For whatever reason, I seem to get an annual urge (always in the spring) to make madeleines — and then savour/devour said madeleines in an impressively brief amount time. The fun part about making them yourself, of course, is that you can be as playful as you want with the flavours and ingredients. Last year I decided to make madeleines with brown butter and honey, and this year I opted to make some with lots of lemon zest and a blood orange glaze. Here’s how you can make them too!
cardamom-spiced lemon madeleines with (an optional) blood orange glaze
makes around 24 madeleines, depending on the shape and size of your pan
These madeleines a bit versatile, in that you can change up the spices and flavours a bit (why not add almond extract instead of lemon zest? or swap out the cardamom for cinnamon and ginger?). One thing you should not compromise on, however, is letting the batter rest or trying to bake it from room temperature — you really want to shock the cold batter with the heat of the hot oven in order to get a nice rise on your madeleines and achieve those distinguishing humps.
• 65g butter, plus more for greasing the pan if using unsalted, add in a little pinch of fine salt
• 5g olive oil
• 100g sugar, plus more for sprinkling the pan
• 2 eggs ideally at room temperature, but it’s okay if you forget (I do too)
• 1 tsp lemon zest I always keep some in a small jar in the freezer!
• 1 tsp orange zest I also keep some in the freezer!
• ½ tsp cardamom
• 1 tsp vanilla this can be vanilla extract, vanilla sugar, or powdered vanilla — whichever you’ve got access to
• 35g milk these days I prefer to use whole milk, but you do you
• 135g flour
• 5g baking powder
for the (optional) blood orange glaze:
- 85g powdered sugar
- ~ 1 Tbsp blood orange juice freshly squeezed
- 1 pinch fine salt you won’t taste it, but it’ll help balance out the sometimes-sickly sweetness of the powdered sugar
1. Melt the 65g of butter in a saucepan over low heat (along with a small pinch of salt, if the butter is unsalted). Add in the 5g of olive oil. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the 100g of sugar and the 2 eggs, until the mixture has become aerated and is pale yellow.
3. Add in the 1 teaspoon of lemon zest, 1 teaspoon of orange zest, ½ teaspoon of powdered cardamom and 1 teaspoon of vanilla, plus the 35g of milk, and whisk again until all is well combined.
4. Add the 135g of flour and 5g of baking powder to the wet ingredients, and gently mix until the batter is homogeneous and smooth.
5. Finally, add the melted butter and olive oil to the batter. Whisk gently until well combined, then transfer the batter to a container with a lid. Leave to chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours, ideally overnight.
6. When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 250°C fan/270°C/ 520°F (or its max. temp) and place the madeleine pan in the fridge to chill.
7. Once the oven is hot, butter and sugar the pan then fill each shell about three quarters of the way full (~ 1½ teaspoons’ worth) with batter. Tap the pan to eliminate any air bubbles, then bake for 2 mins at high heat before lowering the temperature to 200°C/400°F and baking for a further 10 mins.
8. Remove the madeleines from the pan and transfer them to a wire rack to cool for 2 minutes.
for the blood orange glaze:
9. In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, salt and blood orange juice until smooth but still relatively thick (you may need to add more blood orange juice, 1 teaspoon at a time, to reach your desired consistency).
10. Dip your cooled madeleines in the glaze — or spoon the glaze over them — and place them back on the wire rack to let the glaze drip dry and harden. All that’s left to do is enjoy!
Enjoy fresh that day, or store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.
p.s. if you’d like to watch these madeleines being made, there’s a how-to video of me making these over in my Instagram stories / highlights 🙂