Madeleines from Dax

Time 40 minutes
Yields Makes 18 (3-inch) cakes or 24 (2-inch( cakes)
Madeleines from Dax
(Robert Lachman / Los Angeles Times)

One day in advance, using an electric mixer with a whisk attachment, combine the eggs, salt and sugar. Beat until thick and light, about 6 to 7 minutes. Add the orange flower water and vanilla; whisk to combine.


Sift the flours with the baking powder. Gradually stir into the egg mixture; do not overbeat. Add the butter and the cream. Stir gently until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.


The next day, heat the oven to 425 degrees. Brush the hollows of a madeleine pan with softened butter. Use a teaspoon and a small spatula to fill each hollow about two-thirds full. Tap the mold on the table to allow batter to settle. (It is not necessary to smooth the surface or fill the bottom of each hollow.)


Bake for 5 minutes on the upper middle oven rack. Lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees and bake 6 to 10 minutes longer.


When the madeleines are golden and just turning brown around the edges, remove from the oven. Use the tip of a knife at the base of each to loosen; turn out onto wire racks to cool. Serve warm with fruit compotes, sorbets and granitas. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight tin and heated gently before serving.

From Paula Wolfert’s “The Cooking of South-West France.” She recommends using Plugra butter, which does not need to be clarified.

Russ Parsons is a former food writer and columnist at the Los Angeles Times.
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