Sunday, 12 May 2013

Madeleine Tea-cakes for Mothers Day

The rest of the world (except UK and few other countries in Europe) celebrate Mothers day in May. Today being the special day Anjalie & I (the women of the house - well, technically, girl and woman of the house) treated ourselves and Naz to sweet Madeleine Tea cakes. These yummy little things are absolutely melt in the mouth, buttery and sweet, aka, perfect for serving warm with a cuppa on Mothers day. Since it was the first time we tried, we only made 12 (for the 3 of us) and they were gone like hot cakes! (pun intended) :)

These little French butter-sponge cakes are perfect for any afternoon but they do make special days extra special :) Traditionally, these are baked in special Madeleine pans (which we did too) that give a scallop shaped sponge cakes that are soft in the centre and crispy on the edges. They are not too sweet and do not usually have icing. But do not let the "pan", or the lack of it, put you off. Try baking them in a muffin pan with foil lining (made into scallop shape if you want) instead. Anjalie loved them so much that she has requested these for her birthday in December :) has to be a 3 year old  to look forward to the next birthday with such enthusiasm.

I found the recipe at I followed with some modifications. I changed the oven temperature to 180 instead of 190 degrees Celsius. Naz does not like sponge cakes that are too crispy. So change according to your preference. Also, I think UK cup size is slightly bigger since I ended up with more batter than needed for 12 cakes. But since I hate waste, I just poured them in anyway. If I had more time, and if Anjalie was not so very impatient to try them, I would have made baker's dozen instead of over filling them. But we did not mind eating larger cakes :) Also I used icing sugar to decorate instead of granulated sugar asked for in the recipe. I like the frosted look. I also added 1/4 tsp baking powder to give it a better raise and softness. So here is the recipe...

You will need:
2 eggs

3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup white sugar (remember US cup measurement!)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup icing sugar for decoration

Melt butter and let cool to room temperature. Sift flour and baking powder and set aside. In a mixing bowl, beat eggs, vanilla and salt at high speed using a hand mixer or kitchen mixer until mixed well.

Still beating, gradually add sugar; and continue beating at high speed until mixture is thick and pale...

and ribbons form in bowl when beaters are lifted (shown left). I used a hand mixer and it took me around 12 mins at med-high speed. Another check is if you draw a line in the middle it will remain even after you remove your finger.

Gently fold in the 1/3 of the flour-baking powder mixture at a time and mix well each time.

Add 1/3 of the melted butter at a time around the edges and gently fold in to mix well. Cover with cling film and leave the dough in the fridge for 45 mins to 1 hr. This gives better raise than baking immediately.

Grease the pan very well. I use cake release. You can use the good old butter-flour method as well or cooking spray and flour.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit or 190 degrees Celsius. Fill the pan to 3/4 with the batter. Remember the cakes will raise very well. So no more than 3/4. Come on, you can do better than me! :)

Bake for 15-18 mins until the ends are lightly brown and crispy and when you press in the middle of the cakes with your finger they spring back up.

Dust with icing sugar when still warm. Serve warm with a cuppa. These are not meant to be too sweet. But still adjust sugar according to taste. Enjoy and Happy Mothers day!

After gobbling out all the Madeleine cakes, at tea time on Sunday, both Anjalie and Naz have been asking me to make this again for dinner, for breakfast the following morning and then again at Tea claiming that they "needed" to eat them. So I managed to bake another batch for dinner on Monday as dessert. I also tried baking a few in a muffin pan (like cup-cakes) and, although it took 3 mins longer to finish bake, they turned out great. So here is the picture from my second effort. Seeing how this batch too disappeared quickly this is going to the list of family favourites and is bound to be repeated often at our home :) Again, do not let the "special" type of baking pan put you off, irrespective of their shape, they are still yummy! Also, keep in mind not to make into cup-cakes (it will not raise and be as soft). Just use the same amount of dough as the other Madeleine cakes. You will still have the soft middle and crispy sides but just shaped differently :)

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