“And suddenly the memory returns. The taste was that of the little crumb of madeleine which on Sunday mornings at Combray (because on those mornings I did not go out before church-time), when I went to say good day to her in her bedroom, my aunt Léonie used to give me, dipping it first in her own cup of real or of lime-flower tea.”
I’ve been talking to myself again lately, walking down the sidewalk mouthing silent conversations. This seems to happen every spring. In the winter it’s simply too cold to open my mouth to speak at all.
Sometimes I look up and a passerby walking towards me will look at me all funny. Then I have to shuffle past pretending like I was just clicking my teeth and popping my jaw, as if that is less abnormal.
And so, in an attempt to absorb myself in anything but my voracious thoughts one frantic Sunday morning, I made these madeleines. I shared many, and I ate 10 myself. Then I felt much, much better.
You can make these with regular all-purpose flour, but I made a gluten-free version because I think everyone should get to have madeleines. So here is my little contribution.
I only have one madeleine pan, so I baked these in two batches. The browned ones are from the first batch, which I baked for 14 minutes. The lighter colored ones were baked for 12 minutes. I couldn’t decide which I preferred, which is why I kept going back for more, alternating between the two.
The 14 minutes ones are crispy, light as a feather, and taste deliciously almondy. The 12 minutes ones are a bit denser in the center and more buttery.
Ten madeleines later, I can only say that you should make yours both ways too. They’re equally addictive. Or, you could try 13 minutes…
If you can guess the author of the famous literary passage at the beginning of this post, I’ll give you a madeleine.
I’ve never actually read the book, but the madeleine episode is rather famous, so I’ve embraced it unabashedly.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Melt butter and let cool. Add almond extract to the melted butter.
- Whisk together your flours and baking powder (if using).
- Grease a madeleine pan and sprinkle each cavity with a little of the flour mixture to make it truly nonstick.
- Combine eggs with sugar and beat on high until the mixture is pale yellow, foamy, and has tripled in volume. Fold in the melted butter, then sift and fold in the flour.
- Spoon the batter into the madeleine pan, filling each cavity about 2/3 full.
- Bake for 12-14 minutes. If you are reusing the pan to make a second batch, cover the batter with plastic wrap and keep it in the refrigerator until ready to use again.
- The madeleines will be done at 12 minutes, but for maximum crispiness around the edges, bake for an extra two minutes. The fluted side will be browned but not burned.