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Prepare to the end of step 1 a day ahead. The madeleines keep for 4-5 days in an airtight container, or can be frozen for up to 1 month.
Crush the cardamom pods to extract the seeds – discard the husks, and grind the seeds to a powder. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar with an electric whisk until pale and creamy. Add the honey, cardamom and orange zest, and mix well. Incorporate the cooled butter, followed by the flour, baking powder and salt, and mix until evenly combined. Cover with clingfilm and chill for an hour (this can also be done the day before, if you wish).
Preheat the oven to 200°C, fan 180°C fan, gas 6. Melt a little extra butter and, using a pastry brush, coat 2 x 12-hole madeleine mouldsm, generously with melted butter, then dust with flour, shaking off any excess.
If you don’t have a madeleine tin, use 1 x 12-hole muffin tin for larger cakes. They will take 16-18 minutes to bake.
Put a scant tablespoon of the batter in each mould, and bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes until nicely golden brown and risen. Leave to cool in the tray for 5 minutes, so that they start to release from the tin. Once cool enough to touch, unmould and dust with a little icing sugar, to serve.