A few years ago I splurged on a $30 baking pan at Sur La Table. Not just any baking pan: my Madeleine pan. Worth it. Every francophile and anyone who has read Marcel Proust needs a Madeleine pan, non?
I love that just as Marcel remembered a childhood in which his maman baked these mini pound cakes, so shall Lucy and Penny. My daughters adore Madeleines. They have proclaimed my Madeleines to be better than the packaged variety sold at Starbucks! Mais oui.
And while the girls appreciate the classic French treat, they have been begging me to try making chocolate Madeleines, so I did. Pour mes filles.
PS: Lucy helped.
Adapted from Joyofbaking.com
Yields 18 Madeleines
3 eggs, at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated white sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted -- plus additional non-melted butter for greasing Madeleine pan
1 ounce unsweetened baking chocolate, melted
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
Put eggs and sugar in bowl of your blender and blend at medium high for five minutes. You want to blend until the mixture has tripled in volume and a thick ribbon forms when you lift the beater. Again, about five minutes.
Meanwhile, place butter and chocolate in top of double boiler and melt over a medium boil.
Then, mix the remaining dry ingredients -- flour, baking powder and salt -- in a small bowl.
When the egg and sugar mixture is ready, fold in a bit of the flour mixture. Then fold in the rest of the flour mixture, bit by bit. Key word is "fold." Do not overstir or stir too vigorously as that will result in some flat Madeleines.
Your chocolate and butter should be melted by now. Let it cool for a few minutes. Then fold some of the batter into the chocolate and butter. And then fold the entire chocolate-butter mixture, which now contains some batter, into the mixing bowl with remaining batter. Combine gently. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Toward the end of that 30 minutes, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Then take a stick of butter and grease the Madeleine pan. There are a lot of grooves in these seashell-shaped cakes, so make sure to do a good job here or your Madeleines will stick and not look as pretty.
Remove batter from fridge and place a generous tablespoon of batter into the center of each mold in the Madeleine pan. This is how you get the classic "humped" appearance in your Madeleines.
Bake for 10-11 minutes or until edges are slightly browned and the center of the cakes spring back when lightly touched. Transfer Madeleines -- smooth side down -- to a plate and allow to cool.
When serving, sift confectioners sugar over the grooved side of the Madeleines.
Note that Madeleines are best eaten the same day. You can store leftover Madeleines (provided there are any) in an airtight container and eat them the next day. If you want to store for longer, wrap well and freeze for up to one month.