These elegant cakes shaped like scallop shells are the perfect thing with a cup of light, floral French tea. Guillaume Brahimi’s recipe is flavoured with vanilla bean, lemon and beurre noisette – butter cooked until hazelnut brown, giving a nutty flavour. Madeleine trays are available at most good cookware stores and make all the difference to the appearance; they are worth purchasing as once you’ve mastered this recipe you’ll be making these cakes over and over. You can have the mixture ready in advance and cook the cakes when your guests arrive so you can all enjoy warm madeleines.
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 lemon, rind only, finely grated
1 large lime, rind only, finely grated
3/4 cup plain flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
60g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
several tablespoons of caster sugar, melted in lime juice
Preheat oven to 200°C. Grease a 20-hole madeleine baking pan. Place eggs, sugar, lemon rind and lime rind into bowl.
Using an electric hand beater, beat mixture until thick, pale and doubled in volume. Gently fold in flour, baking powder and butter using a metal spoon.
Place tablespoons of mixture into prepared madeleine moulds. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden and cakes spring back when pressed in the centre. Cool slightly before removing from moulds.