Madeleines – buttery French sponge cakes – are even more indulgent when dipped in chocolate.
Makes around 24
- 4 eggs
- 180g caster sugar
- 50g honey
- 275g plain flour
- 25g baking powder
- 250g butter, plus a little extra for greasing the moulds (unless using silicone)
- Zest of half a lemon
To decorate (optional):
- About 200g good quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids), broken into pieces
- A little cocoa powder, for dusting
- About 2 tbsp crushed roasted hazelnuts
1. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, honey, flour and baking powder and leave
for a minimum of four hours in the fridge, ideally overnight.
2. Preheat the oven to 190C / Gas 5.
3. Put the butter into a food mixer with the lemon zest and beat it to soften (or use a hand-held mixer). Take the egg and honey mixture from the fridge and add to the butter. Mix until it is well incorporated. Lightly grease your madeleine trays, then spoon the mixture into the trays and put into the preheated oven.
4. Turn down the heat to 170C / Gas 3 and bake for 7–8 minutes until risen and golden. Take out of the oven, turn out and cool on a wire rack.
5. If you want to make chocolate madeleines, put the chocolate into a heatproof bowl over
a pan of barely simmering water – make sure the water comes close to the bottom of the bowl but doesn’t actually touch it. Keep the heat very low so that you don’t get steam into the bowl, as this can make the chocolate become dull-looking and stiff. Keep stirring all the time and let the chocolate melt slowly, then remove the bowl from the heat. Have the hazelnuts ready in a shallow bowl.
6. Dip the rounded ends of the madeleines into the chocolate and then dip half of them into the bowl of crushed nuts so that the nuts coat the chocolate. Return to the wire rack to set.
7. For the rest, dust part of the chocolate-dipped area with cocoa powder using a small, fine sieve and place on the rack.
Photograph by Jean Cazals from Patisserie Maison by Richard Bertinet (Ebury Press, £20). www.bertinet.com.