Madeleines, the perfect French teacakes

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Madeleines are one of the most popular French patisseries. So simple and so delicious, they make the perfect teacake for a Sunday afternoon tea party. The original version is very simple with just a slight vanilla-honey aroma. But this little teacake has been transformed into so many different variations, sweet and salty, and several pastry shops dedicated solely to madeleines have popped up, like Mesdemoiselles Madeleines in the 9th arrondissement in Paris. So lovely! My favorite sweet variations of madeleines are the original vanilla teacakes, the orange blossom and the rose water madeleines. And my favorite recipe for these little teacakes can be found in David Lebovitz’s My Paris Kitchen cookbook which I adore. The trick with these little cakes is to get that “hump” during baking which is not so easy when using gluten-free flour. But I did it! I finally managed to get that oh so perfect hump and I’m oh so happy! This recipe is adapted from David Lebovitz’s book to be gluten-free. I also added a hint of tonka bean because I love it’s association with vanilla.

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For the madeleines (makes 16)
Recipe adapted from My Paris Kitchen by David Lebovitz
2 large eggs, room temperature
100 g coconut sugar
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
110 g rice flour
30 g corn starch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, preferably aluminum-free
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 tonka bean, freshly grated (optional)
115 g butter, preferably bio
1 teaspoon honey

Beat the eggs and coconut sugar on high speed until light and fluffy (they will double in size), about 3-5 minutes. Add the vanilla extract.

In a separate bowl, mix the rice flour, corn starch, salt, baking powder, xanthan gum and freshly grated tonka bean. Sift the mixture to avoid any lumps.

Add the sifted dry ingredients to the eggs and sugar mixture. Mix on medium speed for a few seconds to combine well. Cover the bowl and leave to rest for 1 hour.

In the meanwhile, melt the butter and honey in a small saucepan. Set aside and let cool. If necessary, reheat slightly before adding to the batter.

After one hour, drizzle the butter and honey mixture into the rest of the batter and mix on medium speed until well combined. Cover the bowl once again and leave to rest for another hour.

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Brush the madeleines mold with melted butter to avoid sticking. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of batter into each mold, to fill them up to about three quarters. Bake for 9-10 minutes, depending on your oven.

These madeleines are darker in color than the traditional ones because of the coconut sugar but I adore the slight tonka bean taste, associated with the deeper flavor of the sugar and vanilla. To change the aroma of the madeleines, simply substitute the vanilla extract and tonka bean with any other aroma such as orange blossom and grated orange peel, rose water, almond essence, cocoa powder, etc.

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