April 25, 2010

Honey Madeleines

I tried my first madeleine while working at a coffee shop in college. They looked sorta plain, but once I took a bite and the buttery, vanilla cake-iness melted in my mouth, I was a convert. There is something about slightly dense fluffiness of the crumb that I love. Friends at another cafe made me try madeleines topped with whipped cream, which I highly recommend--if you don't mind an approximately 1,000 calorie snack.

I don't make a habit of eating madeleines all the time, mind you. But, ever since I saw a recipe for them in Martha Stewart's Cookies cookbook, I've been itching to make them. Of course, you need a special madeleine pan to make madeleines, so I've been eying those madeleine molds enviously every time I enter a cooking store fancy enough to carry them. It just seemed a little beyond my budget to fork out major dough for something that would be used on such a limited basis. Still, I couldn't help day dreaming a bit when I came across one.

Recently, I cut out a madeleine recipe from Bon Appetit that called for lavender honey. I don't have fancy honey and I don't have a fancy pan, but I decided to make them anyway. I figured a cupcake pan was similar enough that it just might work...

And, lo and behold--they turned out just fine, minus the pretty fluting and scalloped shape that typically defines a madeleine. But, you know what, they taste damn good regardless. Now, where's the whipped cream...

Honey Madeleines
  • 9 tablespoons (1 stick plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter)
  • 4 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1 1/3 cups powdered sugar
  • 6 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup almond flour or almond meal
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter each mold or the cupcake pan and dust with flour, tapping out the excess. 
  2. Melt 9 tablespoons butter in a medium (light colored) skillet or a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook until butter turns golden brown, stirring often. (It's harder to see the color of the butter in a dark pan.) Set browned butter aside.
  3. Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites, sugar, all purpose flour and almond flour in a medium bowl until smooth. 
  4. Place honey in a small, microwave safe bowl and heat until just warm, 5-10 seconds. Beat honey into batter. Beat in browned butter.
  5. Spoon two tablespoons of batter into each cupcake mold. Bake until the tops are just dry and a tester comes out clean, about 14-16 minutes. Cool 5 minutes in pan on a wire rack. Tap madeleines out of mold onto the rack and cool slightly. Serve warm.
Yield: 12 madeleines

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