Preparation time: 5 minutes
Waiting time: 20 minutes
Baking time: 10 minutes
A madeleine is a traditional sweet from Commercy, a town in northeastern France. Madeleines are identified by the distinctive shell-like shape they acquire from being baked in special pans with shell-shaped depressions.
The Proust Connection
Madeleines are perhaps most famous outside France for their association with involuntary memory in the Marcel Proust novel À la recherche du temps perdu (Remembrance of Things Past in the first translation, more recently translated as In Search of Lost Time, in which the narrator experiences an awakening upon tasting a madeleine with tea. If you happen to be in the French region of Franche-Comté, make a point of stopping by the Château de Villersexel to taste the famous Madeleines that Madame Potet bakes in honor of Marcel Proust, who was a friend of the family.
Best eaten fresh on the day they’re baked, madeleines should be stored in an airtight container if you’re keeping them for more than a few hours. If your Madeleines dry out a little, moisten them with the juice of a lemon and a little honey dissolved in some boiling water. Their airy texture will immediately soak up the liquid and their moistness will be restored.
- Whisk the whole eggs with the sugar;
- add the flour, butter, vanilla and baking powder; let sit at room temperature for 20 minutes;
- place into madeleine molds and bake in a moderate oven for about 10 minutes or until lightly golden.
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