Madeleines are classic, small French sponge cakes best served with a cup of tea and not coffee. In fact, the height of the lemon flavour comes when you dip them in your tea. There has oft been debate over whether these jewels are cakes or cookies. They are most certainly deliciously golden tea cakes.
French Petites Madeleines [Vegan]
For the Madeleine Ingredients:
- 1/4 cup vegan butter, melted
- 2/3 cup almond flour 100 g
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour 60 g
- 1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 cup cane sugar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 vanilla bean
- 2 teaspoon fine lemon zest approximately zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 1 drop lemon oil optional
- 1/2 cup aquafaba
- 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 tablespoons vegan butter, melted
For the Garnish:
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar We prefer to make our own using cane sugar in a high-speed blender
- Melt the vegan butter over medium-low heat just to the point where there is a small bit of unmelted butter left. Remove from heat and stir until the butter is fully melted. This will ensure that the butter does not burn. Set aside to cool slightly.
- Sift the flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a mixing bowl and set aside.
- Mix the cane sugar and cornstarch to combine and set aside.
- Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out all of the contents (seeds) into as small bowl and add lemon zest, lemon juice and lemon oil if using. Set aside.
- Using a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, beat on medium-high speed until it becomes opaque and foamy with peaks beginning to form.
- This will likely take 5-6 minutes. Add the sugar mixture very slowly, a little more than a teaspoon at a time for roughly 20 seconds between additions until all of the sugar mixture is fully incorporated. Expect this to take 5 to 7 minutes.
- Beat in the vanilla/lemon mixture until well combined. This should take about 20 to 30 seconds on medium-high. Remove mixing bowl from the stand mixer as the remaining ingredients are folded in by hand.
- Fold in the flour mixture carefully with a large spatula in thirds. Then carefully stir in half of the melted butter until blended and repeat with the second half of the melted butter.
- Cover the mixing bowl with plastic and refrigerate overnight.
- Use a pastry brush to spread an even coat of melted vegan butter throughout the cups of the madeleine pan(s), being careful not to let any butter pool in the bottom of the moulds. Place the pans in the freezer overnight while the batter is chilling in the refrigerator.
- Preheat the oven to 425°F and wait 10 to 15 minutes before adding loaded madeleine pans.
- Remove the madeleine batter from the fridge and stir gently a couple of times around the bowl and let sit uncovered for about 15 minutes.
- Fill each madeleine mould to approximately two-thirds full by either piping or using two spoons to add batter in the middle of each mould without spreading. Intentionally leaving the batter in a small mound leads to the distinctive and characteristic hump that is the true sign of a 'proper' madeleine. Depending on your particular form (ours are deeper shells), filling the cups two-thirds full may require different amounts of batter. Place the tin with batter into the freezer for 10 minutes.
- Bake the madeleine straight from the freezer to the middle rack of your oven for 5 minutes and then reduce the oven temperature to 390°F and bake for an additional 8-10 minutes until the edges are golden. Remove from the oven and let rest in the pan for 5 minutes then gently remove each madeleine. Cool on a clean surface for approximately 1 hour so that the cakes become light and spongy.
- At this point, you may choose to dust your madeleines with powdered sugar or dip one end in melted chocolate. So many options!