Earl Grey Tea Madeleines
Buttery and cake-like in texture with an ornamental, fluted shape, the madeleine is quite likely the most beautifully described cookie in literary prose. For it is the taste of a madeleine dipped in tea that sets into motion a vivid flood of memories recounted in Marcel Proust’s fictional novel, A la Recherche du Temps Perdu. Traditionally a dry cookie, perfectly conducive for dunking into a complementary cup of tea, this madeleine recipe combines the elements of tea and cookies in a singular elegance. The citrusy flavors of bergamot (from the tea) and orange (from the zest) play brightly in the foreground of these delicate cookies, while brown butter provides a nutty base. Although it may seem a bit unusual, adding ground tea directly to the batter creates lovely flecks of texture (not unlike a poppy seed) in addition to flavor. Grind loose tea leaves in a coffee/spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle and use straight away for maximum freshness.
Makes 12 large or ~36 mini madeleines
- 6 TBS unsalted butter
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 TBS organic Earl Grey Black Tea, ground to a powder
- Pinch of salt
- 1/3 cup sugar
- Zest from ½ an orange, grated
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 TBS honey
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Heat butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Allow the butter to melt and then continue cooking, swirling the pan often to prevent burning, until it turns light brown and gives off a nutty aroma. Cool completely before using. Meanwhile whisk together the flour, baking powder, ground Earl Grey tea, and salt in a separate bowl.
Working in a mixer bowl, rub the sugar and orange zest together with your fingertips until the sugar is moist and fragrant. Fit the mixer with the whisk attachment (you can make this batter easily with a handheld mixer or just a whisk, if you prefer), add the eggs to the bowl and beat until the mixture is light, fluffy and thickened, about 2 minutes; beat in the honey, then the vanilla. Switch to a rubber spatula and very gently fold in the dry ingredients followed by the melted and cooled brown butter. Spoon the batter into generously buttered madeleine molds filling each one full, cover with plastic wrap, and chill for at least three hours or up to 2 days. (The batter can be baked immediately, but it’s even better if allowed to rest in the fridge overnight.)
Preheat oven to 400° F. When ready to bake, remove the plastic wrap, place the madeleine pan on a baking sheet in the center of the oven. Bake 11 to 13 minutes for large madeleines or 8 to 10 minutes for minis, until golden and the tops spring back when gently pressed. Remove the pan from the oven and release the madeleines from the molds by rapping the edge of the pan against the counter. Transfer the cookies to a rack to cool to just-warm or room temperature. Madeleines are best eaten shortly after they come from the oven, so try to time your baking to your serving time.
Recipe by Olivia May, adapted from Dorie GreenspanSubmit a Recipe