Daniel Boulud’s Madeleines

by Hilary Gauntt on April 28, 2016

Madeleines are those lovely little scalloped shaped cakes that are both elegant and everyday…even Starbucks sells little packets along with their pastries. Restaurant Daniel in New York City has been on the A-list for years, and Chef Boulud keeps earning his Michelin stars. As complicated and labor intensive as his recipes are, this is how he ends your meal…every table receives a basket of simple warm Madeleines dusted with powdered sugar. (Of course they are nestled in a white napkin that’s been folded to resemble an artichoke.)

I’m not sure I would have attempted a recipe that came straight from the oven to the table (and required me to purchase a specialty pan!), except it appears that the batter can be made ahead; even the day before! All you have to do is spoon the batter into the prepared pan and pop into the oven for 8 minutes, and Viola! You have served a freshly baked lovely little cake worthy of the finest restaurant. Also wonderful in the morning with coffee. And a basket lined with a bistro towel works just fine if napkin folding isn’t one of your skills.

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp kosher salt

2 large eggs

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 Tbs. light brown sugar

1 Tbs. honey

2 tsp. finely grated lemon or orange zest

6 Tbs. warm melted unsalted butter

non-stick vegetable oil spray

powdered sugar

Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. Whisk the eggs, both sugars, honey and the zest in a medium bowl until smooth. Whisk in dry ingredients until just incorporated, then whisk in the melted butter until smooth. Transfer the batter to a pastry bag or resealable plastic bag and chill at least an hour.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly coat the 12-cake regular Madeleine pan or 3 20-cake mini Madeleine pans with the cooking spray and dust with flour, tapping out excess.. Snip end off pastry bag (or one corner of the resealable plastic bag), and pipe the batter into pan, filling each scallop indentation two-thirds full. (You may have batter left over.)

Bake Madeleines until the edges are golden brown and centers are puffed and lightly spring back when gently pressed, about 8 to 10 minutes for regular cakes and 5 minutes for mini.

Tap pan against the counter to release the cakes. Dust with powdered sugar and serve while still warm. Makes 12 large or 5 dozen mini cakes.

Note: I bought the 12 cake pan,(Sur la Tab about $16) with a non stick coating, so used the spray but skipped the flour dusting step. I filled the pan a bit too full, so my cakes appeared slightly pregnant on one side, but tasted delicate and lovely with the lemon zest shining through. I found 10 minutes had them slightly darker brown than ideal, so do check them at 8 minutes.


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