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If you’ve ever tried Madeleines, you know they are delicious little French cakes that go well with coffee, tea, or hot chocolate. And if you’ve ever looked at Madeleine recipes, you may have noticed most of them are quite simple. Recipes may call for lemon zest or cocoa powder in the batter. Maybe there’s the occasional spiced recipe, but that’s about it. There aren’t many “unconventional” Madeleine recipes.
That is exactly what I tried to create here. A different kind of Madeleine, with flavour inspired by the upcoming winter season. So I settled on brown sugar, chocolate, and hazelnuts. I folded some Scottish oatmeal into the batter for some extra nutrients. If you’ve never baked with oats before, don’t worry. I baked a lot of recipes with oatmeal or oat flour and it rarely influences the flavour. If anything, it. adds a slight nutty taste once in a while.
If you are making Madeleines for the first time, the eggs HAVE to be at room temperature. The fluffiness of Madeleines comes from the beaten eggs, and cold eggs don’t increase in volume very much. Since the oatmeal is heavy, these Madeleines will raise a little less than traditional ones. But don’t worry, they’re still airy and delicious.
After making the batter, allow it to cool in the fridge for 15 minutes. Doing so will harden the butter, which prevents it from evaporation during baking. This will ensure the Madelines are moist.
When it comes to greasing the pan, I use butter at room temperature and rub it well into the grooves. I find melted butter tends to slide into the bottom of the pan, and the Madeleines could stick to the upper edges during baking.
For the glaze I used semi-sweet chocolate, but if you are baking them with children in mind you could also use milk chocolate. You could also replace the hazelnuts with toasted pecans, or other nuts. And if anyone has a nut allergy, you could garnish the madeleines with caramelized orange zest.
And finally, here you have the recipe for the brown sugar madeleines with chocolate hazelnut glaze:
Brown Sugar Madeleines with Chocolate Hazelnut Glaze
For the madeleines:
- ½ cup (75 g/ 2 ½ oz.) all-purpose flour
- ½ cup (75 g/ 2 ½ oz.) Scottish oatmeal
- ½ cup (100 g/ 3 ½ oz.) dark brown sugar
- 1 stick (115 g/ 4 oz.) unsalted butter
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1⁄4 tsp. salt
- 2 tbsp. unsalted butter for greasing the baking pan
For the glaze:
- 120 g (4 1⁄4 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate
- 60 g (2 oz.) hazelnuts, crushed
For the madeleines:
- Preheat oven to 180 °C (350°F).
- Place the flour and baking powder into a bowl, and mix them together.
- Crack the eggs into another bowl, add the sugar and beat at high speed with an electric mixer. The mixture is ready when almost triple in volume and light in colour. Then add the vanilla extract, salt and whisk.
- Gently melt the butter over low temperature. Make sure the butter does not bubble. Once melted allow it to cool a little.
- Using a spatula add the flour mix to the eggs bowl in two steps, mixing after each step until the flour is well incorporated. Make sure not to over mix. Add the Scottish oatmeal in two steps, mixing after each addition. Add the melted butter in two steps and mix until well incorporated. Allow the batter to sit for 15 minutes in the fridge.
- Grease the madeleine pan with butter. Pipe or spoon the batter into the pan ¾ full and bake for 9-10 minutes, or until madeleines spring back when gently pressed.
- Once baked, take the pan out of the oven and allow the madeleines to sit for 2-3 minutes in the pan. Transfer them to a rack and let them cool to room temperature.
For the glaze:
- Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie. Dip madeleines into chocolate, then sprinkle crushed hazelnuts. Allow one hour for the chocolate glaze to dry.