Madeleines are delicious little cakes that pair perfectly with coffee and tea. Though I don’t make them on a regular basis, I have quite the collection of madeleine pans that attest to my appreciation of them. If you want to get a little more use out of your madeleine pans, consider adding Madeleines: Elegant French Tea Cakes to Bake and Share to your cookbook collection.
The majority of madeleines that you’ll spot in coffee shops and bakeries are plain or vanilla flavored, a pale yellow cake that pairs perfectly with coffee or tea. When you start making them at home, you’ll realize that madeleines can be made in a white variety of flavors and are much more versatile than you may have thought. The book opens with an introduction to madeleines and madeleine-making techniques, but quickly gets to the recipes. To prove that you’re going to get something besides the classics in this volume, the first chapter is called Not Just Plain Vanilla and uses flavors like dulce de leche and chai tea. From there, you’ll find an ever-wider variety of recipes in subsequent chapters, which include Morning Madelines, Dark & Deluxe Chocolate, Fruit & Nuts, Savory & Appetizer and Indulgent Madeleines. You’ll find everything from savory smoked salmon madelines to decadent, cocktail-inspired Mudslide madeleines. The final chapter in the book includes recipes for garnishes, sauces and other “extras” that will take your madeleines over-the-top.
The recipes are clearly written and easy to follow, with each making a reasonable number of madeleines so that you don’t need to have a dozen specialty pans on hand at a time. The basic technique is similar for most of the recipes, so once you have made a couple of batches, the rest should be even easier to master – and you can start to put your own spins on them for madeleines that are uniqely yours. Not all the recipes in the book are illustrated, but the photos that are included are lovely. You’ll also note that some specialty madeleine pans were used to create different shell shapes and that just might inspire you to hunt down some specialty pans of your own.