Madeleines are small shell-shaped traditional cakes from the town of Commercy, in the North of the Lorraine region of France. These little cakes are famous for the shape and smooth texture. Madeleines are perfect for snacking or afternoon goûter (afternoon tea) in France. In Lorraine, it is believed that the delightful madeleines came from a young maid named Madeleine who used to work for the Duke of Lorraine, Stanislas Leczinski in the late 1700s.
When I look at these madeleines, they remind me of kuih bahulu. Since young, kuih bahulu has always been my favourite kuih. Kuih (also kueh, kue, or kway) refers to bite-sized food items. Kuih-muih (plural term for kuih) back home in Malaysia are usually associated with cakes and cookies. Kuih bahulu is usually baked during festive season. But, nowadays you can get kuih bahulu from stalls or supermarkets any time you want.
Apart from the shape, the only difference that I can tell between madeleine and kuih bahulu is that butter is not used in making kuih bahulu. Hence, the texture is slightly different. Should I say that that kuih bahulu is slightly lighter and spongier? Maybe for those who have tried both kuih bahulu and madeleines can share your views?
The recipe of madeleines that I am going to share with you all today has been tested and tasted many times! It has been passed to me from Arnaud’s mother, Nelly. We both share the same passion in cooking and constantly exchange ideas in cooking and sharing recipes!
To make madeleines, you need madeleines moulds that are pretty easy to purchase online nowadays. Once you get hold of the moulds, I am sure you will enjoy baking these great little cakes that you will never get bored of. Also, madeleines are perfect for afternoon tea!
1 tsp vanilla essence/lemon juice
1 tsp yeast
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Brush madeleine moulds with melted butter and coat with flour, then tap to remove the excess flour. If you have non-stick moulds, you do not need to do this.
2. Whisk the eggs and sugar until the mixture is thick and pale and the whisk leaves a trail when lifted.
3. Mix the yeast into the flour. Gently fold in the mixture, then add the melted butter and vanilla essence or lemon juice.
4. Spoon into the moulds, leaving a little room for rising. Bake for 12 minutes or until very lightly golden and springy to the touch. Remove from the moulds and cool on wire rack.