If the macaron is France’s fussy, frilly… dare I say snooty… little darling, the madeleine is the elegant (and decidedly unsnooty) cousin. Both are excellent at a tea party, but madeleines are the ones there on your plate, begging to be picked up and dipped into the tea. That’s right, madeleines aren’t afraid of getting a little dirty. All in the name of increasing your snacking pleasure.
They are delicate, two-to-three-bite little sponge cakes, lightly crispy on one side and pillow-soft on the other. The different types of coconut lend different traits to the madeleines – aroma and moistness, chewiness and texture. I was most definitely dipping mine in a steaming hot mug of Lady Grey tea. Fabulous.
yields 2 dozen
2 ounces (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 ounce (2 Tablespoons) coconut manna*
2 large eggs
5 Tablespoons granulated sugar**
6 Tablespoons all purpose flour**
1/3 cup shredded coconut
Powdered sugar, for dusting
Heat your oven to 350 degrees F and prepare your madeleine pan by rubbing it with butter and lightly dusting with flour. Turn the pan over and gently tap it to remove any excess flour. If you have a nonstick pan, this step will be unnecessary, as the butter in the madeleine mixture is enough to help the cakes release.
Melt the butter and coconut manna together and set aside to let come to room temperature.
In a stand mixer, whisk together the eggs and pinch of salt until they begin to froth. Add in the granulated sugar and continue to whip until the eggs are light and fluffy, and at least doubled in volume.
Sift a bit of the flour over top of the egg mixture at a time, folding in as gently as possible. Repeat until all the flour is incorporated. Fold in the shredded coconut, and then the cooled butter mixture.
Spoon a bit of batter into the pan’s cavities, filling them no more than two-thirds of the way full. The batter will expand and rise, and you don’t want a goopy mess overflowing and burning (or doming up *too* much). Bake for 7 minutes and start checking. Your cakes may take up to 15 minutes, but mine only took around 9 before they were done. You’re looking for the middles to have domed slightly, or failing that, for the edges to be a golden brown. If yours aren’t domed in the middle, don’t despair! It just means you were awesome at not putting too much extra batter into the pan.
I’ve read several recipes advising to remove the madeleines from the pan immediately once they’re taken out of the oven, which is fortuitous for baking more than one round. I mean, who keeps an army of madeleine pans in their cupboard? (I wish I did.)
* Coconut manna is essentially ground up coconut paste in a jar – thicker than coconut butter, and much thicker than coconut cream. If you don’t have it or can’t find it, you could substitute an equal amount of coconut butter, coconut oil, or whichever type of regular butter you’re already using in the recipe. They will still be lovely, just with a hint less coconut complexity.
** Be sure to always level dry ingredients when measuring them with volume containers, such as spoons and cups!