Mad for Madeleines

This year, I took out my madeleine recipe for one of my cooking classes and it brought back a flood of fond memories.

As I scanned the familiar ingredient list, I was transported back to my apprenticeship at La Forchette restaurant in Wayne. It was there that I first learned to make French madeleines and I still remember our lemon version of the delicate shell-shaped cookies.

Coincidentally, this month’s featured recipe on Taste 4 Travel is my chocolate madeleines. They’re not only perfect for Valentine’s Day, but at one and half inches, they’re just the right size!

Madeleines are from the northeast region of France called Lorraine. They are made from a genoise cake batter. Madeleines are incredibly versatile, as they can be flavored with everything from lemon zest to ground nuts. Their size also makes them the perfect treat to pair with a nice cup of espresso or tea after dinner. But, if you ask me, there’s never a bad time for a madeleine!

Although they look rather fancy, madeleines are not complicated to make as long as you have the proper equipment. Madeleines are baked in a fancy cookie sheet which makes the cookies look like shells. The ones that were traditionally made were very tiny—under an inch—whereas the ones that you will likely see now can be anywhere between 1.5″ to 3″ in size.

Before you begin baking madeleines for the first time, here are a few tips.

•  Generously grease the molds using  butter  or spray them liberally with a vegetable baking spray. (I prefer butter)

•  Put the pan into the fridge to get nice and cold.

Then make the batter in the meantime.

•  Once the batter is made, take the mold out of the fridge.

•  When filling the molds, be sure to only fill them 3/4 of the way full. Don’t fill them more than that or else they won’t cook
properly and they’ll turn into molten lava madeleines, which is not what you’re looking for!

•  After filling the pans with batter, put them back into the refrigerator for about an hour.

Pre-heat your oven to 425F and cook them for 7 minutes.  When finished baking remove them immediately from the pan and place on wire rack to cool.

Et voila, you have the best tasting madeleines!



I’ve whipped up a confection of a walking tasting tour in South Philly’s Italian Market that will satisfy every sweet tooth!

Dessert First Tour!