What are Madeleines?
Madeleine, also known as "Petit Madeleine", is a small airy scalloped sponge cake with its origin in the northeastern regions of France. There is some debate about whether it should be categorized as a cookie or cake, but I think we can all agree that these are a must at any afternoon tea! Even though they are small, don't assume that their flavor is boring! A classic madeleine is flavored vanilla, but there are so many variations: from chocolate to lemon and even unique flavors like grapefruit or matcha!
What are Honey Orange Madeleines Made of ?
What's amazing about Madeleines is it requires very few ingredients but tastes incredibly complex.
Eggs: You'll need two eggs, which gives fat and moisture. Make sure your eggs are room temperature so they incorporate nicely.
All-purpose flour: Just simple flour here! Don't skip the step to sift your flour! It makes a huge difference and without it your madeleines won't be airy.
Baking Powder: This recipe calls for a little more than usual, and it's so the hump can rise high.
Unsalted Butter: The not-so-secret ingredients to getting a nice rich and moist texture. Make sure your butter is melted before adding.
Granulated Sugar: This is the main sweetener.
Orange Zest: While you can use orange blossom flavoring, I like to use natural ingredients as much as possible, and I love seeing the shreds of orange when I bite in.
Honey: These are honey orange madeleines. Make sure to use liquid honey or it won't mix well in the batter.
Chocolate (optional): You don't have to dip your madeleines into chocolate, but WHY NOT? Orange and chocolate are a classic (and so good) flavor combo, it would be a shame not to add!
How to Make Honey Orange Madeleines (with Chocolate)?
1.Combine dry ingredients ie. flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
2. Combine wet ingredients: Whisk together the eggs and granulated sugar. Whisk until the batter falls off the whisk in ribbons. This is so important or your madeleines will be lumpy. Then whisk in the orange zest and honey.
3. Sift Dry into Wet: This is essential for a light airy crumb. Fold the batter to combine, but stop folding once there are no streaks of flour left.
NOTE: You don't want to over-fold or the flour will be over-worked and the madeleines will be dense & tough.
4. Chill: This is the MOST IMPORTANT step! The batter needs chilling so the flavors can deepen. If you bake the batter right away, it may not rise properly since the flour has not absorbed the liquid. Chill for at least an hour or up to two days for maximum flavor.
5. Fold in melted butter: Once chilled, gently fold in the melt butter (as to avoid deflating the air). Melted butter gives madeleines a shine and extra tender crumb.
How to Prepare the Madeleine Tray and Bake
6. Prepare the baking tray: The worst is when the madeleines won't release from the pan so don't rush this step! Each crevice of the madeleine pan needs to be coated with melted butter. You can use either a baking spray or melted butter. Lightly dust flour all over the pan: I recommend using a sifter to prevent clumps of flour. Then lightly tap the pan on it's edge 2-3 times to release excess flour. The buttered crevices should be completely coated in a light film of flour.
7. Fill the pan: Fill each madeleine crevice with batter leaving only a 2 cm gap. Don't fill up to the edge or they will spill over.
TIP: If you really want to be precise, use a piping bag to pipe the batter into the pan.
8. Bake: Bake the madeleines at 375°F for 5 minutes, then lower the temperature to 350°F and bake for another 7 -10 minutes. Do not open the oven until the very end or they may deflate.
9) Cool: Let the madeleines cool for 5 minutes or until the pan can be touched with bare hands. Hold the pan upright (so the long edge is parallel to a surface), and lightly tap the pan against the counter so the madeleines slide out.
10) Dip in chocolate (optional): Once cooled, dip the madeleines into the chocolate, and garnish with orange zest or chopped pecans while the chocolate is still wet. Rest on a wired rack for 5-10 minutes or until the chocolate has slightly hardened.
Can I make Madeleines Without the pan?
Madeleines are recognized from their unique shell-like shape and the special hump. I would argue that the pan is NOT just for getting that cute shape, but helps the sponge become even more light and airy. Without it you won't get the hump which is the sign of a perfect madeleine. Here's why:
1) For madeleines to get its hump, it's a marriage of smooth, and properly chilled batter with an initial high oven temperature.
2) By baking them for a short period at high temperature, the top seals, and, once the oven temperature is lowered for the rest of the baking time, the inside of the cake bursts out from the sealed top (the hump is like a steam vent).
3) The depressions of the pan are shallow, it ensures that the edges become nice and lacy/crispy, and the bottom browns. While technically, you can make these in a cupcake tin, the center may be more dense due to a longer baking time.
Madeleine pans come in all shapes and sizes from small mini ones like this, (this is the pan I started with) to the classic larger size. They even come in rounder shells! I have Here is the one I used for this recipe and I highly recommend! It's made by in France by Gobel - one of the best suppliers of professional bakeware.
How to store Madeleines
Madeleines are best enjoyed when warm, but if you're baking ahead (save any decoration for when you're ready to eat), let the madeleines cool completely before storing in an air-tight container and leaving on the counter. I wouldn't advise placing them in the fridge/freezer because they'll become dry.
When you're ready to enjoy, re-heat in a microwave at 10 seconds intervals until warm or in an oven, covered with a sheet of aluminum foil for 5 minutes at 350°F.
I hope these Honey Orange Madeleines brighten up your day! These are perfect treat to share with friends and neighbours.
Happy Baking! Sharon XO
Honey Orange Madeleines with Chocolate
- 2 medium eggs room temperature
- ⅓ cup (65g) granulated sugar
- 1 + ¼ cup (140g) all-purpose flour
- ½ tbsp (7g) baking powder
- ¼ + 3 tbsp (100g) unsalted butter melted
- zest of 1 medium orange
- 2 tbsp (30 ml) liquid honey
- 4 oz semisweet or bittersweet chocolate roughly chopped
for the batter
- Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl.
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the eggs and granulated sugar. Whisk until the sugar has fulled dissolved into the eggs and the eggs are pale in color and fall off the whisk in ribbons - This is so important or your madeleines will be lumpy. Then whisk in the orange zest and honey.
- Sift the flour mixture into the egg mixture and fold just until there are no visible streaks of flour. NOTE: You don't want to over-fold or the flour will be over-worked and the madeleines will be dense & tough.
- Cover the bowl with cling wrap and chill in the fridge for a minimum of one hour (up to two days max). This is so the flavors can deepen. If you were to bake the batter right away, it is unlikely the madeleines will rise properly since the flour has not absorbed the liquid.
- Once chilled, gently fold in the melted butter (as to avoid deflating the air). Melted butter gives the madeleines a shine and extra tender crumb.
to prep & assemble
- Preheat your oven to 375°F then prepare your pan as instructed below.
- To ensure the madeleines release from the pan after baking butter each madeleine crevice using a baking spray or by brushing melted butter. Use your fingers to rub the butter into each crevice, then lightly dust flour all over the pan: I recommend using a sifter to prevent clumps of flour. Lightly tap the pan on its edge 2-3 times to release excess flour. The buttered crevices should be completely coated in a light film of flour. If you notice any patches, butter, and flour again.
- Use two spoons, one to scoop the batter, and the other to release it, to fill each madeleine crevice with batter leaving only a 2 cm gap. Don't fill up to the edge or they will spill over.
- TIP: If you really want to be precise, scoop the batter into a piping bag, and cut an opening ½ inch up from the tip and pipe into the pan moving from the top to the bottom of the crevice while going left to right to fill.
- Bake the madeleines at 375°F for 5 minutes, then lower the temperature to 350°F and bake for another 7 -10 minutes or until lightly browned and only slight crumbs cling to an inserted toothpick. Do not open the oven until the very end or they may deflate.
- Remove the madeleine tray, and let cool for 5 minutes or until the pan can be touched with bare hands. Hold the pan upright (so the long edge is parallel to a surface), and lightly tap the pan against the counter so the madeleines slide out.
to decorate (optional)
- Melt 4 oz of chocolate (semi-sweet or bitter) in the microwave at 10-second intervals. Once cooled, dip the madeleines into the chocolate, and garnish immediately with orange zest or chopped pecans while the chocolate is still wet. Rest on a wired rack for 5-10 minutes or until the chocolate has slightly hardened.