These lemon and lavender madeleines will transport you to the fields of Provence via the patisseries of Paris. They are also surprisingly each to make.
I’ll be honest, I actually only very recently tried fresh madeleines. I’d tried those ones out the packet and hated them, foolishly thinking that’s what madeleines tasted like I was put off. This meant when confronted with madeleines in patisseries I didn’t choose them.
This all changed on our recent trip to London and to La Patisserie Des Reves. We were given tiny mini madeleines to try and they were slightly warm and so fresh. I was so surprised by their texture, slightly crispy on the outside then pillowy soft and light on the inside. Nothing with like those dry, tasteless packet ones and that was it, I was hooked.
Unlike most patisserie treats, madeleines have very simple ingredients and are relatively simple to make yet people are still put off by them as you require a madeleine pan (well you do if you want them to be madeleine shaped, otherwise you could just use little muffin tins).
I actually picked mines up in TK Maxx (or TJ Maxx to you Americans). I love their home department and regularly buy from their amazing selection of plates, cookware and serve-ware. You can get some amazing quality pieces at great prices (not necessarily cheap but certainly cheap for the quality). I saw this madeleine pan for £5 and knew I had to have it.
I know it can seem crazy to have a million different pans and different things but actually I can see myself making these frequently. Like I said the ingredients are fairly simple and are certainly items I always have on hand. Plus this receive yields a rather nice little amount of 12 madeleines which seems much more manageable than a giant cake.
Have I justified it enough yet?
One of the other things that makes a madeleine really distinctive is the little bump on the back. For this, I learnt a little trick from Rachel Khoo where you turn the oven off for a bit during cooking then back on at a lower temperature. It’s worked for me everytime! Another key is to make sure you chill your batter as this will help too.
You can keep these simple by just using the lemon zest but I love using floral flavours in cooking and I thought, what’s more perfectly French than lemon and lavender? This measure adds just a little taste without overpowering the madeleines, something you do have to watch out for when cooking with lavender. Make sure you use culinary lavender, I picked mine up in Waitrose by Bart’s.
Make sure you serve them straight form the oven and with a delicious cup of tea, my favourite being this delicious Afternoon tea by Whittard’s which is a black and green tea flavoured with jasmine and bergamot and perfectly compliments the lemon and lavender.
- 100 grams butter, plus extra for greasing pan
- 125 grams caster sugar
- 2 medium eggs
- Zest of one lemon
- 1 teaspoon edible lavender
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 180 grams plain flour
- 7 grams baking powder (about 2 teaspoons)
- Melt the butter on a low heat until just starting to darken (use a light coloured pan so you can see the colour change). Remove from the heat as soon as the colour starts to change so it doesn't burn.
- In a bowl add the sugar and eggs and whisk for 5-10 minutes until pale and you get ribbons. Add the lemon zest, lavender, honey and milk and mix together. Sift in the flour and baking powder and fold with a spatula until just combined.
- To help the butter mix easily with the mixture, and one tablespoon of batter to the butter and whisk well. Then add the melted butter to the batter and fold to combine. Place the batter in the fridge for about half an hour.
- While the batter is in the fridge prepare your madeleine pan and set the oven to 175 degrees Celsius (fan oven). Brush a little melted butter into each shell, making sure it is completely coated. Take a tablespoon of flour and add a little to each shell. Tilt and shake the pan until each shell is completely covered in a layer of flour. Shake out any excess flour.
- Place the batter into a large piping back and snip off about an inch at the bottom. Pipe the mixture into each shell, leaving a little space until the top of the shell. Place in the oven for 5 minutes, turn the oven off for one minute then back on at 150 degrees for a further five minutes.
- Turn on to a wire rack and sprinkle with icing sugar. These are best served straight from the oven.