Lemon Madeleines

Printemps 2005
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food and drink

BY: Jennifer McLagan

Classic madeleines must be eaten warm from the oven, like a soufflé, which can be nerve-wracking for the cook. This recipe forgoes the yolks and adds ground almonds so these little cakes stay moist and flavourful even 1 or 2 days after they are baked - if they last that long.

1 madeleine tin with twelve 3-inch (8-cm) moulds
6 tbsp (90 mL) unsalted butter
¾ cup (175 mL) icing sugar
1/3 cup (75 mL) flour
Pinch salt
1/3 cup (75 mL) ground almonds
3 egg whites
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
Icing sugar

1. Butter and flour the moulds very well. Fill a large bowl with ice and cold water. Melt the butter in a small saucepan and continue to cook until the butter begins to brown and smells nutty. Then remove the saucepan from heat and plunge the base into the ice and water to stop the cooking. Remove from water and leave to cool slightly.

2. Sift the icing sugar and flour with the pinch of salt into a bowl, then stir in ground almonds. In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites until just frothy. Whisk the flour-almond mixture into the frothy whites followed by browned butter and zest. Place the juice of the lemon (you will have about 4 tbsp (60 mL) in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil hard for about a minute or until reduced to 1 tbsp (15 mL). Add to the mixture, then spoon it into the prepared tin. Place the tin in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

3. Heat the oven to 375ºF (190ºC).

4. Bake the madeleines 12 to 15 minutes or until the surface springs back when touched. Tip out of the moulds and allow to cool. Dust with icing sugar and serve.

5. If you have more than 1 tin, you can double the recipe.

Makes twelve 3-inch (8-cm) madeleines