An Urge to Bake Madeleines — Un désir effréné de faire des madeleines


Tea Time

There is always a need of something sweet with a nice cup of tea.
Am I reliving a Proust’s moment?

I look up to check the time on our orange cuckoo clock. This time the canary moves. No wonder that I keep yawning. It is 11 pm. Despite my heavy eyelids, I suddenly feel seized by a strong desire to bake. Right then, at 11 pm.

“Qu’est-ce que tu fais ?” (what are you doing?) I hear P. shout from across the room when he hears bangs and clicks sounds in the kitchen as I fumble through the cabinet to get out what I need to make madeleines.

“Rien”(nothing), I reply.

“What do you mean nothing, I can hear something.”

“I am making madeleines.”

“A cette heure ?” (At this time?), he replies.

He should know better by now. Since I have started to blog, it has got worse. The addiction to cooking, the addiction to trying new recipes and test ideas as they arrive, without waiting. And they keep arriving and coming, non-stop. Sometimes I love it, looking forward to slipping into it and feeling the buzz, but sometimes I also hate it. I can be overwhelmed by the flux of information. I go for a run, drive downtown, walk in the park, talk to people, and all I can think of is “two eggs maybe with 4 oz of sugar. Oh what if I tried to add a bit of ginger? Oh no, I think this would not work.” Ok, maybe I stretch it too far, but I am pretty close though.



But when such an addictive behavior gives you the strength to prepare a batch of madeleines at 11 pm although there is still some cakes made from the day before, when you are too impatient to wait until the day after to see whether your idea works, I do not know but it cannot be a bad thing. I already know that P’s co-workers will be pleased. Will they? Maybe they hate me by now from the constant amount of food I send their way. Maybe they are simply too polite to say so.

Honey and Orange Madeleines

The recipe worked and it made me happy. I knew that the reason that pushed me to stay up that night was good. I was having a lucky day.

I love madeleines, as you probably know. Even better. What I actually enjoy tremendously is to observe how, while cooking in the oven, madeleines develop a pointy belly looking up, just like a camel’s hump. I stay there, kneeling down in front of the oven during the first six required min, my face almost glued to the oven door, staring at them through the hot glass until it happens. And, unlike an ephemeral soufflé, once the bump develops, it is there to stay.

After a walk taken by the river, what else is there?

A cup of tea, maybe?

With freshly baked madeleines.

Un bonheur pur et simple

A Slice of Simple Pure Happiness



Honey and Orange Madeleines
Honey and Orange Madeleines

(For 20 madeleines, regular size)

You need:

  • 3 large eggs
  • 5 1/4 oz all-purpose flour
  • 1 stick salted butter (4 oz)
  • 4.5 oz fine sugar
  • Zest of an organic orange, finely grated
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp flower honey (liquid, or the flavor you prefer)


  • Melt the butter and let cool down.
  • Sift the flour with the baking powder. Keep.
  • Place the eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat them.
  • Add the sugar, honey and orange zest and beat until white in color and light.
  • Remove the bowl and add the sifted flour and baking powder. Mix with a wooden spoon. Then add the butter. Mix well until homogeneous.
  • Cover this batter and place in the fridge for 2 hours.
  • Preheat your oven at 420 F.
  • Grease madeleine molds and fill them 3/4 full.
  • Cook for 6 mns — to get the expected bump — then reduce the oven temperature to 350 F. Continue to cook for about 4 to 5 mns. Remove from the molds and let them cool on a rack.

Le coin français
Madeleines au miel et à l’orange

(Pour 20 madeleines de taille régulière)

Ingrédients :

  • 3 gros oeufs
  • 150 g de farine
  • 115 g de beurre salé fondu, refroidi ensuite
  • 125 g de sucre de canne fin
  • Zeste d’une orange bio, finement râpé
  • 1 càc de levure chimique
  • 1 càs de miel aux fleurs liquide (ou parfumé selon votre goût)

Étapes :

  • Faites fondre le beurre à feu doux dans une casserole. Retirez et laissez refroidir.
  • Tamisez la farine avec la levure. Réservez.
  • Mettez les oeufs dans le bol d’un robot et battez-les.
  • Ajoutez le sucre, le miel et le zeste d’orange et mélangez jusqu’a ce que le mélange blanchisse.
  • Retirez le bol et ajoutez la farine et la levure tamisées en utilisant une cuiller en bois. Mélangez bien puis incorporez le beurre refroidi. Mélangez bien.
  • Couvrez la pâte et mettez-la au frigo pendant 2 heures.
  • Préchauffez votre four à 220 C.
  • Beurrez des moules à madeleine et remplissez-les aux 3/4.
  • Faites cuire pendant 6 mns — de manière à obtenir la bosse tant attendue des madeleines — puis réduisez la température à 180 C. Poursuivez la cuisson pendant 4 à 5 mns. Démoulez sur une grille et laissez refroidir.
Posted in Cakes, Dessert, French Inspired


  1. Très jolies ces madeleines! Cela fait des années que je voudrais en faire, et pourtant je n’ai toujours pas acheté de moules… ta recette va peut-être m’y décider!

  2. Ce qui est toujours merveilleux sur ton blog, c’est qu’on vient pas voir une recette, non c’est beaucoup plus complexe que ca…il y a toujours une histoire, c’est un tout que tu arrives a partager avec nous d’une superbe façon…et ces photos… Un immense bravo


  3. Ces madeleines sont magnifiques!! Hummm!! J’adore ça, avec un petit thé!!! Un vrai moment de bonheur!!

  4. Il n’est jamais trop tard pour s’attaquer aux madeleines … surtout pour un résultat aussi réussi !

  5. Oh Béa, je passe souvent par ici, et me voilà une fois de plus soufflée par tes photos -magnifiques, emportée par ta prose et en proie à une irrésistible envie de madeleines… Je suis fan!

  6. je suis largement plus café que thé.. mais une petite madeleine à l’orange, même sans boisson, ça ne se refuse pas..!

  7. Hi Bea, I’ve been lurking for a while, but just wanted to say your pictures and recipes are absolutely gorgeous — such a visual treat! I also appreciate the opportunity to practice my French dans le coin francais. Merci et continuez, s’il vous plait!

  8. After seeing this post, I’m definitely going to try making madelines again when I get back to Japan!

  9. My madeleines pans will never again go so long in disuse as they started out. They have to be the most perfect thing to have hanging around for just a bite with say some fruit.
    Yes, this blogger obsessed behavior is not comprehendible to the outside world but I love it.

  10. OK. That did it! Thanks, Bea. I’ve been thinking about buying a madeleine pan, and now I will. Where would you suggest finding a good one in the Cambridge area?

  11. oh moi aussi j’ai maintenant une furieuse envie de madeleines, serait-ce contagieux??? il me semble!

  12. très très belles, vraiment! (tiens au fait, ça fait longtemps que je n’ai pas commis de bonnes madeleines toutes simples… :-))

  13. Bea, what an amazing collection of baking accessories you have! Magnifique:-)

  14. Again, your photos take my breath away! My husband has been baking madeleines ever since we got Dorie Greenspan’s book. I will share your recipe — a new variation for him to try (and I am the lucky beneficiary of his experimentation!).

  15. Another one…fine I must break down and make them.

    I have a bit of a problem though, I can’t seem to find a madeleine pan? Any recommendations? I looked at some online and I was baffled, they had rounder ones and long skinny ones, mini ones, and big fat ones.

    Oh the choices!

  16. Bea,

    I have to agree with everyone else…I love your photos. And I can relate with the late night inspiration cooking. It kind of feels crazy to be up late in the kitchen while everyone else is sleeping, but it is fun, like a secret science experiment.

    Fabulous, fabulous, fabulous!

  17. Merci pour la belle balade, tu m’a fait voyager merci 🙂
    Et crois le ou non j’ai jamais fait de madeleines, je garde donc précieusement ta recette!

  18. Bea that first picture is stunning, it’s so mesmerising.
    I can’t wait to try your madeline recipe!

  19. Spectacular pictures! I agree with Jenjen…the first one is incredible!

    Oh, please won’t you share your secret for your madeleines’ magnificent humps…

  20. Oh Bea, these look absolutely adorable – the perfect accompaniment to a delicious cup of tea. Vraiment magnifique!

  21. Je sais que je reprends l’idée de plusieurs des commentaires précédents (sans même avoir pris le temps de les lire tous): Ta photo du thé versé est magnifique!

  22. Beautiful Bea, they look so delicious! Must put that immaculate and still unused madeleine pan of mine to use sometime soon. Btw, I love your cuckoo clock.

  23. bea,

    oh how i agree with you on the sudden baking urges! sometimes, even when i have lots of work at my hands and tons of assignments piled up on my table, all i can think of is, “should i bake tartlets?” or “would a rose tea-infused custard work for this?”. even when i’m about to sleep, i think about chocolate cupcakes and mini apple pies. i think it explains the increasing numbers on the weighing scale. oops!

  24. Why do I always have an urge..
    To merge..
    With a Madelaine..
    Yours particularly, are adorable.
    But they’re so far away it’s deplorable!
    I shall just have to splure
    On Air France…

  25. Chez moi, c’était miel et citron mais de toute façon, les madeleines, c’est toujours bon ! Les tiennes sont particulièrement bossues, un petit signe de réussite qui ne trompe pas ! Je t’en vole une pour faire trempette dans mon thé à la bergamote ! hmmm…J’ai honte mais c’est trop bon !

    Amicalement blog,

  26. Thank you all very much for your lovely comments. Merci a tous de vos supers gentils commentaires.

    The secret to the madeleine hump? Start by baking them in a hot oven fpr the first 6 mns, before turning the oven temp down.

  27. A freshly baked madeleine is one of the best things in life. Your pictures are making me so hungry. It’s late here and I feel like baking some myself!

  28. I made those last night (a bit before 11 p.m., tough…) and they turned out beautifully. Thank you for sharing that recipe. One thing: why do you let the dough rest for two hours? Just curious…

  29. I’m forever baking things after 11pm – somehow that’s when the inspiration and the urge seem to strike!! These look gorgeous – I’m a late discoverer of madeleines but now I love them. And the pictures are drop-dead *gorgeous*!

  30. J’adore tes photos!!! j’aimerais beaucoup en faire d’aussi belles ;)Par contre, je suis septique sur l’utilisation du beurre pr faire des madeleines, le moelleux disparait trop vite …. avec de la creme fraiche ca marche mieux mais j’ai oublié la recette

  31. So…when you say drop the oven down to 350, do you mean take the madeleines out drop the oven down and then go for it? Because I have a gas oven that likes to retain it’s heat…so maybe I should drop it down before the hump?

    I’m trying these a second time as the first time they were good but a little tough/overcooked. That and they lost all of their appeal the morning after.(tough and chewy)

    They looked pretty as heck and still ate them all by myself. =D

  32. It is now 12.25am and I have just finished my first ‘real’ (with Lindt 85%) chocolate cake and a few samples, Madeleines (for my husband to find in the morning). I consulted your website regarding baking time.
    I kept your address and will enjoy and study tomorrow. Your ideas are so alive combined with the pictures. As you can see I bake even later than your partner does. It took so much courage to get started. . I mostly seem to end up creating my own recipes. This time it had to be cream, Lindt chocolate, almonds etc .
    This comes with greetings from Australia

  33. Can well understand thinking constantly about cooking and baking.
    My mother used to say, “the old woman wanted to live 100 more years to learn 100 more recipes”.

    To perfect the art of cooking, we do not need more cooks, we need more people who appreciate eating well.

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  35. Hi, Bea! I absolutely love your blog, but I don’t think I ever commented here. I’ve just made a batch of honey madeleines using a recipe very VERY similar to yours. I have tried a Dorie Greenspan recipe (from her book From my Home to Yours), but both ended the same way: they tasted good, but looked horrible. They both spread out of the molds into a single “belly”, more than a “hump”, even though the first batch had the molds really over filled with batter and the second one not. Also my batter is very stiff when it leaves the fridge, like pâte à choux. I’m kind of afraid to try it again and would really love some advise… Thank you so much! I can’t wait for your book!

  36. I love this post of yours, very much! For one particular reason, it is because you have described your love for madeleines exactly the way I feel for madeleines while I bake them – my eyes, ears, nose, fingers are literally stick to the oven door while watching those magical humps pop up/ out from those cute madeleines in the oven! Thanks for such wonderful description. My love for madeleines has been unyield for the past 15 years!

    I love your pictures and soon, this weekend perhaps, I will be making these to bring to my bf’s family for tea!

  37. Hi, I came across your website yesterday while searching for a recipe for madeleines. I love your receipe, and bought a madeleine mould immediately and baked them. They tasted so good, especially right out of the oven. Thanks for the post.

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