Baked Sunday Mornings: Malted Madeleines

I love madeleines. I have to admit that I even have a weakness for the packaged ones sold by the register at Starbucks. It was a revelation when I first tried making them a few years ago and realized how quickly and easily I can bake my own.

So I was happy to see that Baked Elements includes a recipe for Malted Madeleines -- and it's on the schedule for Baked Sunday Mornings this week. Making the batter is simple: beat eggs, sugar, and salt until frothy; drizzle in cooled melted butter; and fold in the sifted dry ingredients (flour, malted milk powder, cocoa powder, baking powder). The recipe instructs you to cover the bowl with a dry cloth and let it sit for an hour before baking.

After sitting for an hour, the batter had developed large air bubbles and looked spongy, but the air bubbles collapsed after I gave the batter a stir. I tried two methods for baking the madeleines. First, the "standard" method of buttering the pans, filling them with batter (I used a #50 scoop) and baking. Second, the method suggested in the recipe notes and intended to "cheat" a crunchy exterior -- heavily butter the pan, heat the pan in the oven for three minutes until the butter melts and sizzles, and then fill the molds with batter and bake.

I found that the latter method resulted in a crisper madeleine, but only around the edges. Otherwise, they yielded basically the same result and neither produced a crunchy exterior. As the recipe instructs, I dusted the baked madeleines with a sieved mixture of cocoa powder and malted milk powder, but I found that using too much resulted in a chalky taste -- so I took a dry pastry brush and brushed off all of the excess powder.

These madeleines tasted fine, but they did not impress. The malt flavor was surprisingly subtle. Unfortunately, so was the chocolate flavor -- I thought that they were lacking flavor in general. Although the cake was moist, I thought it was a bit too spongy for a madeleine (or perhaps this was just my perception because they did not have a crunchy exterior). Basically, I thought the madeleines were small mediocre chocolate cakes.

Perhaps I'm just a traditionalist. I have made several different types of madeleines and my favorites so far are still the classic lemon flavor.

Recipe: "Malted Madeleines" from Baked Elements: Our 10 Favorite Ingredients, by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, recipe available here at Baked Sunday Mornings.

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Yes, I too didn't detect much of a malt taste in my madeleines either.
They look great on your plate (very pretty plate).
I will have to try the lemon ones next I think.
Candy said…
I thought this were OK too, not amazing, not terrible. Yours look great!
Chelly said…
Well your madeleines look beautiful! I didn't taste any malt in mine at all! Oh dear, I like the ones at Starbucks!
Anonymous said…
I wasn't wowed by these either, but I wasn't going to judge mine since I don't have a madeline pan... But I also felt like they were small, just ok, cakes. Yours really look great!
Anonymous said…
I was wondering about that second butter method, but I didn't actually try it. It doesn't sound like it made a big difference. I had the opposite result-- I liked the flavor, but the texture was dry. I imagine that it would be hard to get used to these if you love regular madeleines so much, but hey, it's always worth trying something new. right? Even though you weren't crazy about them, they still look great! :)