These Orange and Chocolate Madeleines might be small in size, but they are big in flavor.
Madeleines are popular mornings treat with coffee or a pick me up delight with afternoon tea.
What are Madeleines
Madeleines are a French bake known as a genoise sponge cakes that is baked in a shallow scalloped shell shaped pan. Yes, they are little cakes and not cookies.
The shape of madeleines has become iconic and the recognizable feature of these little bakes with scalloped edges and that hump in the center.
Okay, I will Bite…What is a Genoise cake ?
A genoise cake is a cake that has no leavening agent like baking powder or baking soda in it. The beating of the eggs is what gives the cake its rise with the air that is incorporated with the long beating process.
What is the Difference between a Madeleines batter and Cookie Dough?
Madeleines are frequently referred to as cookies because of their size and iconic shape, but the make up of the batter is what sets it apart from cookie dough.
This is where the fun of science comes into play with baking. Yes, the ingredients used for many cookie recipes are similar to recipe, but what sets a madeleine from a cookie is the method of preparing the dough.
In most sponge cakes, the butter is creamed with the sugar. With a genoise sponge, the butter is melted and added after the eggs and sugar come a a ribbon stage with beating them. The melted butter will coat the flour preventing the flour from activating with the added fat and making the cake dense in its texture.
It Is About The Eggs With Making Madeleines
Having the eggs beaten until they are light foamy, fluffy, pale in color is inparitive to a great genoise sponge cake. The long timeline of beating the eggs until they form a ribbon incorporates air bubbles into the batter which gives the cake its lightness.
Orange Chocolate Madeleines with Orange Filling
- stand mixer
- mixing bowls
- measuring cups
- measuring spoons
- microplane grater
- orange juicer
- 12 sloted madeleine pan
- piping bags
- parchment paper
For the Genoise sponge cakes:
- 2 eggs at room temperture
- 1/2 cup caster sugar – Granulated sugar can be used. Caster sugars melts easier
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter melted
- 2 oranges- the zest
For the Orange Custard:
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 orange- the juice and the zest from the orange
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
For the Chocolate Dip:
- 6 oz good quality dark chocolate – 70-80 %
- 1/4- 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Making the genoise sponge cake- Rinse your clean stand mixer bowl in hot water and dry. Place the room temperture eggs into the warm bowl along with the sugar and whisk for 8-10 minutes. You are trying to get as much air as possible into the eggs.The eggs will become pale in color and thicken. A ribbon will form when the whisk is lifted.Remove mixing bowl from the stand mixer. The remaining mixing will be done by hand.
- In a separate bowl combine the flour and baking powder. Mix the baking powder into the flour
- add about 1/3 of the flour to a sifter and sift the flour directly onto the egg mixture
- With a spatula. VERY gently fold the flour into the egg mixture. Add the second 1/3 of flour to the sifter and sift it over the batter. Fold with a spatula the flour into the batter.Add the remaining flour to the sifter and sift the flour over the batter. Fold the flour into the batter very carefully.
- Pour the melted butter into the batter and add the orange zest. Mix gently with a spatula.
- Place the mixing bowl with the batter into the refrigerator and allow the batter to sit for about 30 minutes.
Making the Orange Custard:
- Place the egg yolks, sugar, orange juice, and orange zest into a saucepan. On low heat stir the mixture continously for about 10 minutes. With the inital heating ,make sure the mixture does not get to hot to quickly or the egg yolks will scramble. If needed lift the suacepan off the stove and stir over the heat if it looks like it is heating to quickly.DO NOT RUSH THIS STEPStir the mixture until it thickens and will coat the back of a spoon. It should not be overcooked and thick like a jam
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the butter.Stir until the butter melts into the custard.
- Transfer the custard to a shallow dish and cover with plastic wrap. The plastic wrap should touch the custard so a film does not form. Refrigerate the custard.
Making the Madeleines
- Remove the batter from the refrigerate. Spoon the sponge mixture into the madeleine pan.This is about a Tablespoon per slot. * Most people will apply the batter to the center of each slot and allow it to spread on its own in the oven. This does work well.**As noted in the picture, I elected to use a straight edge and even out the batter in the slots. This worked well. Each Madeleine was uniform in shape and the scalloped edges were defined.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes. The sponges will rise and the edges will become golden brown. Cool in the baking pan for a few minutes and then transfer them to a wire rack. I used a fork to gently lift them out of the pan.
- While the madeleines are still warm, make a whole in the square end. You can use a skewer or a basting syringe.
- Place the orange custard into a piping bag or into a basting syringe. Add the orange custard to the madeleine through the opening made on the square end to the center hump of the madeleine
Chocolate Dipping and Nut Decorating:
- Chop the dark chocolate up into small pieces. Melt the chocolate in a glass bowl in the microwave in short 20 second burst until the chocolate is melted.
- Dip the square end of the madeleine into the chocolate. Set on parchment paper
- Sprinkle the nuts onto the chocolate before it sets
- To set the chocolate quickly, you can place the madeleines in the refrigerate for a few minutes.
A little peek inside… A light a fluffy orange flavored cake with a wonderful orange cities center. Topped with a decadent dark chocolate and pecans.
Reason Why Madeleines Did Not Rise
There are several things that can happen. Remember, baking is a science experiment and the action and reaction of the ingredients are effected by various things.
If the Madeleines did not rise and get the “hump” that we look for, possibly the eggs were not beaten long enough orthe eggs were cool and not room temperature.
Temperature is important in making Orange Chocolate Madeleines. The batter needs to be cool/cold when the baking tray goes into the oven.
The oven temperature can factor in on how madeleines turn out. If the oven is too hot, the outside of the madeleines will brown and set quickly, but the inside will not be properly cooked. A temperature to high can cause them to be dense and not fluffy.
Preheating your oven is important. After the oven comes up to temperature, I give it an additional 10 minutes at the set temperature before placing my baking item into the oven. I do this to ensure that there are not arm and cool spots in the oven.
These are a fun bake. I hope you give them a try.
Please let me know what you think about them in the comments and share pictures of your Orange Chocolate Madeleines.