Madeleines

Ingredients

  • 100 g (4 oz) caster sugar
  • 100 g (4 oz) self-raising flour
  • pinch of salt, about half a coffee spoon
  • 2 free-range eggs, lightly beaten
  • 150 g (5 oz) unsalted butter, melted

Method

Preheat the oven to 230½C/450½F/gas mark 8. Butter and flour madeleine moulds or bun tins.

Sift together the dry ingredients. Beat in the eggs, and then mix in the melted butter. Pour the batter – and the mixture really is quite liquid – into the prepared moulds, and bake in the top half of the oven for 5 to 7 minutes.

Remove from the oven once the madeleines are golden, well risen, and with the characteristic ‘bump’ in the middle. The recipe multiplies well, certainly by up to ten; I learned the recipe using a kilo of flour.

If you wish, you can add, with the eggs, lemon zest, or some vanilla seeds. I have also used a little orange-flower water and grated orange zest. Alternatively, you can use vanilla sugar.

Madeleines are delicious when freshly baked and served still warm, with, for example, a vanilla ice cream and a fruit sauce, or for a subtle Proustian experience, try the following.

Make a strong infusion of tilleul (linden tea) in about 450mls (¾ pints) water, and when well steeped, dissolve in it at least half the volume of sugar and the juice of a lemon or, even better, a lime. When cool, freeze to granita or sorbet, as you prefer, and serve a scoop of it with a warm madeleine or two.

Alternatively, use real lime to flavour the madeleines, as in the next recipe.
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