Lemon & Cardamom Madeleines

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Madeleines are so much fun to make at home, especially because they are best when eaten warm and crispy from the oven. The batter is easily flavoured with spices, zests, lavender, rose water or vanilla and it can be conveniently stored in the fridge for up to 2 days. To achieve that classic madeleine hump, make sure to refrigerate the batter for at least 12 hours before baking.

Lemon & Cardamom Madeleines

Adapted from David Lebovitz’s Lemon Glazed Madeleines 

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (175g)
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
3 large eggs, room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar (130g)
Rounded 1/8 teaspoon salt
9 tablespoons unsalted butter (120g), melted and cooled to room temperature
Zest of one lemon
Seeds of 1/2 vanilla bean

Method:

Whisk to combine the flour and ground cardamom.

Add the lemon zest and vanilla seeds to the melted butter and whisk to combine.

Add the sugar, salt, and eggs to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat for 5 minutes on medium speed until thickened (hand beaters will work as well).

Sift the dry ingredients over the egg mixture and fold with a spatula until no streaks of flour remain.

Add the melted butter to the bowl and quickly fold the ingredients together just until the butter is incorporated.

Scrape the batter into a glass bowl, press a piece of plastic wrap onto the surface of the batter and chill the bowl in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours and up to 2 days.

To bake:

Preheat the oven to 425° F.

Brush the madeleine molds with a small amount of melted butter, and once it has cooled dust with flour and tap out the excess.

Use a spoon to place a small scoop of the batter in the center of each mold. The molds should be approximately 3/4 full, but make sure to leave the batter mounded in the center to achieve the classic hump.

Bake the madeleines for 8-9 minutes, or just until they spring back to the touch.

Immediately knock the madeleines out of the tray and onto a wire rack to cool.

They are best when eaten the same day, and even better when hot and crispy from the oven. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Brown Butter Spiced Madeleines

Earlier this week I ventured into the heart of hipster Toronto, to visit my old haunting grounds in Kensington Market. This is one of my favourite places in the world for several reasons, but what really keeps me coming back is the sheer density of food, art, and fashion jammed into one energetic space. Nothing gets me excited like the thought of more culturally diverse markets, spice stores, and delicatessens than I know what to do with. It did not take me long to spot a bakery that had sprung up in my absence, and I was dancing when I realized I was in for a treat. Go to Blackbird Baking Co. and get yourself some bread, because the wholegrain Pullman I took home set a whole new standard. And if vegan restaurants and vintage clothing is more your thing, there is plenty of that in the area as well.

With it being fall, the season in which we add spice to everything, my main mission was to restock my depleted spice cabinet. A fist-full of whole nutmegs, ground ginger, Ceylon cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, all-spice, and Chinese 5-spice together create the base of a solid winter horde. Since balancing spice is an acquired skill, I thought what better to learn than to whip up batches of bite-sized madeleines, each flavoured with a slightly different combination of spices. After much munching, this version emerged as the winner.

Brown Butter Spiced Madeleines
adapted from Epicurious, Spiced Madeleines

Ingredients: 

3 3/4 oz unsalted butter, browned and cooled*
3/4 cup all-purpose flour (94g)
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon ceylon cinnamon (or 1/2 teaspoon regular cinnamon)
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
large pinch all-spice
pinch salt
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
3 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon orange zest
2 large eggs, at room temperature

*Click here to learn how to make brown butter

Method: 

Brown the butter. Whisk in the vanilla extract and let cool to lukewarm.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, all-spice, and salt.

Whisk the eggs and sugars together until well combined.

Add the flour to the egg/sugar mixture and gently whisk, or fold with a rubber spatula, until no streaks of flour remain. Quickly fold in the cooled butter just until you have a uniform batter.

Cover the top of the batter with plastic wrap and chill it in the fridge for at least 2 hours, and up to 2 days.

Preheat the oven to 400ºF.

Butter and flour a madeleine pan. Fill each cavity 2/3 full with the chilled batter.

Bake in the preheated oven for 5 minutes, then lower the temperature to 350ºF and bake for another 6-8 minutes or until the centers spring back to the touch.

Turn the madeleines out onto a wire cooling rack. Dust with icing sugar just before serving, or drizzle with a simple glaze of water and icing sugar once they have cooled.