With a cup of tea, madeleines make a wonderful mid-afternoon treat. Of course, you can find them at just about any French supermarket, but baking them yourself is child's play. Here is a variation made with chocolate and filled with sweet, creamy confiture de lait. Stored in an jar, they will keep well for about a week.
Makes approximately 2 dozen madeleines
175 g butter, melted and cooled
220 g all-purpose flour
2 tbsps cocoa powder
pinch of salt
200 g granulated sugar
2 tsp good quality vanilla extract
3 tbsp ground almonds
confiture de lait
Grease the madeleine tray with butter and dust with flour. Melt the butter and set aside to cool. Sift the flour, cocoa powder and salt into a bowl. Beat the eggs and sugar until thick and pale. I usually do this in my Kitchen Aid mixer but a handheld mixer should work just fine. Add the vanilla extract to the cooled butter. Fold the flour through the eggs and sugar, then fold in the butter and vanilla and finally the ground almonds. Fill the madeleine shells with about ¾ tbsp of the mix, drop one scant teaspoon of the confiture de lait over each portion and cover with a little more of the mix. Make sure not to over-fill. Pop the tray (and the leftover mix) in fridge for about an hour. Preheat your oven to 190C and bake the madeleines for about 8-10 minutes or until the tiny cakes spring back when gently pressed in the center. Do the same with the leftover dough. Cool slightly (if you have the willpower to do so) on a wire rack before serving.