I like Madeleines. The only thing is that they’re best eaten warm on the same day that they’re baked. Granted, there are bigger problems in the baking world and beyond. And besides, all the more reason to pack them up and hand them out to friends and neighbors.
I was thinking about Madeleines made with buckwheat and honey. Browsing through my cookbooks I came across a recipe in an old cookbook (The Flavour of France by the Chamberlains) with a technique that sounded intriguing: mixing the eggs and the sugar over a double boiler. The recipe was simple, which was precisely what I was looking for. But I decided to adapt it a bit and to substitute some of the all-purpose flour for buckwheat flour and to add some honey. Also, the recipe did not call for baking powder. Seeing that I was already tempting faith by making some substitutions and altering the scale of the recipe (I only had three eggs instead of the four called for in the recipe) I decided that I would add half a teaspoon. Most other recipes I’ve seen also call for an hour (sometimes more) resting time in the fridge, so I added that step as well.
I’m quite happy with the result. Some bakers prefer a very pronounced hump on their Madeleines. I’ve never really understood why, I’m more interested in the scalloped edge. However, if you’re in search for a technique to produce a more pronounced hump check out Dorie Greenspan’s blog http://doriegreenspan.com/2011/07/if-i-cant-remember-when.html or better yet her cookbook Baking Chez Moi, which has recipes for both lemon and black-and-white marbled Madeleines.
Makes about 18
70 grams all purpose flour
50 grams buckwheat flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
75 grams sugar
1 tablespoon honey
100 grams melted butter
Combine the flours, salt and baking powder and sift.
Melt the butter and boil gently until the solids begin to brown and remove from heat.
In a double boiler whisk the eggs and sugar over barely simmering water. Whisk until the mixture is creamy and lukewarm to the touch. Remove the mixture form the heat, add honey and continue whisking until it returns to room temperature.
Using a spatula gently fold the flour into the egg mixture until almost combined and big lumps have disappeared. Pour in the melted butter and mix until the batter is smooth being careful not to over mix.
Put the mixture in the fridge and chill for at least one hour.
About 30 minutes before baking turn on the oven to 200 C (400 F) and butter and flour the molds.
Fill the molds two-thirds full. If you're using classic sized mold bake in the oven for approximately 10 minutes. If your molds are smaller start checking the Madeleines after 6 minutes. To check the Madeleines press down on the centre, they should spring back.
Remove from molds and let cool slightly. Dust with powdered sugar.
Makes about 18 Madeleines