I have been thinking about making madeleines for a while. They look so pretty and feminine in the cookbooks. So, last week I took my $10 off coupon from Sur La Table and headed over to my nearest store to buy my first madeleine pan. I bought a bright silver 12 cake mold pan for about $9. The non stick variety would have cost me $10 more, so I passed on it.
A few days after that, I went to the Home Goods store to see what kitchen overstock they had. Lo and behold I found another madeleine pan. This time, it was a darker metal and was priced at $4.99. Booyah!
The first recipe I tried was a basic Traditional Madeleine from Baking from My Home to Yours, page 166. It turned out a nice little tea cake, but frankly, nothing special. But maybe I need to take my expectations down a notch since this cake is supposed to be an accompaniment to tea.
But in thinking about the cake, I thought to make some taste changes based on what I like. I looked on the internet for a coconut almond madeleine recipe. Finding none, I made up my own, adapting it from the recipe in Baking From My Home to Yours,
Coconut Almond Madeleines
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1/2 cup sugar
Grated zest of 1/2 lemon
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp almond extract
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut flakes
Using a pastry brush, thoroughly brush butter in 12 full-size madeleine molds. Place the pan in the refrigerator. Repeat in 10 minutes or when first application of butter has solidified or become matte in finish.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
Working in a mixer bowl, or in a large bowl, rub the sugar and lemon zest together with your fingertips until the sugar is moist and fragrant. Add the eggs to the bowl. Working with the whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer, beat the eggs and sugar together on medium-high speed until pale, thick and light, 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in the almond extract. With a rubber spatula, very gently fold in the dry ingredients and coconut, followed by the melted butter. Spoon the batter into the buttered madeleine molds, filling each one almost to the top. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Center a rack in the oven, place a jelly pan on the rack, and preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Remove plastic wrap and place madeleine pan onto heated jelly pan in oven to bake for 15 minutes, or until they are golden and the tops spring back when touched. Remove the pan from the oven and release the madeleines from the molds by rapping the edge of the pan against the counter.
Gently pry any recalcitrant madeleines from the pan using a butter knife. Transfer the cookies to a rack to cool to just warm or to room temperature.
As the cakes were cooking, I was concerned that the addition of coconut would weigh down the batter and not allow it to rise into the classic humped form. But this was not the case. I got the perfect madeleine form.
I was really happy with the results. The cakes were moist and you definitely could taste the coconut and almond, but it was not overwhelming. I think this had more flavor that the Traditional Madeleine that I tried first. I would recommend you give it a try if you want to make some madeleines. They were good.