Earl Grey Madeleines: The beauty of these buttery cakes is that they can be made by hand quite easily. They have a distinctive shape, which when made well, has a signature bump on top that is called a bosse. The bosse forms from the oven heat concentrating on the curve of the shell-shaped madeleine mold. People think this is hard to achieve, but follow a few tips and you’ll be the boss of the madeleines.
Earl Grey tea is brought in to flavor the batter of the cakes as well as added to a delicious ganache that is piped inside. This recipe shows a unique way to infuse flavor into a ganache, changing it up from the classic recipe!
Earl Grey Madeleine Cakes
2 tea bags (2 tsp [4 g]) finely ground Earl Grey tea
14 tbsp (1½ sticks + 2 tbsp [200 g]) unsalted butter, cubed
3 large eggs, at room temperature
¾ cup (150 g) granulated sugar
¼ cup (60 ml) whole milk
1½ cups (200 g) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
Pinch of salt
1½ tsp (7 g) baking powder
Soft unsalted butter, for tin
Earl Grey Milk Chocolate Ganache
1/3 cup (80 ml) heavy cream
1 tea bag (1 tsp) Earl Grey tea
4 oz (115 g) milk chocolate, chopped
Make the Madeleine Cakes (24)
Cut open the tea bags and pour the tea leaves into a small to medium-sized saucepan. Add the butter and melt over medium-low heat, swirling occasionally. Once melted, remove from the heat and set aside as you prepare the rest of the recipe. This will infuse the butter with the tea flavor, just as it would for a cup of tea!
In a big bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar well by hand for about 30 seconds. Whisk in the milk.
In a separate bowl by hand, combine the flour, salt and baking powder. Add to the egg mixture in two additions and whisk to combine.
Pour in the melted butter in two additions, whisking until smooth. I like to leave the Earl Grey tea in the batter for a speckled finished cake and more flavor.
You can bake the madeleines now, or cover with plastic wrap and chill for several hours or (even better!) overnight. You’ll notice that the batter will firm up after chilling. This makes it easier to put in the molds and helps form the bump!
When you’re ready to bake, coat a 12-shell madeleine tin generously with soft butter (I use a crumpled-up paper towel or a brush) and sprinkle each cavity with flour. These cakes tend to stick, so butter even a nonstick tin. A silicone pan doesn’t need to be buttered or floured. Hold one end of the pan and tap the center to move the flour around in each mold to coat it. Tap off any excess flour.
Perfect bake Madeleine cakes
Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) (convection or standard, with a preference for convection—no need to adjust the temperature) and transfer the batter into a piping bag without a tip. Cut a large opening. Alternatively, you can spoon the batter into the molds or even use a tablespoon-sized (15-ml) scoop.
Transfer the batter into just the middle of each mold, filling it three-quarters of the way full.
Place in the freezer for 5 minutes and then put directly into the hot oven. The tin should go straight onto the oven rack, not on a baking sheet, for the best temperature shock to form the bump on top. However, if using a silicone mold, you will need to put it on a baking sheet. For best results, only bake one pan at a time.
Bake for 5 minutes, then lower the heat to 325°F (165°C) and bake for an additional 5 minutes. If using silicone mold or a nonconvection oven, they might need to bake for 2 to 3 more minutes. Touch the center of a madeleine. The cakes should spring back and they should be nicely browned as well.
As soon as they come out of the oven, unmold the madeleines by inverting the pan onto a clean kitchen towel, tapping the end if necessary.
Make the Ganache
In a small saucepan, combine the cream and tea (removed from the bag) over medium heat until it just starts to simmer, swirling occasionally. Turn off the heat, cover and allow to infuse for 20 to 30 minutes.
Place the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl.
Return the cream back to the heat, bringing the mixture once more to a simmer. Pour through a small sieve (to remove the tea) onto the chopped chocolate.
Whisk together to incorporate, then allow to cool for 10 minutes or so to firm up slightly, which will make the ganache more manageable. Transfer to a piping bag. Use a 5- to 6-mm (1/4 inch) small round tip. Using a tip allows you to puncture the madeleine and fill it with the ganache.
Insert the tip about ¼ inch (6 mm) into the top of a cooled madeleine and fill with ganache. Cut the first one you do in half, to see how well it’s filled. This will give you an indication of how much ganache you need to put in each of the others. I usually fill until, when I remove the tip, a little ganache pools out the top, making a cute dot.
Fill the madeleine while the ganache is still warm and fluid. Allow it to firm up for about 30 minutes at room temperature before serving.
Store at room temperature in an airtight container. Normally, madeleines are good for only a day, but with the ganache filling, they stay moist for two!
Prepare the madeleine batter the day before, for best results. It will last in the fridge for about 2 days.
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Molly Wilkinson is a pastry chef trained at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. She teaches pastry and cooking workshops out of her eighteenth-century home in Versailles. She has been featured in the New York Times, Vogue, the Wall Street Journal and on NBC’s Today show. Originally from Texas, she lives in Versailles, France: www.instagram.com/mollyjwilk Her book, French Pastry Made Simple: Foolproof Recipes for Éclairs, Tarts, Macarons and More By Molly Wilkinson, published by Page Street Publishing Co. is available on Amazon, online bookshops and can be ordered in book stores everywhere!