It’s been so cold and gloomy here in Paris over the last few days that I’ve enjoyed hibernating. I’ve also been working on this recipe for some colour-block madeleines as part of my Cabinet of Curiosities theme.
You might think the link between madeleines and cabinets of curiosities is fairly tenuous but these little shell-shaped cakes remind me of the seashells often displayed in such cabinets…
According to some stories, the madeleine shape is linked to the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela (for which the scallop shell is the emblem). Others suggest that a cook named Madeleine from Lorraine gave her name to the cakes. There are plenty more hypotheses around, all fun and interesting to read.
‘Madeleine’ was my great grand-mother’s name, not that she ever baked a madeleine for me, let alone a cake! So I don’t really have a ‘Madeleine de Proust’ story to tell about madeleines. Growing up, they weren’t my favourite cakes anyway, because the ones I used to eat where shop-bought and therefore usually a bit dry.
But when I made my first batch, a few years ago, I realised how lovely and melt-in-mouth they can be… And with this foolproof recipe, I swear you’ll never buy a supermarket madeleine ever again.
To make 24 madeleines, you need…