From Dominique Ansel's MasterClass

Mini Madeleines

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.

Topics include: Pipe, Bake, and Serve • The Short Life of the Madeleine

Play

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.

Topics include: Pipe, Bake, and Serve • The Short Life of the Madeleine

Dominique Ansel

Teaches French Pastry Fundamentals

Learn More

Preview

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.

I love how he promises success just by following the rules. It is amazing how time-critical the mini-madelaines are!

Lesson 16 has no PDF, but Dominique is utterly delightful

I am a passionate home cook but I learned here professional techniques.

Dominique's calmness and love for pastry is really inspiring and comforting. I feel really uplifted with his last 2 lessens about creativity. He is so real and precise. And the way he is happy with his own bakes, his smile with the first bite ... true essence! Thank you Dominique and masterclass! I will practice my croissants! Love and dedication in pastry, that's the main lesson. Petra

Comments

laura J.

I actually bought Masterclass this time to take writing classes and photography, give my son the course for cooking but here I am loving this class, what a great gift to me!

Karen H.

I have baked madeleines previously but I was unaware of the need to eat them straight from the oven. I did not know about allowing the batter to rest for 12 to 24 hours. So many things to add to my knowledge base. Simple, beautiful ingredients. I can't wait to make these for my granddaughters as an afternoon treat!

Stella C.

I love that Dominique explained the 'why' of refrigerating the dough overnight for a better flavor/texture of the madeleines. It was a wonderful little cake and exceeded my expectations. I have many times made other chef's madeleines recipe and they were good but these were great! I used my large non-stick madeleines pan with a little cooking spray (wondering if this is absolutely necessary since I don't normally like using the cooking spray on non-stick coating) and cooked for 12 minutes. Also used all lemon zest since I didn't have an orange handy. Spectacular flavor.

Nancy B.

I finally tried these mini madeleines and what a great surprise they were - light as a feather and still tender 15-20 minutes after baking. The combination of lemon and orange zest is a very nice touch. After mixing the batter I baked 2 pans after only 4 hours of rest in the refrigerator and they were lovely and had a nice bump. The rest of the batter I left in the refrigerator for over 24 hours and they were perfect too. Definitely a keeper!

LARRY S.

The madeleines came out perfectly once I adjusted the baking time. My oven, with convection on and the temperature set correctly, produced mostly raw madeleines after 5 minutes. I tried again, rotated after four minutes, and went for a total of eight minutes, which produced something similar to the video. I did this with some of the batter after resting it for an hour. I used the remaining batter the next day and did notice a better taste. I took some of the batter to a friend's house and was happy to see that I could make a batch of madeleines on demand and have them with coffee while they were hot. Finally, the recipe states the 1/2 tsp of kosher salt weighs 1g while the same amount of baking powder weighs 4g. I use the metric measurements when baking, so this seemed like an error. However, thanks for the recipe: it's a keeper!

Adam C.

Does the butter mixture need to cool before being mixed into the flour? Or can we mix it while still hot? Does it make a difference?

Ines S.

Thought I used a blend of gluten free flours, the results were amazing. I was afraid of not getting the pearl, but they turned out to be pillowy, pearly, fragrant, soft and delicate. Can´t stop baking them.

Ines S.

Who would imagine that baking Madeleines could be so easy and quick? They are definitely my favorite treat; it delicious and somehow delicate smell just fresh from the oven cries out loud: Welcome to France! Theres is no better recipe to start this class and getting to know Chef Dominique Ansel than this. Can't wait to bake then and fly away to Paris. I enjoyed the pristine and clear teaching style of Dominique Ansel and found the excerpt from Marcel Proust, Du Coté de chez Swann, a surprising plus and a very elevated way to round the flavor and taste of this lessons. Thanks for it! Chef, any different directions on the method when using silicone molds?

Zosia

Hello, in France we do also "Madeleines sales" - salty ones, which are perfect "aperitif" or even small snack. So my question is - Chef, what do u suggest to change with ingredients? I would keep maybe 1 tbsp dark brown sugar and even maybe 2 tsp honey to make these Madeleines a little bit caramelised. But instead of 100g of sugar, can we put for example 100g of Parmesan, or olives, or jambon, end we can keep the quantity of the rest of ingredients? Or maybe you have another secret receipt for this "Salty Madeleines" ?

Shauna

I loved this lesson -- these are light and ... PERFECT! Dominique, you are the MAN!