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Citrus Madeleines with Chocolate Dipping Sauce

Owner/chocolatier Michele De Luca-Verley, La Maison de COCO, Portsmouth

Madeleines are actually miniature sponge cakes in the shape of scallop shells. French novelist Marcel Proust made madeleines famous by describing his first recollection of them in his seven-volume novel, In Search of Lost Time. I’ve adapted this recipe from Monet’s Table, a favorite cookbook my mother gifted to me about 30 years ago. To add brightness for springtime, I use three different citrus zests: lemon, lime and orange. During colder months, I change the character of madeleines by using warming spices like cardamom and cinnamon. While Proust loved dunking madeleines in tea, I prefer dipping them in rich dark chocolate! When local strawberries are in season, offer them alongside madeleines to dip in the ganache as well!

March 05, 2020

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups sugar
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 eggs, room temperature and separated
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated zest of lemon, lime and orange
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 pint (or quart) fresh strawberries, washed and patted dry
Chocolate Ganache Dipping Sauce
  • 5 ounces (64% to 70% cacao) dark chocolate
  • 1½ cups heavy cream

Preparation

Preheat oven to 400°F (or 350°F in a convection oven). Generously grease madeleine mold with unsalted butter. In a bowl of a stand-up mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix sugar, butter and egg yolks on medium speed until mixture has been aerated and turns pale yellow. (Sugar should be somewhat dissolved at this point.) Combine citrus zest with the flour by fluffing with a fork and set aside.

With a very clean bowl (traces of fat can restrict the egg whites from rising) fitted with a whisk attachment, whisk egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually fold the yolk mixture into the egg whites, alternating with a heaping tablespoon of flour until all is incorporated. Be careful not to deflate your egg whites; this is the raising agent for these “sponge cake cookies.”

Scoop a spoonful of dough into each mold, filling them no more than ⅔ full. They will rise in the hot oven, creating the “signature” puff in the center. (You may want to begin baking the molds in the top third of your oven to enhance the “puff” and then move them down to the middle rack halfway through baking time.) Bake for approximately 10 minutes total or until the outside edges are golden brown for a crisp outer shell and fluffy inner sponge cake.

Chocolate Ganache Dipping Sauce:

Cut chocolate in small pieces and set aside in a bowl. Heat cream to a simmer and pour over chocolate. Let sit for 30 seconds and then whisk, starting in the middle to create a smooth ganache. Serve warm for dipping your madeleines.

About this recipe

Makes approximately 24 (3-inch) madeleines.

WINE PAIRING: Brandini Moscato d’Asti, Piedmont, Italy—The bright citrus in the madeleines will complement the candied apricot and peach notes in this delicious Moscato from the Asti province in the Piedmont region in Northern Italy. The subtle sweetness of this lightly sparkling wine will be a perfect complement the richness of the accompanying ganache, too. —Debbie Lawrence, Grapes & Grains, Barrington

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups sugar
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 eggs, room temperature and separated
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated zest of lemon, lime and orange
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 pint (or quart) fresh strawberries, washed and patted dry
Chocolate Ganache Dipping Sauce
  • 5 ounces (64% to 70% cacao) dark chocolate
  • 1½ cups heavy cream