Almond madeleines

Madeleinekakor med mandel

A plate of almond madeleines alongside a tray of warm madeleines

Madeleinekakor med mandel (almond madeleines) are delightful little cakes with a lightly crisped outside and a soft squidgy centre. They go well with coffee, ice cream and other desserts. Although originally French they have become very popular in Sweden too. John Duxbury

Summary

Recipe summary for Swedish style almond madeleines

Tips

 If you’ve not a madeleine tin, you could use a mini muffin tin instead.
 It is important that the mixture is thoroughly chilled, preferably overnight.
 Ideally the butter should be browned, but if you think that is too tricky simply melt the butter. The cakes will still taste delicious. (For tips on browning butter click here.)
Madeleines are best eaten when still warm, but they will keep ok for a couple of days in an airtight tin. However, as the mixture keeps well in a fridge for a couple of days, it is better to bake the cakes in two batches rather than store them in a tin.

Almond madeleines glazed with an orange scented frosting

Madeleines are also nice glazed and/or flavoured with lemon, lavender, orange or vanilla. For instance, add the zest of an orange to the mixture and add 4 tablespoons of Grand Marnier to 100 g (¾ cup) of icing sugar (powder sugar). Mix to form a glaze and use a pastry brush to lightly coat the madeleines. Allow to dry before serving.

Ingredients

110 g (½ cup) unsalted butter
1 tbsp   maple syrup or another dark syrup
3   large egg whites (90 g)
100 g (¾ cup) icing sugar (powder sugar)
50 g (½ cup) ground almonds (almond meal)*
45 g (5 tbsp) plain flour (all-purpose flour)
¼ tsp   fine sea salt
½ tsp   baking powder
1 tbsp   butter for greasing madeleine trays

*In some countries ready-ground almonds are not widely sold. If you need to grind your own click here for advice.

Method

1. Brown 110 g (½ cup) of butter until it is a nice nut-brown colour then pour it into a bowl, add the syrup and stir to mix thoroughly. (For advice on browning butter click here.)

2. Whisk the egg whites and the icing (powder) sugar in a large bowl until pale and fluffy (about 5 minutes with an electric whisk, 8 minutes by hand).

3. In a separate bowl mix the ground almonds, flour, salt and baking powder.

4. Add the browned butter and the dry ingredients to the egg whites a bit at a time. Alternative between adding the butter and the dry ingredients, stirring thoroughly after each addition, until everything is thoroughly combined, but do not over mix.

5. Cover the bowl with clingfilm (food wrap) and rest in the fridge for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.

6. Preheat the over to 200ºC (400ºF, gas 6, fan 180ºC).

7. Melt a tablespoon of butter and use it to generously brush the madeleine tins. Fill each indent two-thirds full with the cold mixture. (If you are baking in two batches, return the mixture to the fridge to keep cool until needed.)

8. Bake for 4 minutes and then reduce the temperature to 175ºC (350ºF, gas 4, fan 160ºC) and bake for another 3 or 4 minutes until the madeleines look golden in the middle and a light brown colour at the edges.

9. Immediately remove the madeleines from the tin and leave to cool on a wire rack. Eat when still warm or allow to cool completely before glazing. 

Browning butter

Browned butter adds an extra dimension to madelines and is fairly easy to do if you follow our tips. The idea is that the butter is heated a little past its melting point, which results in the milk solids in the butter browning and creating a wonderful nutty aroma.

Sliced butter in a thick bottomed saucepan

1. Heat a thick bottomed saucepan on medium heat. Add the butter cut into slices or cubes so that it heats evenly and all the butter melts at the same time.

Butter being heated in a saucepan until foaming

2. Once the butter has melted whisk it frequently. It will produce quite a lot of white foam initially, but then the foam will begin to subside.

Butter being browned in a saucepan

3. Continue whisking and heating the butter, but watching it carefully. Lightly browned specks will begin to form at the bottom of the pan and it will give off a gorgeous nutty aroma.

Browned butter in a saucepan

4. Once the butter is a rich golden colour and has a nice nutty aroma, remove the butter from the heat, to stop it from cooking any more, and pour it into a bowl.

Butter is easy to brown provided you watch it carefully and keep whisking it. If you neglect it and end up overcooking it, so that the butter becomes black, I am afraid you will have to discard it and start again!

Downloads

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John Duxbury
Editor and Founder