I often feel in the heat of summer that a full, large cake can seem a bit much. Too much effort to make and a large slice too exhausting to eat. You can't do without cake though. At times like these you need to turn to the French – masters of pâtisserie and all things small, delicate, elegant and sweet tasting.
Perhaps the easiest of the French specialities are these Madeleines. They originate from the Lorraine region in northeastern France and are named after a cook called Madeleine Paulmier. There is some dispute as to when she lived but whoever she was her legacy lives on. The hard work in getting the right shape is all done through using a special Madeleine tin. I bought mine in my local supermarket. By beating the eggs and then folding in the mixture this ensures a very light cake. It is said that Madeleines are best eaten on the day they are made and this wasn't a problem for us.
A standard Madeleine tin makes 12 cakes but this mixture makes 16 so you will need to bake them in two batches. I did think about readjusting the ingredient quantities but since they disappeared so quickly I decided it was best to keep to the extra four!
This going to Emily at A Mummy Too for Recipe of the Week and Lucy at Supergolden Bakes with #CookBlogShare.
My Love Cake challenge for July is French so I will be adding this to the other recipes that have been linked up.
Equipment – 1 12 cup Madeleine tin, electric whisk/beaters
2½oz (70g) Self-raising flour
1oz (25g) Cocoa
3oz (90g) Unsalted butter
2 Large eggs
3oz (90g) Caster sugar
½oz (15g) Ground almonds
1. Pre-heat the oven to 220°C/Gas mark 7.
2. Grease the Madeleine moulds, dust with flour and tap out the excess.
3. Sift together the flour and cocoa and put to one side.
4. In a small pan melt the butter and then set to one side.
5. In a large bowl whisk the eggs and sugar together until they are pale and thick. You are looking for the colour and consistency of custard.
6. Use a metal spoon to fold in the flour, cocoa and almonds. After each spoonful add some of the melted butter. It should look more like a batter now.
7. Spoon an equal amount of the mixture into each mould.
8. Bake for around 10 minutes – watch out they can go from undercooked to burnt in a matter of seconds!
9. Remove from the tin immediately once baked and cool on a wire rack.
Further suggestions: Decorate each one with either a dusting of icing sugar or dip into melted chocolate.