Madeleines are one of the treats I used to love in the gluten filled days of yore. As my gluten free baking experience has grown, I had it in the back of my mind to give madeleines another try. Then this book arrived at my doorstep.
Madeleines, Elegant French Tea Cakes to Bake and Share by Barbara Feldman Morse. A glance at the basic recipe left me feeling like it was a good candidate for gluten free baking. The flour to egg ratio is good, baking powder is added, and the pans are small, all important for gluten free flours. Then I read in the beginning of the book that the author gives her blessing to swap out regular flour for a gluten free blend without any other adjustments at all. Wow. I was willing to give it a go.
Before running over to the kitchen store for madeleine pans I thought I would try some molds that had come to me from my grandma.
OMG people! This is the best cake I have eaten since gluten. If the gluten free version is this good than the wheat filled version will probably cause you to sit down while eating because your knees are gonna buckle. Youngest Son came home from school and poked at one,
"What is it?"
"A little cake."
"What is in it?" Can you tell I have a picky eater on my hands?
"Regular cake stuff, nothing strange." He took a bite, and another, and then asked if we could have these all the time. Win!
With that success under my belt I was ready to try more. After a trip to the kitchen store for pans, I whipped up a batch of pumpkin madeleines. Just as light and airy as the original, the perfect thing for tea, or coffee, or dessert, or after school snacking.
This book has recipes for madeleines of every flavor you can think of.
even savory varieties stuffed with cheese and herbs. And I know that Santa is going to love having a few Eggnog Madeleines on his cookie plate.
I contacted the author through her Facebook page and asked if I could share a recipe from the book, she was very kind and said I could share whichever I liked. It is fall, and we all have pumpkin on the brain, so here is the recipe for Pumpkin Spice Madeleines. I used the GF flour blend from America's Test Kitchen and whipped the pumpkin and egg mixture for a few minutes to get it nice and fluffy. Please give them a try and let me know what you think.
Pumpkin Spice Madeleines
Yield: 16 madeleines (18-19 if using walnuts or chocolate chips)
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
6 tbsp (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus 4 tbsp for pans (optional)
1/2 either light or dark brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1/3 cup toasted walnuts, chopped, or 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips (optional)
Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350F. Coast 12-shell pans with baking spray, or melt 4 tablespoons of butter and brush into each mold.***
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and spices. (note that you can substitute 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice for the cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.)
Place butter and brown sugar in a 2-quart microwaveable glass bowl or measuring cup. Microwave on low power for 1 to 2 minutes and then stir mixture with a whisk until smooth. If butter is not melted, microwave for 15-second intervals, stirring after each, until smooth.
Let mixture cool for about 4 to 4 minutes and then add eggs, one at a time, whisking well after each addition until completely blended. Whisk in pumpkin until thoroughly blended.
Stir in flour mixture until incorporated, the batter should be smooth. Add walnuts or chocolate chips, if using (this will yield 2 or 3 more madeleines).
Using 1 1/2-inch-diameter scoop or a teaspoon, fill shell molds with batter until almost full, gently press batter to a distribute it evenly.
Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until madeleines puff up and spring back when lightly pressed.
Remove pan from oven and let cool on a wire rack for 2 to 3 minutes, then invert and tap madeleines onto the rack, you may also use a small offset spatula to remove each one individually.
***I used MUCH less than 4 tablespoons of butter, closer to 1 tablespoon.