Saturday, 5 May 2012

Madeleines for everyone

Silicone Madeleine bun tins

I have some silicone madeleine tins, which are among my favourite pieces of kitchen kit.  The sweet shell shape of madeleines, and their perfect one mouthful size (or two mouthfuls if you are being super polite) is appealing to everyone.  The silicone means that you don't need to use any cake-release or grease on the tins, and the madeleines just pop out perfectly every time.

Today I made some savoury madeleines, and then Cam made some sweet ones.  The process of making madeleines is so quick and easy, that it can become slightly addictive.  Almost as addictive as eating them.

My savoury ones were adapted from a recipe in the lastest issue of Marie Claire Idées, and are made from goats cheese and thyme.

A dish of goats cheese & thyme madeleines

Goats Cheese and Thyme Madeleines
Makes 15.
  • 30g butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 eggs
  • Half a small goats cheese  - approx. 50g, but no need to be particularly accurate here.
  • 50g plain flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon chopped, fresh thyme
  • a big pinch of ground black pepper
In a large bowl, mash together the softened butter and olive oil with a fork.  Add the eggs and beat vigorously until slightly frothy.  Then stir in the remaining ingredients and mix gently until combined.

Spoon the mixture into madeleine tins and bake at Gas 6 for fifteen minutes, but start checking after 10.  Nothing dreadful will happen to the madeleines if you open the oven door and inspect them a few times.  They are ready when they are firm to the touch and lightly golden around the edges.  Remove from the tins and allow to cool on a rack.

Savoury madeleines

We'll be having these as nibbles this evening with some slices of saucisson and a glass of white wine.  We brought several saucissons back from France, and they are currently hanging from my saucepan rack, giving a nice garlicky aroma to the kitchen.

Saucisson and garlic, hanging up with the pans
Saucissons and garlic, hanging with the pans in my kitchen

These savoury madeleines can be made with garlicky boursin, instead of goats cheese.  As you can see, I also have a string of French garlic hanging up with my saucissons - we are all big fans of garlic here as well.

Once Cam realised I had the madeleine tins out, he wanted to get in on the act too.  He had a recipe for Nutella madeleines which he wanted to try.  They are as divine as they sound.

Nutella madeleines

Nutella Madeleines
Makes 36.
  • 150g plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 125g butter, softened
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons of milk
  • 1 large, heaped tablespoon of Nutella, plus extra for dolloping.

Beat together the eggs and sugar until pale and slightly frothy.  Add the remaining ingredients and mix gently but thoroughly.  Spoon the mixture into the madeleine tins - unless you have loads of tins, you will probably have to do this in two batches.  Finally, add small dollops (roughly half a teaspoon) of nutella to each madeleine.

Bake at Gas 6 for 15 minutes, then check to see if they are firm to the touch and lightly browned.  If not return to the oven for another 5 minutes or so.  Remove from the tins and allow to cool on a rack.


My silicone madeleine tins were a birthday present from my Mum, and she bought them from her local supermarket in France.  However, if you don't have a French supermarket handy you can also buy them from Amazon.  Lakeland sell non-stick ones, which get great reviews, but I personally think silicone is even better than non-stick for madeleines, because you can pop them out so easily.

Cam's recipe came from this wonderful French recipe book I bought for him this Easter.

Cam's Nutella cookbook

Nigella has a recipe for rosewater madeleines in her Domestic Goddess book, which is delicious too.  However, in general, I find that few English recipe books have madeleine recipes - I still think of them as particularly French delicacies, despite being able to buy the tins in Britain.

The Cook the Perfect series on Radio 4's Woman's Hour, had a feature on, and a recipe for, madeleines which you can read about and listen to here.  However, I do think that the chef in this episode makes them sound far too complicated - I don't rest the batter for an hour, nor do I use beurre noisette - they're almost foolproof in my experience, and part of their charm lies in the fact that you can whip up a batch from start to finish in less than half an hour.

Sweet and savoury madeleines
Savoury and sweet - perfect with a chilled white wine, or a nice cup of tea
Happy times!


  1. Ah, quelles belles madeleines! miam miam

  2. Oh they look delicious. I've never heard of savoury ones and goats cheese sounds divine and tangy.

  3. oh thank you - i recently treated myself to a madeleine tin & really look forward to giving your recipes a go! yum yum x

  4. Yum, not a fan of goats cheese but LOVE boursin. Also love how much Cam is getting into cooking, are we looking at a future masterchef in the making?!x

  5. Tres Bon! God, I love Nutella. Muji have something that might do the trick, though not as nice as yours :)

  6. They look delicious! Beautiful, too!

  7. They look delicious, do you know I dont think I've had a madeleine lol xx

  8. Oh yum... and so pretty. Surely one of the best things about them has to be that they're called Madeleines. Who couldn't love something called that? I want to find myself a tin right now :)

  9. I've had a madeleine tin for ages but have been too scared to use it. Now I must give them a go! Maybe that can be my new Kew challenge :) K x

  10. Oh, now I fancy a madeleine tin! Love bakeware but have no decent storage for my tins - they tend to get shoved into the cupboard and the door slammed quickly before they can all clatter out. Drooling looking at your sweet and savoury madeleines. x

  11. OMG. I want those Nutella ones SO BAD.

  12. Thanks so much for sharing the recipes - I was so tempted by the cheese ones on your flickr stream but am now wanting the nutella kind rather badly - will be doing a spot of madeleine making over the weekend I think!


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