Lemon Poppy Seed Madeleines


I've taken everything from Gordon Ramsay's "Lemon & Poppy Seed Madeleines", most of the measurements from Kelly in the Kitchen's "Glazed Lemon Madeleines", and combined them with the skill of a completely untrained baker with crappy equipment (that would be me) to make delicious breakfast food.

Well, to be fair, I haven't really nailed it yet. And, to be extra fair, these are the only madeleines I've had (minus one from Le Madeleine which I didn't care that much for because it was too sweet and mushy). And everytime I do it lately, I get a weird smell out of the oven that may, in fact, be the oven dying and trying to take my house with it. Additionally, every time I refrigerate the batter, things don't come out that great -- though this may have had more to do with portion size of the madeleines and maybe not freezing the pan than anything else. I'm told, though, that the cold batter and cold pan help create the magical nipple that people crave on these.

What follows is more or less a transcription of the important parts of Ramsay's video with a few numbers added in. This makes 24 madeleines.

  1. Start to gently melt 9 tbsp. butter over low heat.
  2. Crack 3 room temperature eggs into a large bowl.
  3. Add ⅔ cup of sugar to the bowl.
  4. Vigorously whisk the sugar and eggs until it nearly doubles in size. "[I]t [should] almost [look] like a light whipped cream. Gone is that rich egg yolk color." Seriously whisk.
  5. Sieve in 1 ¼ cups 1 cup of self-rising flour.
  6. Add poppy seeds until it looks like enough poppy seeds. (I've only done this without measuring and it's always come out the right amount. I also like poppy seeds.)
  7. Generously zest a medium or large lemon. Get all of the zest. Try to avoid getting too much white parts.
  8. By now, the butter should be melted. Hopefully, you removed it from the heat.
  9. Pour the butter into the bowl, forcing it to run down the side of the bowl to help take the heat off the butter. You don't want to start the cooking process here.
  10. Assuming you haven't been mixing these ingredients (and so far, I haven't been), gently mix the ingredients with a spatula. Do not beat the mixture. You want it to stay light and fluffy and aerated.
  11. You should probably let it sit for awhile. Possibly overnight in the fridge. Possibly for 30 mins in the fridge or freezer. The more you let it sit, the more it's supposed to rise. Just letting it sit at room temperature for 30 mins helped me.
  12. Preheat an oven to 350° F.
  13. Melt some more butter (around ½ tbsp...maybe more) and butter the tray.
  14. Dust the tray with sieved flour.
  15. Tap out any excess flour from the tray.
  16. I got the most consistency and speed while using a small spring-loaded ice cream scoop / cookie dough scoop / "disher" (thanks to Alton Brown in some "Good Eats" video I can't remember). 1 scoop plus a little extra gives me the right amount. I just measured the scoop and it holds 1 tbsp of liquid, so, this is probably around 1 ½ tbsp of batter per madeleine.
  17. Put the trays into the oven for 10 minutes. Don't open the oven before then. Unless you have a shitty oven that's original to your house from 1986. Then, you might adjust the timing a little bit. Maybe grab them just shy of that 10 minute mark (say, 9 ½ mins). And I'm currently doing this with the tray in the middle position of my oven.
  18. Tap the madeleines out of the hot tray and let them cool for a little bit "upright". It's probably best to get them out of the cooking process quickly at this point.