Tuesday, October 23, 2012


I loveeeeee madeleines! They are born to attract affection with that sweet shell-like shape! 

Don't be jealous! Just because they're pretty, it doesn't mean that they don't have substance! But if you do, I completely understand because with my jealousy unleashed, I once had that misconception too. I was so sure that my misconception was right after I had my first madeleine, which was awful. I got it from a supermarket. I guess you can get the picture now, it was one of those mixed in with a lot of artificial coloring and additives and never turn bad until 3 years later. The texture was horrible, it was unbearably sweet, not spongy and it was so so dense that I felt like I had swallowed a huge damp teabag filled with sugar instead of tea leaves!

Anyway, my misconception was utterly shattered 2 years ago when I worked as a summer intern at a place that is, in this case, seemingly irrelevant- Deacons, the largest local law firm in Hong Kong. Deacons has its own kitchen and the chef there (I hope he is still working there) is extremely friendly and welcoming. Eating his madeleines has made me realize that when madeleines are made right, they taste heavenly! Delicate, moist and soft like muffin, oozing with a warm buttery aroma and a slight lemon twang. Perfect.


I have tried out different recipes and I think Rachel Khoo's produces the best madeleines so far. However, I don't fill the madeleines with lemon curd as she has demonstrated because I think that they are already moist enough without any aid from the lemon curd, and more importantly, the buttery aroma of madeleines really deserves the stage. With that extra bit of red in the middle, these gorgeous madeleines are surely hard to resist!

(servings: 24 madeleines)
- 3 eggs,
- 130g of sugar,
- 200g of plain flour,
- 10g baking powder
- finely grated zest from 1 lemon
- 1.5 tablespoons of honey
- 4 tablespoons of milk
- 200g of butter, melted and cooled
- raspberries (optional)

1. Heat the butter first and turn the heat off once the butter is dissolved. Set aside to cool. 
2. When the butter is cooled, add into it the honey and milk and stir. 
3. In a bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and lemon zest.
4. In another bowl, beat the eggs with sugar vigorously by hand or with electric whisk until the egg mixture becomes pale and frothy. 
5. Add the butter mixture to the egg mixture. Then add in the flour mixture bit by bit while mixing and incorporating them together. The batter should be slightly lumpy, but that is fine. 
6. Cover the bowl and leave the batter in the fridge for a few hours or preferably overnight. 
7. When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 190C.
8. Lightly brush the madeleine tin with butter and coat it with flour. Pat off the excess flour by turning the tin upside down and shaking it.
9. Transfer the cake batter to a pipping bag. Cut the tip of the pipping bag* (leaving a 5mm-diameter hole) and start filling the madeleine- just a little bit below the shell shape and not filling it right to the brim. Also, just aim to squeeze into the middle of the indentation, the batter will rise to the brim as it bakes later on, so don't worry.
10. If you fancy some colour and the sharp berry twang, press a raspberry deep into the batter in each indentation.
11. Bake for five minutes then turn off the oven for one minute. After that minute, turn on the oven again but to 160C and bake for a further five minutes. 
12. When it's done, transfer the madeleines to the cooling rack. But you don't have to wait long for them to cool! Indulge when they are still very warm! You may dust them with some icing sugar for a extra bit of sweetness. 

* Sorry I don't use pipping nozzles, I think they are hard to control. So I just cut the tip of the pipping bag and it still works fine!

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