Culture Street

The brilliant thing about these little French butter cakes is that they age so well but, if you eat them soon after they come out of the oven, you’ll catch that small window of crispy-edged goodness that can only be experienced if you’re an enthusiastic baker – or at least related to one!

MAKES ABOUT 12 MADELEINES

INGREDIENTS
100 g (31/2 oz/2/3 cup) plain (all-purpose) flour
1 teaspoon baking powder?
120 g (41/4 oz) caster (superfine) sugar
?2 eggs, lightly whisked?
140 g (5 oz) butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

STRAWBERRY ROSEWATER G L A Z E
60–90 g (21/4– 31/4 oz/1/2–3/4 cup) pure icing (confectioners’) sugar, sifted
4–6 strawberries, mashed and passed through a sieve
1 teaspoon rosewater

METHOD
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and sugar. Mix with a wooden spoon, then add the eggs, butter and lemon zest. Stir until smooth, then transfer the batter to a piping bag, and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) fan-forced. Grease a 12-hole madeleine tin well.

Pipe a small amount of the batter into each mould, filling them only two-thirds of the way. Reduce the oven temperature to 180°C (350°F) fan-forced, and bake for 10 minutes until the madeleines are golden. As soon as they come out of the oven, smack the edge of the tray onto the work surface to unmould the cakes. If you wait for just a split second too long, you’ll find they stick very quickly and you will chuck
a tanty like I did the first time I made them because I didn’t have this critical bit of information! Allow to cool completely on a wire rack before glazing.

To make the strawberry rosewater glaze, combine the icing sugar, strawberry purée and rosewater in a small bowl, then stir until smooth and quite runny. If it’s too thick, mash more strawberries to add to the mixture. Dip just half of each madeleine into the glaze diagonally, then let the glaze set before serving. These keep well for up to a week in an airtight container.

PohBakes_CVRRecipe and Images from Poh Bakes 100 Greats by Poh Ling Yeow (Murdoch Books, RRP $39.99) Photography by Alan Benson. You can buy the book here.

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