This year for Christmas, Quinn and I have decided not to give each other gifts, with the exception of stockings. The other night, however, we were at a bookstore and he lamented that cookbooks just don’t fit in stockings. So, he felt it only right that I get a new cookbook of my choosing. I knew right away which one I wanted. I have been flipping through The Essential Baker at every bookstore visit for months.
For those of you who have referenced any of BoB’s recipes, you may have noticed that I like to break recipes down into individual parts if there is more than one component. For instance, a crust and a topping. Carole Bloom, the author of this book, takes that to a whole other level. She breaks everything down into individual steps, with the ingredients broken down along with them. I personally think that makes a lot of sense and makes baking simpler. If you don’t have the book, flip through it the next time you’re at a bookstore. You’ll see what I mean. I wish more cookbooks were written like this one.
As with any new cookbook, deciding what to make first is always the hardest part. I marked several possibilities, but in the end I decided to try these madeleines. Much like my desire to have this book, I have been wanting to make madeleines for ages. I bought a madeleine pan earlier this year, but I just kept putting it off for who knows what reason. Now, I can finally cross that off my list.
Madeleines are traditionally cake-like in texture. These certainly hold up to tradition, having just that little bit of chewiness and sponginess to be classified as such. The chocolate flavor of these is incredible. While they could certainly be drizzled with even more chocolate, I think a little dusting of confectioners’ sugar is the perfect way to top off these delicious cookies.
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted (for coating madeleine pans)
- 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 extra large eggs*, at room temperature
- 1/3 cup superfine sugar
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350°. Using a paper towel or pastry brush, coat the insides of madeleine pan with melted butter.
Melt the chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Melt on low microwave power, stirring every 30 seconds until melted. Add vanilla extract and combine.
Using the whisk attachment of a stand mixer or hand mixer, beat the eggs on medium speed until frothy (about 1 minute). Add the sugar and mix until mixture is very thick and pale (about 5 minutes). The mixture should hold a slowly dissolving ribbon when the beater is lifted.
In a separate bowl, combine flour and salt. Add to the egg mixture in three stages, mixing well on low speed after each addition. Mixture should be smooth. Pour the chocolate mixture into the batter and mix well.
Pour or pipe (very tightly) the batter into the madeleine pan, filling them 3/4 full. Place the pan on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. If baking two pans at once, bake 6-7 minutes, then switch the position of the pans and bake another 6-7 minutes. Madeleines are done when the tops spring back lightly when touched.
*Large eggs and extra-large eggs are interchangeable until you need more than 4 eggs.
Can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container between layers of waxed paper for 3 days.
Recipe adapted from The Essential Baker.
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