For years I've despaired over Madeleines...thinking that the only one I would enjoy these would be on a trip to France, at a quiet Parisian café. The offerings around here were bleak...either no-flavor cakes with no crispy edges, plastic containers filled with preservative-filled cakes, or a variety that was more in the line of a hard-as-rock shortbread cookie. I dreamed about delicate scalloped edges, a buttery-crisp edge and tender, cake-like bump.
I finally found the courage to give these a try of my own. I ordered a shiny new madeleine pan a few weeks ago, and looked at dozens of recipes - each of them so different from the other that it was hard to imagine that they had the same end-result in mind. And as luck would have it, one of my favorite blogs, Sally's Baking Addiction, decided to tackle these as well today. It definitely was a sign...madeleines would finally become a reality! So today is the day. Let me introduce you to my new favorite friend, the Chocolate Madeleine. It's love at first bite!
Now don't let these delicate French cakes scare you! It's a simple recipe, a simple process - and if you take the time, so much easier and fun than you can imagine! The secret really is to be mindful of how delicate the batter is while you are working with it. Everything else is a snap!
If you can melt butter, and if you have a stand mixer to whip the eggs, sugar, vanilla and kosher salt for eight frothy minutes until you have a golden "ribbon" for a base, you're off to a good start! You'll sift flour, cocoa and just a smidge of baking powder together, and then carefully fold everything together - as delicately and gently as you can!
The batter will "rest" for 30-45 minutes, and it will become "sponge-like" as it sits. While that's happening, you'll use a pastry brush to completely coat the shells in the madeleine pan with melted butter, and then you'll chill the buttered pan for 10 minutes as well. All of these little steps help to create the Chocolate Madeleine of my dreams - and hopefully of yours as well!
Do you see that wonderful little "bump" as these bake? The edges have the lightest crispness to them, butter scallops, and the center bakes up moist and tender. You don't want to overbake these little teacakes! But you will want to give them a dusting of powdered sugar, and gobble them down warm from the oven.
Time to put on a little Michael Buble music, brew a cup of fresh coffee, and you'll be nibbling on fresh, tender and fabulous Chocolate Madeleines faster than you can imagine - perfect French pastries in the comfort of home! These would also be wonderful for a fancy tea or bridal shower, or if you are as blessed as me to have five wonderful daughters, perfect to enjoy with your girls during a little quiet time.
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