In general, we are averse to buying single-purpose pans. However, exception must be made for madeleines, those delicate, shell-shaped cakes that are light as a feather and literally melt in your mouth. In this sophisticated version, ground hazelnuts, orange zest, cinnamon, and honey perfume the petit gateau to perfection. Whether at the finale of a formal dinner or along side your afternoon cuppa . . .. c’est magnifique!
7 tbs. butter, melted and cooled
scant ½ cup caster sugar
½ cup self-rising flour
1 tsp. baking powder
generous ¼ cup blanched hazelnuts, finely ground
1 tbs. honey
zest 1 orange
1 tsp. cinnamon
confectioner’s sugar, for dusting
Put the eggs and the sugar in a mixing bowl and whisk until light and creamy. Sift in the flour and baking powder, then add the hazelnuts, honey, orange zest, and cinnamon. Whisk again. Fold in the cooled butter using a spatula until everything is incorporated. Cover and chill for 1 hour.
Butter and dust with flour 16 madeleine molds. Spoon the batter into each until nearly level. (If you have just 1 madeleine pan, bake in batches, leaving the batter chilled in between.) Bake for 10-15 minutes, until golden. Gently remove the madeleines from the pan and cool on a wire rack. To serve, dust with confectioner’s sugar. Best eaten the day they are baked.