Elderflower Madeleines

The other day when I was writing here about elderflower cordial I just sort of threw-away as an aside that I use it to make elderflower madeleines. Then I made them and decided that I hadn’t done them justice at all.

I am a big fan of madeleines generally. The most elegant of sponges with their delicate shell-like ridges on one side giving a distinctive beauty. Quite how the tell-tale hump on the other is achieved is still a mystery to me and I hope it remains so.  I like that madeleines are just slightly unfathomable.

Their elegance belies a practicality. Madeleine mixture is best made a few hours (or the night before) before you want to serve them. And when you want to serve them is just as they come out of the oven. A madeleine has to be freshly baked or else its charms will fade.

These ones with a hint of elderflower are a real treat for early summer. Maybe with afternoon tea or after dinner.

Elderflower Madeleines – for a dozen of the large 8cm ones

  • 60g butter (plus another smallish piece)
  • 2 eggs
  • 60g caster sugar
  • grated zest of 1 lemon
  • a few drops of vanilla extract
  • 60g plain flour, sifted (plus a smattering more for the baking tin)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 2tsps elderflower cordial

1. Melt the 60g of butter by putting it in a bowl over a pan of boiling water. Once melted, take it off the water and let it come to room temperature.

2. Whisk together the sugar and eggs – get them nice and thick. Then work in the lemon and vanilla, followed by the sifted flour, baking powder and salt. Combine well but don’t overdo it. Lastly, stir in the melted butter and elderflower cordial. Your madeleine mixture is now ready to sit and rest – for at least 2 hours. If your kitchen is warm then put it into the fridge.

When you are ready to bake them:

3. Preheat the oven to 180C.

4. Melt the small piece of butter that you still have left over. Brush each madeleine indent in the tin with butter, and follow up with a smattering of flour over.

5. Spoon the mixture in, going not quite up to the rim.

6. Sit the tray on a baking sheet in the oven – that helps protect the fluted underside from not getting too brown. They’ll need about 15 minutes but check at 12. The edges should be going nicely brown.

7. Let them sit for 15 seconds out of the oven before lifting your madeleines out of the tin and onto a wire rack. Serve them immediately.


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