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La French Madeleine

Updated: Jun 2, 2023

Small in size, it is nevertheless one of the great essentials of French gastronomy...

A bit of history

Since 1755, the madeleine has been delighting young and old alike. It is often enjoyed as a snack, dipped in hot chocolate, coffee or tea.

It was born in the kitchen of the Château de Commercy, in the North-East of France.

A unique creation of the very talented cook of King Stanislas de Pologne, who was called… Madeleine.

« Proust's madeleine »

It is a French expression that has become famous, which refers to the writer Marcel Proust (1871-1922). It is taken from his work "In Search of Lost Time".

Experiencing the madeleine is like traveling back in time. It's seeing your past, your childhood, emerge quite involuntarily, thanks to a smell or a landscape... or a cake for example.

The madeleine for Proust is the memory of his aunt Léonie who always offered him "one of these short and plump cakes called small madeleines (…) after having soaked it in her infusion of tea or lime blossom. »


For about 15 madeleines

Equipment :

  • 1 madeleines mold

  • 1 oven

  • 1 bowl

  • 1 whisk

  • 1 saucepan

  • 2 tea spoons to fill the mold with the dough

Ingredients :

  • 2 eggs

  • 100 g sugar

  • 40 g milk

  • 125 g flour

  • 5 g baking powder

  • 140 g unsalted butter

In the traditional recipe, there is no added flavor, no lemon or orange blossom flower...

But if you feel adventurous you can try to make them with grated lemon or orange rind or even make them savory : replace the sugar with some grated parmiggiano, chopped olives or chorizo…

For the icing (optional) :

  • 120 g ice sugar

  • 40 g orange juice

Day 1

Preparation time : 5 min

  1. Melt the butter.

  2. In a bowl, whisk the eggs with the sugar.

  3. Then add the milk then the flour and baking powder sifted together and to finish the melted butter while still hot.

  4. Mix well to obtain a homogeneous texture.

  5. Let the dough rest in the fridge for at least 3 hours (if you can prepare it the day before, that's even better!)

Day 2 (or after 3 hours at least)

Baking time : 2 X 10 min

  1. Preheat the oven to 210°C.

  2. Grease the madeleine mold with softened butter and lightly flour it to facilitate turning out after baking.

  3. Pour the cold dough into each compartment, taking care not to fill them entirely : the thermal shock between the cold dough and the very hot oven, combined with enough space to rise in the mold without overflowing... that's the double secret for nice round bumps !

  4. Bake for 9-10 min at 210°C, rotating heat.

  5. Remember to watch the end of cooking, the time may vary slightly depending on your oven.

  6. For the optional icing, simply mix the sugar and orange juice and brush the madeleines (bump side) to add a thin, crunchy and delicious layer.

Wine Pairing :

Enjoy your little madeleines with a cup of coffee or tea... Or maybe a fine sparkling wine with a subtle dosage balancing with a delicate acidity. A sweetish but not to heavy texture on the palate. We look for a fresh and fruity bubble, aromas of ripe citrus and white flowers, even better with a hint of fresh hazelnut or almond.

For example : a "Clairette de Die", from the South-East of France, made with Muscat grapes and an ounce of Clairette.

…And you, what is your "madeleine de Proust"?


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