There are tons of Madeleine recipes out there and boxes of them stacked up at grocery stores. Madeleines are a traditional small cake originally from France. It doesn't require that much effort to find them; however when was the last time you had a good one? I couldn't remember that I ever had a good Madeleine. I had them during a vacation in Bahamas and tried the ones my friends bought from the grocery store. I have to admit that Madeleines weren't my favorite. Like other foods, when you try a new dish for the first time, you might not like it. I've learned in time that I shouldn't judge right away. Maybe it isn't because of the food itself; it might be because I haven't encountered a good version of it. Same with Madeleines, I think I haven't tried good ones until I recently made them myself.
After learning from Chef Dominique Ansel a proper way to make Madeleines, I tried to make them myself. I managed to ordered a Madeleines pan (I use Gobel non-stick mini Madeleine pan) and tried baking Madeleines for the first time. It took me two days since the batter needed to rest in a refrigerator for 12-24 hours. I went with 24 hours because I believe that the longer the batter rests, the better. The next day I took the batter out and let it warm to room temperature before piping it into the pan. The batter was kind of runny, but don't worry that is the way it should be. Note that even though the pan is non stick, it's a good idea to spray the pan before you pipe in the batter.
Four minutes is the baking time. Yes, just four minutes (It also depends on your oven). The moment I opened the oven door, the gentle smell of lemon and orange zest strike my nose. Just a light tap of the pan on the work surface, these cute mini Madeleines came out from the mould easily. Lightly dust them with powdered sugar then serve them right away. Remember serving them hot right out of the oven is the key! Don't let them cool down or you will miss a chance to enjoy the great texture; light and soft but crispy around the edges.
My husband and I enjoy them with a cup of Mariage Frères tea. Now I can say that Madeleines have become one of my favorites. I think it wasn't bad for the first time especially when my husband asked me, "When are you gonna make them again?" Try it for yourself and let me know how it goes.