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Culinary Arts

Mini Madeleines

Dominique Ansel

Lesson time 11:10 min

Chef Dominique believes that there is a precise moment in which a dessert is at its best. Learn how to make mini madeleines, pillowy cakes that can be baked and served within five minutes—when they are at their peak.

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Dominique Ansel
Teaches French Pastry Fundamentals
James Beard Award-winning pastry chef Dominique Ansel teaches his essential techniques for making delicious pastries and desserts in his first-ever online class.
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So much of the success of a pastry depends on proper timing. In Chef Dominique’s opinion, the perfect example of this is the madeleine, the exquisite small French cake that elicited the most often-referenced memory recall in modern literature. The History of the Madeleine in French Literature Marcel Proust immortalized them in his appropriately titled novel In Search of Lost Time—tasting one of the tiny cakes brought back a rush of memories from his childhood, virtually transporting him to his past life. For Proust, it was the taste of the warm cake—not the mere sight of it—that triggered his sense memory, and he was the first writer to capture this ethereal relationship among taste, time, and memory. Why Madeleines Are Best Eaten Fresh Time is an essential ingredient in Chef Dominique’s madeleines. For him, a madeleine eaten immediately after it comes out of the oven, still piping hot, is the only way it should be appreciated. As such, he only makes them fresh to order in his bakeries (reassuring impatient customers that the time it takes the little cakes to bake is the same as the wait for a latte). When you bite into a fresh madeleine, he explains, that last puff of steam escapes and it’s as if “it’s taking its last breath.” Madeleines that are cooled have lost their magic. Thus, it is imperative to make and serve the madeleines in quick succession. The Classic Madeleine Shape The small hump that appears on top of the madeleines is called the “pearl.” This hump is characteristic of madeleine, in much the same way a crease on the top of a loaf or poundcake is iconic. This hump is achieved through two variables. 1. First, the baking powder in the batter gives rise to the center of the madeleine when the heat of the oven hits the pan. 2. Second, the shape of the mini madeleine pan itself promotes doming on top of the cake, since it sits on a non-level, convex surface. The Two-Step Madeleine-Making Process Chef Dominique’s recipe makes the process seamless and easy. 1. First, you make the batter and allow it to rest for 12 hours, or overnight, so the baking powder in the batter has time to relax, which will in turn give the cake its characteristic light, spongy texture and not that of a dense, crumbly cake. 2. Secondly, because the batter only takes 4 minutes to bake, you can prep the mold, pipe the batter, and bake the madeleines in the same amount of time it takes to clear the dishes at the table and ready your guests for a delightful dessert. The Secret Ingredient to Making Perfect Madeleines When making the batter for madeleine cookies, it is important to have all your ingredients be at room temperature so they will combine more easily. The most important of these ingredients are the eggs. Eggs are magical emulsifiers, or binders, that marry fat and liquid into a smooth mixture. If you’ve ever made mayo, you’ve seen how they bind the oil and lemon juice tog...


The Art of French Pastry

Celebrated for his innovative twists on classic desserts, Cronut® creator and James Beard Award-winner Dominique Ansel has been called the “world’s best pastry chef.” In his MasterClass, Dominique teaches his essential techniques for perfect pastries. Learn baking and more with his precise methods, add classic recipes to your repertoire, and explore texture and flavor inspirations to delight friends and family with your own decadent desserts.



Reviews

4.7
Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

Chef Dominique presents the lessons in a really interesting way that is also so educational. He is encouraging and supportive while also being instructional and obviously passionate about what he does. You can tell by the smile he gets on his face after he has smelled the product and then tasted it. What a great class!

My sister is in San Francisco and I am in Arizona — we took the class together during the “safe at home” quarantine. We would hit play at the same time and watch together. We loved learning from the Master Chef. Amazing teacher. Creative beyond belief!

How to make Croissants and Chocolate mousse, my two big accomplishments. Thank you Chef Dominique.

Very enjoyable!!! Not just a recipe, but the why's, the how's, and the inspiration!


Comments

A fellow student

I baked Madeleines so far and is very tasty. I think I add a little vanilla extract next time. Thank you Chef. My next stop is to make the chocolate cake. I believe it's awesome.

Jeanne T.

I have made these last week and they turned out tasting terrible due to the kind of baking powder I have used. I also did not like the zest as a flavour, so I am now going to try with a better baking powder and dry lavender as a flavour. Planning to serve it to guests with rhubarb green tea;-)

Sam

The ingredient weight and measurements throw me off a bit. Since things like 1/2 cup of sugar weigh around 80 grams for me not 100. For people that made them which did you follow?

Ellen S.

I've made madeleines before but always let them cool first. To think I've missed them at their best is so sad to contemplate. My favorite take-away is the use of pan under the mold pan in the oven. If I had the chance to ask a question, it would be this: why is it preferable to pipe the batter into the molds as opposed to spooning it in, which is how I've always done it. (Mostly because I dread losing any batter to the sides of the pastry bag).

A fellow student

FINALLY!!! A chef with a workbook that works! A table of contents is so appreciated. Recipes are in the workbook so I didn't take notes while watching the video. Love it! Great chef and teacher! Thank you

Kristina K.

This was amazing! Thank you so much - madeleines are my favorite. I ddn't have a mini pan but was still able to get the signature 'pearl'. Everyone loved them.

Wehuns T.

AMAZING! So delicious! I got the seashell, and the Peral and I ate with my family in 2 minutes! I will definitely try these little pillows again!

A fellow student

after 24 hours in the fridge when i take it out should i let it be at room temp before baking ?

vedant M.

well, when I tried this at home the Madeline smelled like the eggs scrambled. After I started putting less egg and a little milk/heavy whipping cream/ half and half but the are Delicous!

Savannah M.

WOW! Simple. Delicate. BEYOND delicious! I will make these again and again (and again and again....). Thank you SO MUCH!!!!!!! My first batch (pictured) went a little brown around the edges, but your recipe allowed me to make almost 5 batches since it kept in the fridge for a few days, so they were perfection for the last few rounds :)