Forget cronuts, salve cake pops, and cupcakes. There’s another chic pastry that deserves its day — the madeleine! These classic seashell-shaped cakes were named after their creator, Madeline Paulmier, by King Louis XV in the 18th century, so the story goes.
To make these dainty, distinctive treats at home, check out award-winning baker Barbara Feldman Morse’s new cookbook, “Madeleines: Elegant French Tea Cakes to Bake and Share,” featuring more than seventy recipes that use a simple one-bowl method.
This scrumptious recipe for Dark Chocolate Espresso Madeleines is best served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and yields 24 madeleines:
• 12 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• 1 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips (or 4 ounces chopped semisweet chocolate)
• 1 tbsp instant espresso powder dissolved in 1?3 cup warm water (or 1?3 cup strong black coffee, or 2 tablespoons instant coffee crystals dissolved in 1?3 cup warm water)
• 2 large eggs, room temperature
• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
• Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees F. Coat two 12-shell pans with baking spray, or melt an additional 4 tablespoons butter and brush a little in each mold.
• Place butter, sugar, chocolate and espresso in a two-quart microwavable glass bowl. Microwave on low for one to two minutes. Then stir mixture with a whisk until smooth. If butter isn’t melted, microwave for 15-second intervals, stirring after each, until smooth. (Alternatively, combine these ingredients in the top of a double boiler over simmering water and stir with a whisk until smooth. Remove from heat.)
• Let mixture cool for three to four minutes. Then add eggs, one at a time, whisking after each addition until completely blended. Add flour and cocoa, whisking thoroughly. The mixture should be very dark, thick, and shiny.
• Using a 1 1?2-inch-diameter scoop or teaspoon, fill shell molds with batter until almost full. Gently press batter to distribute evenly.
• Bake for 10 to 13 minutes, until madeleines puff up and no shiny spots remain in centers. Small cracks may appear, but be careful not to over-bake.
• Remove pans from oven and let cool on a wire rack for two to three minutes, then invert and tap madeleines onto the rack. Let cool completely.
Chocolate Glaze Directions
• Place chocolate in a 2-quart microwavable glass bowl or measuring cup. Microwave on low for one to two minutes. Stir with a whisk until smooth. If chocolate isn’t melted, microwave for 15-second intervals, stirring after each, until smooth.
• Place waxed paper on a cookie sheet or large wire rack. Hold madeleines by their narrow ends and dip one-third in the warm chocolate glaze. Scrape the flat side along the side of the bowl to remove excess. Place on the waxed paper and let glaze set, 30 to 60 minutes.
More information can be found at www.quirkbooks.com/book/madeleines.
For one final fantastic treat before your resolutions kick in, whip up a batch of madeleines.