Madeleine is one of my all time favorite French sweets. Unfortunately, I can rarely find madeleines around here as they are not as popular as other cakes. I can still find madeleines in a few big French bakeries, but their locations are pretty far away from my place and their price also makes me tear up. Considering those reasons, I decided to invest on madeleine mold and make them by my own. Pretty convenient, right?
I have been experimenting recipes using matcha powder recently and this Matcha Madeleines recipe is one of them. The recipe may stray from the traditional madeleines, but it turns out to be a delightful sweet treat. Matcha Madeleines are sweet, spongy, and fluffy mini cakes with a slight earthiness and bitterness from matcha powder. The flavor works more beautifully when combined with the sweetness of melted white chocolate. Roasted black sesame seeds on the top also add nice color and contrast to the whole appearance.
Madeleine is a French bite-sized sponge cakes with distinctive delicate shell-like shape on their bottom and the slight bump on their top sides. The shape is acquired from being baked in special molds that imprint a shell-like pattern. The cake is somewhat lighter than sponge cake as air is suspended in the batter during mixing to provide volume.
They are not that difficult to make as long as you follow the instructions. If you do not follow the process, you will not get perfect madeleines. Getting that nice bump is maybe the most challenging part of making perfect madeleines. The bump is like the most important feature in madeleines. However, do not worry if your madeleines do not have the bump as the texture and flavor are exactly the same.
Tips on Making Madeleines
1. Choose right matcha
Some of you may get confused about the difference of green tea and matcha. The names are slightly deceptive, because green tea and matcha are used interchangeably, but they are actually slightly different.
Matcha and green tea both come from the same plant, but they are grown and processed differently. Matcha is made from whole green tea leaves that have been pulverized into a super fine powder. Because the whole leaf is powdered and ingested, instead of just water infused through the tea leaves, matcha has significantly greater substances and deeper flavor than green tea.
Please note that matcha comes in both ceremonial-grade and food-grade. Ceremonial-grade is considered higher quality and should be used for drinking. Meanwhile, the food-grade powder is intended for baking and cooking purposes. The lower grade matcha is not only suitable for cooking and baking, but also for matcha sweet beverage such as matcha latte.
2. Beat eggs and sugar properly
Madeleines are in sponge cake category. They mostly get their volume from whipping the eggs. Firstly, you need room temperature eggs as the eggs will disperse more evenly into the batter, trap more air, and make lighter cake texture. If you forget to set your eggs out a few hours before you start, you can sit them in a bowl of warm water for 10-15 minutes. After beating the eggs with an electric hand mixer or stand mixer until foamy, beat in the sugar little by little until the egg mixture become thick and pale. The clue is when the beater is raised, the batter should fall back like a ribbon into the bowl. If you don’t get it to this stage, your madeleines will be dense and will not have much rise.
3. Do not overmix the batter
In a separate bowl, toss in the dry ingredients together. Then, fold them into the beaten egg mixture. As not to deflate the air in the batter, add in the melted butter little by little into the mixture. You need to pay attention to avoid over mixing the batter so that your madeleines do not get dense and tough.
4. Chill the batter
Madeleine batter needs to chill out in the refrigerator for about 1 hour before baking. Letting the batter rest in the refrigerator helps in creating taller bump, which is a signature characteristic in madeleines. The taller it is, the fluffier the cake. You can start to preheat the oven 10 minutes before letting the batter out from the refrigerator and scooping it into the molds.
5. Choose the right molds
There are so many kinds of madeleine mold material to choose from non-stick, aluminium, and silicone. Non-stick and silicone molds help to make unmolding and clean up easier. However, madeleines made with silicone molds will not brown like it should or crisp up the edges, while the one made with non stick molds come out too dark. I really recommend to buy aluminium madeleine molds as they make madeleine pretty crispy with light brownish color. You just need to grease and dust the molds with flour, and they should come out easily.
Can I bake madeleines in another pan? Yes, you can use a mini muffin pan, but the cake’s texture will be different. More importantly, you will not get the iconic shell-like shape on the bottom like how madeleines should be.
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter melted (55 gr)
- 1 egg room temperature
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar (65 gr)
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour (60 gr)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tbsp matcha powder
- 1/2 cup white chocolate melted (70 gr, optional)
- toasted black sesame seeds (optional)
In a medium bowl, sift all purpose flour, salt, baking powder, and matcha powder. Stir together to combine. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs with the vanilla extract until the eggs are frothy. Slowly add in granulated sugar and whisk for another 5 minutes.
Add egg mixture into the dry ingredients. Stir with spatula until well combined. Don't overmix. Stir in melted butter little by little into the batter until incorporated.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate to rest the batter for 1 hour or up to overnight.
Preheat oven at 375F / 190°C. Grease the madeleine tin with melted butter and then flour the tin.
Remove the batter from the fridge. Fill each well in the madeleine tin with 1 tablespoon of the batter (about 3/4 of the way full).
Bake for 13 minutes, or until the madeleines’ edges looks done and the tops spring back when touched.
Remove the madeleines from the oven and let cool for 2 minutes. Using a fork, gently loosen the madeleines from their tin and then tip the whole tin out onto a cooling wrack or tea towel.
Melt your white chocolate and dip the cooled madeleines halfway down diagonally, then placing them on cooling rack to cool. Sprinkle toasted black sesame seeds for decoration.