Madeleine moments

Tanja by Night

They are the stars of the show when it comes to the more accessible French patisserie classics: madeleines, with their typical scalloped shape, taste best straight from the oven – crispy on the outside, soft and delicious inside. Madeleines are perfect at any time of day, for Sunday breakfast, dessert, with a cup of tea or coffee or – typically French – with a glass of champagne.

To achieve an intense almond flavour, I use very little flour in my dough. I make it relatively moist, and to ensure it develops well, it’s important to leave it in the fridge overnight, so my “madeleine moments” start the evening before, which makes them even more special.

To make the dough, place 125 g ground almonds, 125 g egg white, 125 g sugar, 100 g softened butter, 25 g flour, the grated zest of an organic lime and the pulp from a vanilla pod into a food processor and mix until the dough is smooth and creamy. The easiest way of making the madeleines is to put the dough into a piping bag and leave it to rest overnight in the fridge.

When the moment comes, preheat your oven to 180 °C (hot air). If you’re using silicone or non-stick madeleine tins, there’s no more preparation, but if your tins are metal, grease them with a little butter. Now fill just the centre of the well with the dough. The egg will expand in the oven like a soufflé, so they will rise well.

After around 14 minutes, the madeleines will be golden brown. Place them on a wire rack to cool a little, giving them a crispy shell while the inside has that wonderful flavour of almond, marzipan and butter combined with the delicate aromas of lime and vanilla – pure happiness from your oven.

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