Madeleines are very small sponge cakes with a distinctive shell-like shape acquired from being baked in pans with shell-shaped depressions. The pans used for baking these great little treats can be found in specialty stores. These were baked in mini-madeleine pans.
Traditional recipes include very finely ground nuts, usually almonds. For this recipe lemon zest is used for a pronounced lemony taste.
3/4 cup unsalted butter plus 2 T for greasing the pans
3/4 cup all purpose flour plus more for dusting the pans
4 eggs at room temperature
pinch of fine grain sea salt
2/3 cup granulated sugar
zest of 1 large lemon
1 t. vanilla extract
powdered sugar for dusting
In a small heavy pan, melt the 3/4 cup butter over medium heat and continue heating until it turns brown and releases a delicious nutty aroma, about 20 minutes. Using a fine mesh strainer lined with a paper towel, strain the solids from the butter into a small bowl. Discard the solids. Set aside and let cool to room temperature.
Position one rack in the upper quarter of the oven and another in the center and preheat to 350 degrees. Generously grease two madeleine pans with the remaining 2 T. butter and dust them with flour, tapping out any excess.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk together the eggs and salt on medium high speed until thick, or until the eggs have doubled or even tripled in volume, about 3 minutes. With the mixer still on medium high speed, add the granulated sugar in a slow, steady stream and continue whisking until the mixture thickens, about 2 minutes more.
Using a spatula, fold in the lemon zest and vanilla just until mixed.
Sprinkle the 3/4 cup flour over the egg mixture and gently fold it in. Add the melted butter and fold it in until just combined. Do not overmix.
Gently spoon the batter into the prepared pans, filling each mold 3/4 full.
Bake staggering the pans so that the top pan is not directly over the lower one and rotating the pans from front to back and upper to lower halfway through baking, until the edges start to turn golden brown, 12 to 14 minutes.
When the madeleines come out of the oven, turn them out onto wire racks. Dust with powdered sugar and serve immediately.
From We Love Madeleines