter (yes I sometimes use beurre noisette) and transfer to smaller bowl for easy spooning of the mix into the carefully-greased pans. Bake at 400 deg F for about 10 mins, until golden brown shows around the edges. Turn out on rack and powder them up real good with sifted icing/confectioner's sugar. Eat at least 2 while hot.
                              Himself takes care of the rest.
                              Have pics but they won't post...grr

                              1. re: buttertart

                                "powder them up real good with sifted icing/confectioner's sugar"

                                Buttertart, I never powder up anything with icing sugar or cocoa as I find that they both make me cough. Truffles rolled in cocoa have the same effect on me. I guess that cocoa and I really don't go together.

                                1. re: souschef

                                  Oddly, M (quite asthmatic) has no problem with the icing sugar. Nor with cats. It's only the things he doesn't like that bother him ;-)
                                  I hope you know "up real good" is a reference to a segment on SCTV in which John Candy and Rick Moranis played hick movie reviewers whose highest accolade was "they blew 'im up REAL good". V funny.

                                2. re: buttertart

                                  I will try to post the pics you emailed me.

                                   
                                   
                                  1. re: buttertart

                                    Buttertart - you're a genius! Thank you! As a relatively new Madeleines baker, I had been using the David Lebovitz recipe for lemon-glazed Madeleines and had been fairly pleased until the last batch - hence my quest for a new recipe and you came to the rescue!

                                    I used your recipe and method with a few adjustments. In lieu of orange zest I used 1 tsp. pure orange extract. I also added 1/2 tsp. cardomom and 1/2 tsp. baking powder. I also glazed with a Triple Sec powdered sugar glaze when cooled.

                                    I definitely followed your recommendation to eat two as soon as possible when out of the oven and then had two after glazing just to make sure they were edible. So far so good.

                                    That was such a great idea to put part of the batter into the melted butter. That was marvelous -- I wish I had added a little but more, but that was my first time doing a technique like that and wasn't quite sure how much to add. I let the batter sit for at least 2 hours and let the melted butter & floured pans chill in the refrigerator about that long as well.

                                    I got 24 perfect Madeleines with your recipe. (Now at 20 -- I hope the person I am giving them to doesn't read this!). The only thing I would say is that they stayed rather blond after cooking (not the light buttery brown color I had with the Lebovitz recipe) but that isn't necessarily a bad thing and could very well because of the modifications I made to your recipe.

                                    All in all a great success with lots of thanks to you, Buttertart!

                                     
                                     
                                     
                                     
                                     
                                      1. re: souschef

                                        Oh - thanks! I did add baking powder to Buttertart's recipe just to make sure there was some humping action going on because I am taking them with me in a few minutes as a gift and just wanted to make sure they were all poofed up. I'm going to try the recipe again without the baking powder when I can eat them all myself and not have to gift them so I can see the difference. I really enjoyed making them this time around.

                                        I appreciate EVERYONE's input so much!

                                          1. re: souschef

                                            My pleasure! Any time I can employee innuendo and or immature humor or puns I just can't seem to resist!

                                            I'm going to butter some pans this morning and put them in the fridge so they can be chilling and hopefully make round 2 of Buttertart's recipe sans baking powder this afternoon or tomorrow morning . Have a great day everyone! I'm so lucky for my CH friends!

                                            1. re: Tehama

                                              You subject your employees to innuendo and immature humour???

                                              I've never made madeleines using Buttertart's recipe. Time to give it a try, I think.

                                              I don't bother to chill the moulds; I just chill the batter, per the recipe I use.

                                              1. re: souschef

                                                I'm very tickled to read this!!! I think you'll love the no b.p. version too...there are two styles, not all madeleines in France are humped. ;-)

                                                I never let this batter sit or chill it.

                                                So make them already, Mr. souschef.

                                                1. re: souschef

                                                  SousChef, hehehehe! that was awesome.
                                                  ButterTart - I'm going to make your original version likely today. I've got the buttered pans chilling already, but I'm also going to give it a go without resting the batter, too, just to see the difference.

                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                      ButterTart - thanks to you another rousing success! Though the humps weren't very pronounced, that was quite alright. They were delicious! I don't know why, (because I didn't alter the recipe other than not adding the baking powder like I did the first time) but the buttery flavor in the second batch was stronger than the first time I used your method/recipe. So that was good!

                                                      Also, I didn't let the batter rest this time either, per your instructions. The only thing I might add is that the batter was almost "runney" which made it harder to carefully fill the molds than when I let it rest for a while and used a melon baller to put the firmer batter into the molds.

                                                      All in all - a great success and I thank you so much!

                                                      1. re: Tehama

                                                        I'm very happy to have been of service!
                                                        Credit where credit is due: It's Marion Cunningham's recipe from her wonderful "Fannie Farmer Baking Book", which, if I were to be restricted to one book on baking only, is the one I would choose.

                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                          Ooohhh! More good advice! Thank you!

                              2. re: souschef

                                I've seen several recipes (incl. David Leibovitz) that advise: brush with melted butter and then flour. Does melted butter work as well as mushy butter? I use the paper towel method too; it's sloppy but eventually works.

                                1. re: mnosyne

                                  Brushing with melted butter is easier to get into all the folds. Also brushing leaves a more even coating. To make sure the madeleines do not stick, I refrigerate pan after the first brushing then brush it a second time. I never flour.

                                  1. re: PBSF

                                    That's a good idea because the flour/butter does leave a bit of a film on the finished madeleines.

                                    1. re: PBSF

                                      This is what I do, too, plus my easy go to recipe calls for melted butter so it's easy to melt extra. I have regular pans, not non-stick, and have never had it stick. I don't flour, either.

                                    2. re: mnosyne

                                      I have tried melted butter, but prefer mushy as there seems to be less sticking. I guess you could use melted butter and let it set before flouring. Don't know where I got it but I always thought that flouring was essential.

                                      I once forgot to flour a Bundt pan. The results were not pretty.

                                  2. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                    Pro bakers often use this mix or even more likely, veg shortening, oil and flour, blended together. It's referred to as Baker's Grease, and is equal parts shortening, vegetable oil and flour. Shortening is used for longevity and is cost effective, as butter will go rancid and this stuff is not normally refrigerated in large bakeries. Vegetable shortening/flour is better for greasing bread pans than something more delicate tasting, where butter is a better option.

                                    I do what souschef does, unless I'm doing lots of baking and mix up a small quantity of flour-butter paste; room temp butter, applied with fingers or dedicated paper towel, then flour.

                                    Oh, and souschef, thanks very much for posting your recipe.;-)

                                    1. re: bushwickgirl

                                      You're welcome BWG. Did you try out the recipe, and if so, how did the madeleines turn out?

                                      You were briefly on the canelé thread, and then disappeared. I thought you were supposed to make them as well. What happened?

                                      1. re: souschef

                                        I haven't tried your recipe yet but will and I'll get back to you.

                                        Yes, I will, but the canele thread got a bit bigger than I could handle. One of these (rainy) days, I'll wade through them all.

                                        1. re: bushwickgirl

                                          Three other bakers (Pilinut, Trewq, and Cynsa) and I did a lot of experimentation when it came to making canelés, and we have nailed down ingredients and methods. If you want to see what we went through, go through all of the threads, but if you would like to just see my final recipe, go to Part V, where I posted it for Buttertart, who is supposed to soon start baking some.

                                          1. re: souschef

                                            Oh, thanks, you just saved me days of reading...and experimenting.

                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                Me too. Amazon has nice looking tin lined copper 2" Mauviel molds for $20 per, not too $$, and Matfer for slightly more, and beeswax pellets:

                                                http://www.amazon.com/Mauviel-4180-55...

                                                1. re: bushwickgirl

                                                  J.B. Prince in NYC has the Mauviels for $16.20 each.

                                                  1. re: souschef

                                                    Thanks, significant savings there. I wonder if they deliver. I have some ambulatory issues that make it quite difficult to get around (subway stairs, walking in general and all that.) I prefer things brought to me and unfortunately sometimes have to pay extra for that.
                                                    Mm, maybe mrbushy would go...

                                                    Buttertart should take note, or probably already knows about this?

                                                    1. re: bushwickgirl

                                                      They do deliver. You order them online, and they include a delivery charge. No handling fee. If you're that close that mrbushy could go, I imagine that the delivery charge would be minimal. It was buttertart who put me on to this company; thanks again, bt.

                                                      1. re: souschef

                                                        You're very welcome. A company I used to work for handled the transportation of some of their French-made stuff and I got to go visit them once. Fairyland for the obsessed like us. It was the first place I ever saw Global knives - this was in the mid-90's. I love my Global veg knife, perfect for small hands.
                                                        I think they prefer mail-order to walk-in traffic, it's (or at least was) more like a wholesaler's showroom than an actual store.

                                                    2. re: souschef

                                                      I was just all over that site and could not find the Mauviel molds. Can you link to them?

                                                        1. re: souschef

                                                          Thanks. I bookmarked it in case I ever find myself in a lunatic asylum with nothing to do!

                                                          1. re: roxlet

                                                            Thanks, I couldn't find them either at the Prince website, even after looking through "molds." But I failed to look through single serving molds, duh.

                                                            I just read through Canelé thread V, and let me tell you, I'm a little nervous about the whole thing. I guess I just have to jump in and try it.

                                        2. re: souschef

                                          After baking three batches of madeleines, this is my favorite recipe with its 30-minute rest in the refrigerator. Thank you for the 3-dozen lovelies.

                                          1. re: Cynsa

                                            Sorry Buttertart! "My" recipe is . . . BETTER! <insert tongue-sticking-out emoticon here>

                                            1. re: souschef

                                              DH likes Buttertart's recipe better...

                                                  1. re: souschef

                                                    Knows which side his bread's buttered on ;-)

                                            2. re: Cynsa

                                              Spring is moving into summer in Austin, but a lovely bit of late cool had me wondering how I should take advantage of a likely last chance until October to cook the foods I usually like when it is cool. I opted for white beans with tomatoes and fennel. Now you have distracted me and my revised forecast is showing a madeleines and tea front pushing through at 3:30.

                                              1. re: tim irvine

                                                What's your recipe? mmmmm, wish I were in line at Franklin's BBQ.

                                        3. I made madeleines for the first time a week ago and they tasted delicious BUT the dough split at the little humps on the back, don't know what I did wrong. I didn't let the batter rest though, because my very brief recipe didn't tell me to, however I did whisk by hand (I can't find my KA whisk attachment, it might be packed up already) and it didn't really turn white or triple in volume and when I added the flour, the batter became quite doughy. It still turned out delicious but I've never had a madeleine before and so don't have anything to compare it to.

                                          Any tips or ideas why it turned out that way? Is the batter supposed to be doughy?

                                          6 Replies
                                          1. re: staub

                                            A Madeline is supposed to be a light, airy cake. The batter is not supposed to be at all doughy. It's possible that you did not beat the batter enough (to the ribbon stage), or that you overmixed the flour; the batter does also have to rest. One important thing I mentioned in my recipe (this is not from La Varenne; it is from RLB): you have to whisk a bit of batter into the butter; else when you add the butter it sinks to the bottom, and you end up overmixing to get the butter incorporated. Throw away your recipe and use buttertart's or mine.

                                            1. re: souschef

                                              Thank you souschef for your much-appreciated advice!

                                              1. re: souschef

                                                There is a more poundcakey-textured one though, les "vraies" de Combray I think...with the humps on the backs...but this sounds like an underbeating problem. I far prefer my usual recipe.

                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                  Interesting, perhaps this is the version of my recipe? I used the recipe from the big French biblical home cookbook "I Know How To Cook" (translated from the original "Je Sais Cuisiner") and find it surprisingly lacking, unfortunately. Although I was under the understanding that all madeleines had those characteristic humps on the back as that's what made it a proper madeleine?

                                                  I think you're right about the underbeating, it didn't triple in volume, turn white, or have a ribbon-y texture though I think that was more human error (and weak forearms LOL) then the recipe.

                                                  1. re: staub

                                                    It probably is for that style. But there isn't only one style that's acceptable. (Do you like that book in general?)

                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                      It's okay. I got it because apparently everybody in France has it (or something like that) but the directions are very brief and they don't explain much. I much prefer Julia Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" (although that book is often too verbose). I think it's great if you already know the recipes or basics and just need to know the ingredients or the order to do things. It's probably more adapted for French people who grow up watching their mothers (and fathers?) cook and already have a general idea of how to cook the recipes.

                                            2. I finally did it! I bought one each (regular and non-stick) of the Williams-Sonoma pans to see if there is a difference in the results. Then I used souchef's delicious recipe, and special mention MUST be made of his lifesaving tip to mix part of the whipped egg mixture into the butter; I used buttertart's 400F temperature (partly because the oven wouldn;t go higher on "bake" mode). I used PBSF''s double butter method on my regular pan, then used baker's spray on half the molds, both regular and (buttered) non-stick.

                                              I also adopted buttertart's cooling procedure--eat two while hot. I'll post more about the results tomorrow,

                                              4 Replies
                                              1. re: pilinut

                                                Eating two ensures the success of the batch. I'll try the Wilton cake release stuff on the pans next time. How did you come out on non-stick vs not coated?

                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                  I buttered both trays with soft, room temp butter using a silicone brush, then I put the plain pan into the freezer a few minutes before buttering it again. Then I sprayed half of each tray with Crisco baking spray.

                                                  All the madeleines in the non-stick flew out of the molds with no coaxing at all, colored a nice golden-brown. The ones in the regular pan exhibited a difference in ease of release between the ones on which I used baking spray and the ones that were greased with only butter. The former came out with a very little bit of coaxing, but the latter required the careful persuation of a small knife. In addition, the ones in the brown non-stick pan were more deeply colored. Those in the other pan were paler, but had a more pronounced Commercy "bump".

                                                  I am wondering if I may have over-folded the batter a bit: the texture was coarser than I had expected, though the flavor was very good! Thank you, souschef! Mother, for one, was quite pleased--though how much of the pleasure was because madeleines are not still more canelés, I am not sure.

                                                  BTW, how long do these little cakes keep? Can they be frozen successfully?

                                                  1. re: pilinut

                                                    I'm surprised you buttered the pans without flouring them after. I did that once by mistake with bundt pans and had to take the cakes out in pieces. When I redid the cakes, this time not fogetting the flour, there was no problem.

                                                    Why would you want to freeze them instead of eating them right away? I'm glad you gave Pilinut Mère a break from canelés :)

                                                    It was a pleasure to give you the recipe, Pilinut. Try the chocolate version the next time.

                                                2. re: pilinut

                                                  Credit for the lifesaving tip goes to RLB; it's in her génoise recipe. It's not in the original Madeleine recipe in LVP, but seemed like the logical thing to do (Vulcan hat on here).

                                                3. Buoyed by the success of my first batch of madeleines (Merci, souschef!), I decided to be brave and try a new recipe. Unable to resist the siren call of browned butter, I opted for Bruno Doucet's recipe in his "La Regalade" cookbook. But since it called for 800g of butter (and DH and I are capable of consuming the results) prudence demanded that I scale down the recipe. Below is the La Regalade recipe, paraphrased, abbreviated, and translated to the best of my very limited ability:

                                                  800 g butter, browned ("noisette"), strained through chinois and cooled
                                                  10 eggs
                                                  500 g sugar
                                                  800 g flour
                                                  55 g "levure" (I hope our baking powder is similar enough)
                                                  25 g milk
                                                  125 g honey

                                                  Beat eggs and sugar until light colored. Incorporate flour and baking powder.

                                                  Stir milk and honey together over heat until combined. Add to egg mixture, mixing well. Incorporate cooled butter. Let rest, refrigerated, 6 hours. Bake at 200C for 6 - 8 minutes.

                                                  I scaled down the recipe as follows:

                                                  160 g clarified browned butter
                                                  3 eggs (approx. 200 g in shell)
                                                  112 g sugar
                                                  160 g flour (sifted together with baking powder)
                                                  10 g baking powder
                                                  8 g milk
                                                  24 g honey
                                                  1/2 teaspoon vanilla (Not in the original recipe, but I like vanilla.)

                                                  I think the recipe is very promising, but I have a couple of issues, and I'd appreciate your suggestions.

                                                  1. I think there may have been a bit too much butter--the cakes had a slightly oily quality. Should I have cut the clarified butter by 20%, to 128 g (which is what 160 g of butter is supposed to yield after browning and straining)?

                                                  2. The crumb was coarser than I would like. Did I overbake or overmix the madeleines? Or should I use cake flour instead?

                                                  3. Despite brushing the tinned molds with clarified butter, then spraying them with Crisco baking spray, the madeleines still stuck a bit. Do I need to use a lot more butter? Or should I just go to Williams Sonoma and get another nonstick madeleine pan, which worked beautifully with just a brushing of butter?

                                                  14 Replies
                                                  1. re: pilinut

                                                    Pilinut, I do think you should cut down on the butter.

                                                    By coarser texture, do you mean it was denser or more open ?

                                                    I maintain that you have to butter and flour the pan.

                                                    BTW "levure" IS baking powder.

                                                    1. re: souschef

                                                      I don't think they were dense at all. They are so light, in fact, that I had to restrain myself from eating three every time I passed the cookie jar. By "coarser" I mean a bigger crumb, which I am guessing corresponds to "more open"? I am wondering if I may have used too much butter AND baked them too long (though I do like my madeleines lightly browned).

                                                      Should I try cake flour? I was wondering if the French formulation of baking powder differs from the American one I use, Rumsford: "monocalcium phosphate, sodium bicarbonate, cornstarch". Is the Canadian one the same?

                                                      P.S., Even with the La Regalade recipe, I used your suggested method of mixing some of the beaten egg mixture into the browned butter.

                                                      1. re: pilinut

                                                        The Canadian one (Magic brand) has the same stuff.

                                                      2. re: souschef

                                                        Third try, second time with the Regalade-Souschef hybrid recipe (more egg than La Regalade's, more butter than Souschef's, more sugar than either, and half cake flour, half AP).

                                                        My basic recipe was 1/4 of the Regalade recipe, and this time I used 200 g of Beurremont 83% butter, which yielded exactly 166 g of strained browned butter! Had I portioned the batter more carefully, I could have gotten 3 dozen nicely shaped madeleines, but I was a bit overgenerous with the first couple of dozen and ended up with 34 rather pudgy specimens. I varied this batch by adding chopped candied lemon peel and walnuts to some and slipping in a large 70% chocolate drop in some others. I left some plain. DH likes the lemon-walnut best, followed by the plain. He thinks the chocolate dragée overwhelms the rest of the madeleine. Personally, I like the plain ones best, though I am itching to add the toasted milk solids back into the batter.

                                                        As for the molds, I got another W-S nonstick: not only do the cakes release easily, but they're prettier, too! And I just butter these molds--no flouring needed. I heavily buttered, then floured the tin one, and the results were better than the last time, though there was a little bit of sticking.

                                                        Has anyone tried substituting almond meal for some of the flour? Incidentally, I tried sprinkling grated parmesan on a few of my earlier, less sweet batch of La Regalade madeleines, and the sweet-salty contrast was quite nice. Those madeleines would have been ideal with a nice glass of wine before dinner.

                                                        1. re: pilinut

                                                          I have used almond meal in addition to the flour, not instead of, and it worked well. It was a long time ago, so I can't remember quantities. I think I just used a couple of tablespoons of the stuff. It was just a bit more dense. You could compensate by using more cake flour instead of AP.

                                                          You really should try my chocolate variation.

                                                          1. re: souschef

                                                            Your chocolate version is next on my hit list. But my jeans have been getting tighter and tighter--and it isn't even Thanksgiving yet!

                                                            BTW, can I bake madeleines this week, freeze them, and warm them up for Thanksgiving dinner? Does freezing madeleine batter work, too?

                                                            1. re: pilinut

                                                              Easily solved - buy looser jeans!

                                                              I imagine madeleines can be frozen, but I have not done it as I have an aversion to freezing baked goods. I doubt you can freeze the batter, as you would lose the air in the mousse. As well, I have no idea what would happen to the butter in the batter.

                                                              1. re: pilinut

                                                                Did you see "Eat, Pray, Love"? She's eating wonderful pastas in Rome and her jeans are getting tight -- she goes shopping for bigger jeans.

                                                                1. re: pilinut

                                                                  Listen up, needing to buy bigger jeans means your general health is good. Never lose sight of that.

                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                    So true.

                                                                    Pilinut (who complained about her jeans) is so slim that you would never take her for a baker.

                                                                    1. re: souschef

                                                                      There are those lucky souls out there!

                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                        Yes, in my next life I'm going to eat anything I wish and yet remain a size 4. (I've never been a size 4.)

                                                                      2. re: souschef

                                                                        I was probably a size 4 when I was 10--before I could bake anything edible. But now that my jean size is making itself comfortable in the double-digit range, I am going to start blaming souschef for posting that madeleine recipe and for insisting I add chocolate to it! What disgusting decadence comes next? Ganache fillings? Praline? Buttercream and marzipan icing? Custard?

                                                                        1. re: pilinut

                                                                          I meant that in all seriousness. You looked quite svelte to me.

                                                          2. I made madeleines using David Lebovitz's recipe, minus the lemon. They turned out really well, with a pound cake like texture, maybe a little bit lighter. This is what I'm use to.The recipe did not call for baking powder. I used AP flour.

                                                            I had mint chocolate madeleines from a street cart vender, and the texture was lighter and fluffier, almost chiffon-like. My family liked this fluffy, cakey version than the denser version.

                                                            I want to make this fluffy version, but use Lebovitz's recipe as the starting point. Is it the baking powder and/or the flour that is giving madeleines that "light and airy" texture? Should I be using cake flour, instead of, AP flour?

                                                            I don't think it's the under/over beating problem, since I usually have a good eye for that. I also followed the advice of adding a bit of batter to the butter before incorporating the whole thing(awesome advice). I would love some suggestions before I start on my own madeleine rampage.

                                                            p.s. I love this thread. I think I read it 3 times.

                                                            7 Replies
                                                            1. re: Eat.Choui

                                                              The Fannie Farmer recipe I use, which is essentially génoise with butter, gives the fluffy texture that you desire.
                                                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7318...
                                                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7318...

                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                I found out that with chocolate madeleines you can never have too much chocolate.

                                                                Wanting to reduce the amount of the Felchlin chocolate that I use ($30/kilo), I went from 100gm down to 75gm, then down to 50gm. My guinea pigs told me that they preferred the ones with the most chocolate. Of course, if you're using TJ's Pound Plus price is not an issue, but it's not as good as Felchlin.

                                                                Has anyone (Buttertart?) tried chestnut flour in them?

                                                                1. re: souschef

                                                                  No, not yet (chestnut flour) - but I must. Maybe today.
                                                                  I don't think M would go for chocolate ones, he's a purist.

                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                    I'm a purist too, but with a chocolate bent. You should try it on the esteemed M, unless he is not a lover of chocolate. Maybe you should toss in some walnuts?

                                                                    1. re: souschef

                                                                      Hmm...we shall see...how do you do your chocolate ones again? Sorry if it's upthread, getting ready to go out for a swish lunch since today is a holiday and restaurants that are closed for lunch on the weekends are open hooray!

                                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                                        You melt chocolate with the butter. I use 100gm of chocolate with 115gm of butter. Hell, live a little - use equal quantities of chocolate and butter.

                                                                        Enjoy your swanky lunch. I'm having a Parisian ham and Pecorino sammich fir lunch, with tomater.

                                                              2. re: Eat.Choui

                                                                I don't use baking powder either, wonder why some have it, some don't and what's the difference in the final process.