A summer in Paris will leave its mark on you. Whatever reason leads you there, art, architecture, fashion, cheese, you will leave with a distinct feeling of enrichment that only a place that beautiful, that delicious, can bestow. If you love to cook as well then your kitchen cupboards can also expect a similar sense of enrichment given that you will not be able to walk past a Parisian cookware shop without buying a copper pan or three, or in my case, a madeleine tin. I feel in love with these shell-shaped sponge cakes while I was there and while traditionally these little cakes have no filling, the passion fruit curd and strategically placed raspberry add a zesty, summer spin to this timeless French classic.
This recipe is based on Rachel Khoo’s delicious madeleines à la crème au citron, taken from her book The Little Paris Kitchen. Lemon curd is amazing here too, but the passion fruit is just that little bit more exotic for summer. Like adding a paper umbrella to your cocktail, or something…
for the madeleines…
- 3 eggs
- 130g caster sugar
- 200g plain flour
- 10g baking powder
- finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- 20g honey
- 60ml milk
- 200g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- a punnet of raspberries
- icing sugar for dusting
for the passion fruit curd…
- 5 passion fruits, strained
- a pinch of salt
- 40g caster sugar
- 45g unsalted butter
- 2 egg yolks
you will need – a madeleine pan, or individual madeleine moulds and a piping bag and nozzle. My pan holds 12 and this recipe will make two batches. Try Lakeland, they have some nice ones.
- Before you get started you should know that these little guys are a labour of love, only in that you need to leave the batter and curd in the fridge overnight for the best results and when it comes to making the curd, you need some serious elbow grease – but I promise you they’re worth it. So. Start by melting the butter over a low heat and then leave this on the side to cool. Beat the eggs and sugar together until pale and frothy, then in a separate bowl mix together the flour, baking powder and lemon zest. Once the butter is cool, mix with the milk and honey and then pour all of this into the eggs. Finally, fold in the flour in two batches, cover with cling film and leave to rest overnight in the fridge.
- Next up, make your curd. Seriously, don’t be tempted to just buy a jar, this is just too damn satisfying! Strain 5 passion fruits through a sieve (you only want the juice not the pulp or the seeds) into a small saucepan and add the sugar, salt and butter too. Heat gently until both the sugar and butter melts, then remove from the heat. Whisk the egg yolks in a bowl and add them to the pan off the heat, whisking constantly. Return the pan to a low heat and continue to whisk non-stop, if you stop whisking the eggs will curdle and all will be lost. Keep whisking until the curd thickens and begins to bubble. Take off the heat and strain the curd through a sieve into a bowl, cover, and place the cling film in direct contact with the curd, then refrigerate overnight.
- To bake the next day, preheat the oven to Gas Mark 5 / 190°C and then butter and flour the madeleine pan. Transfer the curd into a piping bag and leave the bag in the fridge until the madeleines are cooked. Spoon a tablespoon of mixture into each madeleine shell and push a raspberry into the centre of each one. Bake for 5 mins and then turn the oven off for a minute (nuts I know, but this is what gives the madeleines their signature peaks) before turning the oven back up to 160°C and baking the madeleines for a further 5-7 minutes. Turn the madeleines out onto a wire rack and allow to cool. While you wait, wash and dry the pan and repeat the baking process with the next batch.
- All that remains is to pipe a tsp of the passion fruit curd into the mounds of each madeleine, and then dust the lot liberally with icing sugar before serving.
If you’re looking for summery bakes, give my apple and elderflower muffins a whirl too!