Piece of life
Madeleines… these little cakes are linked to my childhood. And I love them! I love a particular kind above all, and they are the Liverdun madeleines. People outside Lorraine (east of France, where I am from) don’t know just how good they are. Their texture is slightly different from the classics you find, with a firm crust. Every time I visit France or when we receive visitors travelling back from France, we ensure to pack them on the baggage travelling back to Canada. It is non-negotiable. Hubby is always very amused by my love for those little madeleines, but he does not hesitate to devour them. And let’s not start to talk about the kids.
About Cyril Lignac Madeleines
Failing to find the Liverdun madeleines’ recipe (an exceptionally well-kept secret), I decided to start a comparative marathon of the greatest french chefs’ recipes. I opened the chest with Cyril Lignac’s one, found in his book “Pâtisserie” [a must-have if you love french pastry].
This recipe has no difficulties and is also quick to prepare. There is only a long resting time, 24h [this is what allows the madeleines to get their beautiful characteristic bumps]. I straightly followed the recipe, except for a few grams of sugar. Regarding the cooking time, I left them baking longer. The recipe says 8-10 minutes, but I needed 20 minutes since my moulds are big. Adjust the baking time according to the size of your moulds and your oven [by the way, I remind you that this applies to all recipes]. The madeleines are done when they have well risen up and got a nice golden-brown colour.
The recipe is approved. You should get delicious madeleines with a great bump.
For a little more greediness
I customized the madeleines with a dark chocolate coating to get a little more greediness. It’s not mandatory, but it gives them a little extra. At home, there are teams: Hubby and daughter for the regular version, and my son and I for the chocolate ones. So, I do 50/50 of every batch. You can also sprinkle the chocolate with chopped almonds or grated coconut.
Which mould to use?
I have silicone and metal moulds. I have compared these several times, and the results are always better with the metal one. I had no de-moulding problem with the metal one; you have to grease it slightly. So for me, the debate is settled.
There are metal moulds in different shapes, the great classic, but there are also slightly different versions. I chose the shell shape [which has been an in-fashion one for some years], and it always is a great hit!
French madeleines, by french pastry chef Cyril Lignac
- 200 g butter
- 200 g flour
- 200 g eggs, room temperature (about 3 big ones or 4 small)
- 180 g sugar (195 g in the original recipe)
- 20 g wildflower honey
- 6 g baking powder
- 1 orange or 1 lemon zests
- 200 g dark chocolate (or other to taste)
- grated coconut
- Melt the butter in a saucepan. Keep cooking until the butter reaches 70°C. Let it cool down.
- In a bowl, mix the sugar and the fruit zests. Add the honey and the eggs at room temperature mix with a whisk.
- Put the flour and the baking powder in a bowl. Stir and gradually add the sugar/honey/egg mixture.
- Gradually pour the melted butter.
- Put the dough in a pastry bag and set it aside in the refrigerator for 24h.
- The next day, preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Grease the madeleine moulds. Fill them up to 3/4 with the dough.
- Keep them in the oven until the madeleines have puffed up and gotten a nice golden brown colour. The original recipe recommends 8 to 10 minutes cooking time. In my case, the cooking time is 20 minutes (since my moulds are quite big).
- Let them cool.
- Carefully melt the chocolate down (for a better result, you can use the tempering technique).
- Dip the madeleines halfway into the melted chocolate. Sprinkle with almond pieces, grated coconut or other top-finishing as you desire.
- Place them over a grill and let the chocolate stiffen.