Brown butter orange vanilla bean madeleines

November 10 2013
by emma

Guess who purchased a fancy new madeleine tin?!  I’m a sucker for cake tins and when I spotted this one I decided I had to have it.  I’d never tried madeleines before but their description here of “elegant cakes shaped like scallop shells are the perfect thing with a cup of light, floral French tea” really appealed to me.

They do require a fair bit of resting time of 1-2 hours so keep that in mind but also, if you’re having an morning or afternoon tea, you could always use that time to store them, do the washing up then bake them before your guests arrive.  Oh and …. why have I not browned butter before?  I’ve seen loads of recipes doing this but never realised that it produced such a delectable fragrance and flavour (hell, I would have happily eaten this mixture raw, it was that delicious).

And on that note, just a curious thing … the recipe states only 40g butter, compared to other madeleine recipes which use a lot more.  I innocently went about making these because I had no clue about madeleines, but noticed that my batter was very thick compared to the batter in the video, obviously because there isn’t a lot of butter or milk added.  I’m not sure if there’s an error in the recipe though they worked really well.

I loved these little French fancy cakes, they’re kind of a cross between a cake and a biscuit and are crisp on the outside with tender crumb and full of flavour (these keep well, at least for a day or two; the outside becomes softer but they somehow become sweeter and the flavour comes through even more).  I will admit to having one or two for breakfast with coffee one morning.

And unlike friands, another little cake I’m fond of, madeleines don’t require egg separating which pleased me (I mean I love friands but I always have to decide what to do with the egg yolks).

   .`•.¸.•´ ★

orange madeleines

Recipe for orange vanilla bean madeleines:

40g unsalted butter, cubed
3/4 cup plain flour
1/2 tspn baking powder
1/2 cup raw caster sugar
1 large egg
30mls milk
1 tspn vanilla bean paste
1 medium orange, zested
1 x 15ml tblspn unsalted butter, softened at room temp
Icing sugar, sifted, for dusting

Cook the butter in a small saucepan over medium/high heat, swirling often, until nut brown and slightly caramelised.  Set aside to cool a bit.

Sift flour, baking powder and sugar into a bowl.   Whisk the egg, milk, vanilla bean paste and orange zest in a jug until combined then pour into the flour mixture and whisk until combined.  Slowly pour the browned butter into the mixture , whisking well (I found the mixture to be very thick).  Chill mixture in the fridge to rest for 1-2 hours.

Preheat oven to 170°C (see note) 10 minutes before you remove the mixture from the fridge.

Use a pastry brush to brush softened butter in and around the madeleine moulds, making sure to coat very well then spoon madeleine mixture into the moulds and bake for 7-9 minutes, or until golden brown around the edges and cooked through (don’t over-bake).

Move the madeleines gently out of the tin using a butter knife onto a cooling rack to cool slightly before serving.  Dust with icing sugar.  Keep in an airtight container at room temperature.

Serves: 12

Note:  This recipe seems to be a bit more sensitive to oven temperatures.  The original recipe states 170C however I turned my oven up half way through to 180C.  Just keep an eye on them and make sure they rise relatively quickly.

Adapted from: SBS Food

6 Responses leave one →
  1. Hi Emma, as soon as I saw on my side-bar on my blog MADELEINES…I quickly clicked over to check out your gorgeous and yummy buttery madeleines! Aren’t you glad that you purchased the proper tin for it?…without that you couldn’t possible make it properly.

    I too posted my madeleines a few months ago, with my new tin…as well; mine were with brown sugar and it is identical to yours, except yours is with brown butter which gave it the rich brownish color. Now, I must make your version; yours is totally different from all others!
    Just love it, and the superb photos too!

    1. Hi Elisabeth

      I remember your madeleines, I’m pretty sure they inspired me.

      It is a different recipe, quite confusing since a lot of the recipes appear to differ from each other!

  2. You had me at browned butter, which I only just attempted for the first time a few weeks ago – oh why has it been absent in my life for so long?!
    I bought a madeleine tin years ago, and would you believe I have never used it! This recipe seems like the perfect reason to break it in for the first time.
    As for leftover yolks – hello ice cream 🙂

  3. Mmmm I love madeleines, but thought I’d better resist buying another ‘novelty’ pan 🙁 I’ll just have to squeeeeze a little more space in my oven for those trays now, don’t I? Yours look beautiful with the citrus and brown butter! x

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