Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Chocolate Madeleines

Delicious Chocolate Madeleines

Madeleines are my most favorite little cake! They are dainty scallop-shaped sponge cookies that are baked in special cake molds, with shell shaped depressions! My first encounter with these little cakes came after reading about them in Martha Stewart's "Entertaining" cookbook. I had gotten the book as a gift in the early 80's. I have made many of the recipes in this book, the Madeleines being one of my favorite. In Marcel Proust's book "Remembrance of Things Past", he references madeleines. I have not read Proust. I really don't think I could get through this work, it is 7 volumes long. However,  I have read "The Cookie", which is a chapter excerpted from Volume 1, Swann's Way. When he speaks of having his tea with the "petites madeleines", you can't help but want to engage in this pleasure. I do think his reference, to the Madeleine, is probably the single most reason for the popularity of this little cake!

"my mother, seeing that I was cold, offered me some tea, a thing I did not ordinarily take. I declined at first, and then, for no particular reason, changed my mind. She sent for one of those squat, plump little cakes called "petites madeleines," which look as though they had been moulded in the fluted valve of a scallop shell. And soon, mechanically, dispirited after a dreary day with the prospect of a depressing morrow, I raised to my lips a spoonful of the tea in which I had soaked a morsel of the cake. No sooner had the warm liquid mixed with the crumbs touched my palate than a shudder ran through me and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary thing that was happening to me. An exquisite pleasure had invaded my senses, something isolated, detached, with no suggestion of its origin."
--Marcel Proust

The recipe that I am sharing here, is for a Chocolate Madeleine. I found it on the Epicurious website years ago. It is rich and chocolatey. You can't keep yourself from eating some of the batter, as you fill the molds. I decided to add coconut to half of the batter and it was a great addition! Kind of like a coconut easter egg. You know, like the one's your mom use to put in your easter basket! I think if I were to use coconut again, I would chop it finer.
I use metal madeleine molds. I find these molds are far superior to their silicone counterpart.  I'm really a traditionalist when it comes to baking pans.
One thing I learned is to butter the molds with melted butter, refrigerate, and butter again. Keep pans in refrigerator till ready to fill. I have floured the pans in the past but, found it does not work as well for me.

Chocolate Madeleines
adapted from Epicurious.com

Madeleines au Chocolat 

Madeleines are good any time, any where. Here are some secrets to making madeleines, and a wonderful chocolate version which is guaranteed to please.
  • Make the dough up to three days in advance and chill it.
  • Heavily butter the molds and chill them so the butter hardens before the molds are filled with the batter.
  • Refrigerate the filled molds before baking.
  • Make sure the oven is fully hot before baking the madeleines.
  • Bake for no longer than 7 minutes--the madeleines should not quite spring back when you touch them.
Yield 36 madeleines

3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
pinch of salt
4 large eggs
1 cup sugar
12 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
more melted butter for buttering the madeleine molds

  1. Sift the flour, cocoa and the salt.
  2. Place the eggs and the sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk until thick and lemon-colored. Fold in the flour, then the melted butter.
  3.  Butter the madeleine pans, then spoon in the batter, filling each about 3/4 full. Refrigerate the filled madeleine pans and the remaining batter for one hour.
  4. Heat the oven to 425°
  5. Bake the madeleines just until they are firm and puffed, about 7 minutes. Turn them immediately from the molds,wipe out the molds, let cool and continue baking the madeleines until all of the batter is used. The madeleines are best when eaten slightly warm or at room temperature the same day they are made. 
Madeleines freeze well. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in plastic bag.  
    Sifting the dry ingredients.

    Buttered madeleine  molds.

    Beating the eggs and sugar.

    Folding the dry ingredients into egg mixture.

    Adding melted butter and folding into the batter.

    Ready to refrigerate.

    Pans filled with batter and ready to refrigerate before baking.


    A little powdered sugar!

    With my cup of tea!


    1. Beautiful, Kathy! I love the presentation on your vintage China! Wonderful literary reference, too!

    2. Scared me for a second, thought you actually had read his entire works!~ A lovely reference and once again your step by step pictures and information really make me think I could try this recipe.....really lovely Kathy! I am very impressed!

    3. I love Madeleines! Your chocolate ones (especially with coconut) sound so delicious! Can't wait to try them.

    4. These look great! Love the chocolate version. I'm excited to make these with ffwD!

    5. Your Madeleines look perfect, I would love one with a cup of coffee in the afternoon, that would be such a treat. I have so many recipes I want to try from your blog, this is definitely one of them!

    6. These look delightful and your tea set is so beautiful, Kathy! I love that passage by Proust! I have some madeleine pans, but have not made any yet. You have inspired me!

    7. Kathy-There are three things I would like to grab from you...your Madeleine forms, which I still have to buy, your gorgeous tea set, which I'm sure was probably a set of 12 wedding gift to you, and last...which I know I will grab, is the yummy recipe for the Madeleines. This is the best recipe for the chocolate version I've seen.
      Thanks for sharing:DDD

      BTW-You are most welcome the grab the awards I received from Hungary, you well deserve it! Just copy and paste. I am happily paying it forward to you. (Just copy and paste, and it's yours to keep or pay it forward)

    8. My very beautiful antique china was a wedding gift from an older lady who was a neighbor of my husbands. She was from Ireland and this set was hers and she very generously gave it to us! She really loved my husband when he was a little guy! I never use it…I'm so afraid I will break one. They make great props!
      Thank you all for your lovely comments!
      Susan and Megi..I have joined the Daring Bakers. Thanks for your encouragement! I think it will be fun.
      Elizabeth, You are so kind, I'm so glad you come and visit my blog. I am honored to pick up your Hungarian awards and I will be happy to pay it forward.

    9. Your tip about the butter in the molds I heard from a French chef as well; you make me want to make these asap!

    10. So beautiful! I'm going to give these a try!