Madeleines are small sponge cakes, known for their light and fluffy texture. They can be baked with any flavour of your choice and simply dusted with icing sugar or in this recipe, zested with orange and dipped in dark chocolate and pistachios. You will need a madeleine baking tray for these – a well greased metal one or silicon ones make it easier to pop out each sponge.
150g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 large orange, zested
110g unsalted butter
100g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
100g dark chocolate
50g pistachios, finely chopped
1. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan. Grease 2 madeleine baking trays and flour each one by sifting a little flour over each one, shaking them to coat completely and tapping out the excess.
2. Melt the butter and leave to cool.
3. Beat the eggs, sugar, vanilla and orange zest with an electric whisk on high for 5 minutes until the mix turns pale and silky. Then beat in the cooled butter.
4. Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl and very gently add in small quantities to the egg mix, folding gently to incorporate. Cover the bowl with cling film and chill for about 20 minutes.
5. Spoon about 1tbsp of the mix into each madeleine mould, filling 2/3 up the sides and bake for 10 minutes until risen and the tops spring back when touched. The edges should be slightly more golden than the centre. Leave to stand for a few minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool or gently running a knife around the edge to loosen.
6. As they cool, melt the dark chocolate slowly in a heatproof bowl over a pan of boiling water. Dip each madeleine into the melted chocolate to coat one end or use a spoon to drizzle on top in any style you like.
While the chocolate Is still melted, dip each madeleine into a bowl of the crushed pistachios and then leave for the chocolate to cool and harden before serving. They are best eaten soon after cooking to keep their light airiness or store them in an airtight container to last a while longer.