We were in Toulouse and I’d stuffed myself silly with confit duck when I discovered CAFÉ GOURMAND, which is a French concept, not a place. At pudding time, you get an espresso and a bunch of mini things. So, if you’re a bit flup and unable to commit to a flambéed booze-pancake or a pie dish of burned custard or a giant, cream-filled choux doughnut or whatever you have available to you, you select this and you get a bit of everything.
Including – sometimes – a madeleine. A golden, shell-shaped sponge.
These things are not as twee as they look. They are rich and custardy and best served warm.
The Roux brothers’ honeyed batter needs time in the fridge so the madeleines get a nice bump in the back; they should be served as soon as they are freed from their tray.
A word on this recipe, from the bros:
“It is easy to make and will fill your kitchen with good smells”.
Away we go.
Madeleines au miel, adapted from The Roux Brothers on Patisserie
220°C – but remember your mixture is having a pre-bake rest, so pre-heat when you’re ready
75g caster sugar
10g dark brown sugar
Small pinch of salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp honey
30g butter for greasing
1. Melt the 90g butter and leave it to cool.
2. Combine the eggs, two types of sugar and salt.
3. Work gently with a spatula until it starts to turn lighter in colour.
4. In a separate bowl, mix the flour and baking powder with a whisk, until it’s even.
5. Gradually add the dry mix to the sugary eggs and fold with a spatula. Don’t work any more than necessary.
6. Add the honey and melted butter, and mix until completely even.
7. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave it to rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
8. When you’re ready, melt the remaining 30g butter and brush it on the insides of the madeleine tray.
9. Use two teaspoons to fill the tray, fairy cake-style (or, pipe it, Roux-style).
10. Don’t over-fill because they’ll rise quite a bit and chubby shells are ugly.
11. Bake for 5 minutes if they’re mini, or 8 if they’re regular-sized.
12. From the Rouxs: “On no account overcook them, or they will not be moist”.
13. Slide ’em out as soon as you can bear to.