Classic Madeleines by Mlle. M Bakes
That Delightful Goûter Staple
These small French sponge cakes are made in a distinct shell-shaped mold and develop a little hump as they bake. They are traditionally eaten with morning coffee or at 4PM goûter (the French answer to afternoon tea). We ducks certainly go through them fast!
TASTING NOTES FROM THE CURATOR
Madeleines (correct French pronunciation “ma-duh-lainz”) are generally considered sponge cakes or tea time cakes, but Mlle. M makes them with a modified genoise sponge recipe baked in specific shell-shaped pans. This gives the ordinarily moist and springy cakes an added airiness and faintly crumbly texture. The Madeleine Classic Collection of Mlle. M Bakes allows you to choose from the following flavors:
- Madeleines Classique – The original madeleine flavored with vanilla and lemon zest, enhanced by beurre noisette.
- Madeleines Amande-Orange – The classic reimagined with almond and orange zest, then dipped in luscious dark chocolate.
- Madeleines Chocolat – This double chocolate version of the French treat is denser in texture, with melted chocolate both worked into the batter itself and used as a decadent finishing dip.
PREPARATION OR PAIRINGS
French novelist and essayist Marcel Proust had much to say about eating madeleines. As he wrote in Remembrance of Things Past, he dunked the treats in a cup of tea and “no sooner had the warm liquid mixed with the crumbs touched my palate than a shudder ran through me and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary thing that was happening to me.”
For a boozy merienda or an after-dinner treat, we enjoy the Madeleines Amande-Orange with the bright Dr. Bürklin-Wolf Estate Riesling Trocken.
For the deep, dense Madeleines Chocolat to cap off your day, we suggest our Braida Brachetto d’Acqui DOCG.
(ONE OF MANY…) RUMOR HAS IT
It’s said that in the 1700s, an assistant pâtissier named Madeleine Paulmier worked in the kitchen of the Stanislas, the Duke of Lorraine and former King of Poland. One fête, she baked these little cakes for the duke’s guests. The duke himself enjoyed them so much that he named them after her. His duchess brought the cakes to her dear relative Louis XV in Versailles, and they’ve been a staple of French culture ever since. Of course, there are many other stories surrounding the origins of this particular treat. From town to city to commune, each and every one of them involves a budding pastry genius named Madeleine!
These petits fours are best consumed as soon as you receive them, but in case you do have leftovers, you can store your madeleines in an airtight container at room temperature (20 to 25°C) for up to 3 days. They will last about a week in the fridge.
Dipped ones can be eaten right out of the fridge or after being brought to room temperature. Non-dipped/glazed ones can go in the oven for 6 to 8 minutes at 160°C or in the microwave with a cup of water for 1 to 2 minutes. The water will keep them from drying out.