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The classic French madeleine – a light, buttery scallop-shaped cake – is making a comeback, and this recipe from Jo Wheatley's book Home Baking (Constable and Robinson, £8), is one of our favourites.

Don't worry if you haven't got a madeleine tin, any small cake tin will work so long as it's not too deep – madeleines need to cook quickly to stay deliciously moist. We used a miniature fairy cake tin in the test kitchen today and they turned out beautifully. The recipe made about 20 miniature cakes. If you don't have two tins, pop the remaining mixture, still in its piping bag, back in the fridge between batches.

Which recipe books are you baking from at the moment? Tell us in the comments box below.

HONEY MADELEINES - Makes 12 madeleines or 20 miniature cakes

Ingredients

  • 100g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • a pinch of sea salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 4 tbsp honey
  • 90g unsalted butter, melted
  • oil, such as sunflower, for greasing

Method

  1. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a mixing bowl. In another bowl (or using a free-standing mixer), whisk together the eggs, sugar and 2 tablespoons of honey until pale and frothy.
  2. Add the sieved dry ingredients and whisk until just combined. Stir in the melted butter, cover with clingfilm and chill for at least 1 hour.
  3. Preheat the oven to 200ºC, fan 180°C, gas 6.
  4. Grease your madeleine or miniature cake tin with flavourless oil. Pour the batter into a piping bag, snip about 1cm off the bottom and pipe the mixture into the moulds in the madeleine pan (or a miniature fairy cake tin) until each one is two-thirds full.
  5. Bake for 5 minutes, reduce the oven temperature to 180ºC, fan 160°C, gas 4, then rotate the tin in the oven. Bake for a further 5 minutes until the centres of the cakes rise and the edges are golden brown.
  6. Remove from the oven and serve the madeleines warm, brushed with the remaining honey.

Tip

Warm the honey for a few seconds in the microwave to make it thin enough to brush easily on to the cooked cakes.

 

About the author

Sarah Alcock