To start this weekend sweetly, would you care for a madeleine? A lemon madeleine, of course!
The madeleine, which is today a classic of children’s afternoon snacks, was born in the 1750ies in Commercy, in Lorraine (in the East of France), under the reign of king Stanislas. History tells us that they were invented by his cook, Madeleine, on the occasion of a dinner in which Voltaire and Madame du Châtelet, both notorious for their sweet tooth, were invited. This little cake was so much liked that it was given the name of its creator.
The madeleine was also made famous by Marcel Proust in his novel Du Coté de chez Swann (Swann’s Way), in which the cake, dunked in a cup of tea, triggers not only childhood memories but also feelings from childhood.
Let’s check that one, shall we?
- 3 eggs
- 100g/3.5 oz. sugar
- 150g/5.5 oz. flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 120g/4.2 oz. butter
- 1 large unwaxed lemon
Melt the butter in a saucepan or in the microwave (don’t put your oven on HIGH and work in 30-40 seconds blasts – it will keep the butter from melting too fast and “exploding” in your oven), and allow to cool down. Cooling down the butter will prevent the eggs from cooking when mixed with the butter.
Zest and juice your lemon.
In a bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until the mixture is foamy and white. If you can, use your food processor on low-medium speed with the whisk attachment. This will allow you to get your eggs beaten while you prepare the rest of your ingredients.
Sift the flour with the baking powder and incorporate delicately into the egg mix.
Slowly add the melted butter, then the lemon juice and the zest.
Cover your bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Preheat your oven at 220°C/425°F. It’s the difference of temperature between the refrigerator and the oven that creates the famous bump.
Grease and flour your tins if needed, and fill them up to ¾. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes, then lower the temperature to 190°C/375°F and bake for another 5 to 7 minutes.
Allow to cool before turning out of the tin and diving in!