These savoury madeleines make a nice alternative to bread for a special occasion, and they can also be great as canapés. Use the base of the recipe to experiment with other herbs if you like. You could remove the sage and/or rosemary and use things like thyme, marjoram or chives instead, or sprinkle the savoury cakes with freshly grated Parmesan cheese before you bake them.
Whisk the eggs until they are really light and fluffy, using a hand-held electric whisk or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. It can take a good 10 minutes to get the eggs light, fluffy and mousse-like. Then add the sugar, making sure that you pour the sugar around the outside of the eggs so that you don’t knock out the air you have whisked into it. Whisk this up again until light and fluffy – this take another good 8–10 minutes. To check the mixture has reached the ribbon stage, lift up some of the mixture on the whisk and let it fall back down – it should sit on the surface of the mixture for 6–8 seconds or so before slowly disappearing back in.
When the mixture is ready, pour the melted butter into the bowl and then add the salt, black pepper and rosemary. Using a spatula, carefully fold everything in to combine, keeping in as much air as possible. Then add the flour, again folding it all in, being sure to mix in the flour that falls right to the bottom of the bowl with the spatula. Carefully divide the mixture between the prepared tins so that they are level, leaving 1–2mm space from the top to allow them to rise. Gently lay a sage leaf on each madeleine.
© Lorraine Pascale, 2017. Images: © Myles New, 2017.