Almond, Chilli & Cocoa Madeleines

Madeleines 01

The other day I realised that although I’m more of an Anglophile than a Francophile, there were almost always French friends in my life. The first one I acquired in school when it was in fashion to have a pen pal. Mine was from Toulouse, we visited each other, and our friendship lasted long after we left school. Only when she moved to Germany did we lose contact, which seems a bit weird and was definitely a pity.

The second friend is currently located in Hamburg; I met her when she became one of my friend’s girlfriend, and I attended their wedding last year. And the third one is a French work colleague who I talk food with every once in a while. She rediscovered madeleines a couple of weeks ago, which reminded me that this was something I’d always meant to give a try. The only reason I hadn’t done so yet is that I didn’t want to purchase even more kitchen equipment – the madeleines moulds – for something I would only use every now and then. So my colleague lent me hers last weekend.

Madeleines 02

As usual, I couldn’t live with making “just plain” madeleines. I decided to add cocoa and finely cut pieces of chilli. You can only taste the chilli if you encounter one of these extremely finely cut pieces, but even then it’s too mild to burn your tongue. The third addition I made was almond meal/flour. It adds to the taste but it does take a little bit away from the lightness of the original madeleines. My sister said they were nice and fluffy, but she hadn’t had madeleines before so didn’t know what to expect really.

All in all, the differences my adaptations made were very subtle. I’m really content with the outcome, though, especially as the additions I made weren’t any more work than plain madeleines. For the basic recipe I used this French recipe for Madeleine à l’ancienneI found the tips on this site quite helpful, especially the one about not adding the molten butter while it’s still hot because it’ll cook the eggs.

By the way, while I uploaded the pictures for this post, I had another vision – either dipping one half of each madeleine into molten chocolate, then leaving it to harden, or serving a little pot of molten chocolate to dip them into at the table.

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Almond, Chilli & Cocoa Madeleines

  • Servings: makes 27 pieces
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175 g flour
50 g almond flour
175 g sugar
100 g butter
1 pack dry yeast
4 eggs
zest of 1 lemon
¼ chilli
1 – 2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
icing sugar to serve

Melt the butter in a small pan and set aside to cool down a little bit, but don’t let it go completely cold.

In a bowl, beat the eggs together with the sugar until the sugar has dissolved completely. [It’s worth beating a little longer until the mix gains volume and becomes a little airy.]

Add the flour and dry yeast, lemon zest and the molten butter.

Prepare your madeleine moulds according to material. [Mine were silicone and needed no buttering, metal moulds will need buttering and a light sprinkling of flour.]

With the help of a piping bag or two teaspoons fill the madeleine moulds to ¾. Let sit for 20 minutes and preheat the oven to 220°C.

Bake madeleines for 8 – 12 minutes, depending on their size. You’ll need to check by using a toothpick or wooden skewer after 8 minutes.

Let cool and serve sprinkled with icing sugar.

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