Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

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madeleine a small French cake associated with the town of Commercy in Lorraine. The true madeleines de Commercy are made from egg yolks creamed with sugar and lemon zest, with flour, noisette butter, and stiffly beaten egg whites folded in before baking in little shell-shaped moulds.

Legends about the origin of the name are critically discussed by Claudine Brécourt-Villars (1996). Madeleines have earned themselves an immortal place in literature, as the taste of one dipped in limeflower tisane provided the basis for Marcel Proust’s celebrated reference to them, and the phrase ‘a madeleine of Proust’.