Little cupcakes in shell form!

Little cupcakes in shell form!

I finally ended up giving madeleines a go because of some delightful mini versions that my sister and I bought from a French bakery situated in Fortitude Valley. They were vanilla flavoured and had been sprinkled with pearl sugar, something I had read about but never eaten before. We were having an impulsive girls day out and after our stop at the bakery we explored a 2 level cooking store for at least an hour and I used every ounce of self-control to restrain my purchases to two beautiful glass flasks, that will one day be filled with homemade Hazelnut Liquer. Shopping completed we finally opened our bag of tiny, fragrant vanilla madeleines and if memory serves we had snaffled them all up before my sister could even get the car started. They had been so small and light that we were nowhere near satisfied so as soon as we got home I was searching for a recipe. I had bought a silicone madeleine mould over a year, maybe two years ago but forgotten it as soon as it disappeared into the black hole that masquerades as my kitchen cupboard. Now was the time to drag it out from under my innumerable cake tins, tart tins and various woks.

This is the perfect solution to when you want something fluffy and warm from the oven but don’t have the time or inclination to bake a whole cake. Adding extras like lemon zest or a citrus glaze are just scratching the surface with what you can do with these babies. Tossing them in sugar and cinnamon makes them reminiscent of tiny doughnuts but what I’m really keen to do next is get my mitts on some pearl sugar of my own and get my sprankle on.

These will be great to have in store for people dropping in unexpectedly and impulsive tea parties. They are dangerously easy to make and I found that telling myself “They’re better warm!” allowed me to finish off a good six or seven without any trace of guilt (not that I ever let myself feel guilty when it comes to food, a girl’s gotta eat). So do yourself a favour and whip up a batch of these guys, use a muffin tray if you’re not in the market for filling your cupboard up with one use items, just make sure that you butter and grease it super thoroughly.


So I seem to have written down this recipe but never bookmarked it in my computer, if you happen to recognise it please let me know and I can credit the author.

plain flour, to dust

1 egg

1/4 cup caster sugar

1 tsp vanilla essence

1/2 cup plain flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

90g butter, melted and cooled

caster sugar and cinnamon, to dust

Preheat oven to 180 C.

Lightly grease a 12 hole madeleine tin and dust with flour, shaking out excess.

Beat egg, caster sugar and vanilla together for 2 mins, until pale and frothy.

Sift together flour and baking powder and gently fold into the egg mixture.

Add melted butter and fold to combine.

Fill each hole in the tin with 2 tbsp batter and bake for 8 mins.

Allow to stand in the tin for 3 mins before tossing in the caster sugar and cinnamon.

Best eaten warm.