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.

I enjoyed the refresher about plated desserts and croissants. I have had mixed results with croissants, sometimes turning out very well and sometimes not, so I can't wait to follow his technique exactly and see what the results will be this time.

I'm so inspired by Dominique's enthusiasm and playfulness. I want to try my hand at some of his creations, where initially I didn't even want to watch this because I wasn't interested in baking. I binge-watched every lesson in a day!

the excellence, the creativity....just amazing

Dominique's Masterclass was the first class I have watched and it has already been impactful in my life. I have reconnected with a passion for creating beautiful, delicious food and am looking to incorporate the lessons learned here in a new career path.


Comments

mikaeil

Good to see you Chef,it was brilliant,Wish i get opportunity to work with great chefs.

Olga P.

Hmm, so strange... The batter looked good, sat in the fridge overnight (more than 12 hours), however it took the madeleines almost 20 minutes to bake (350F on convection setting as per the workbook), and there was no hump(( They were still very puffy and delicious, but what could have gone wrong?..

Arleen

I just wanted to know, how long to bake madeleines if using a regular sized mold panin place of a mini mold pan?

Rohit B.

Whole family loved them! I had to adjust my bake time to 6 minutes, but everyone stuffed themselves with some afternoon coffee. They go well together. How do they look? Is there a way to store and dry them into cookies?

Rohit B.

Family loved them. very easy starting point and there are so many flavors.Made this classic one for afternoon coffee for my family. Comments?

Martine

I can't wait to try those. My grande-tante Adrienne used to make them with orange blossom extract and maman always made them for school trips.

A fellow student

Do they have to be mini or can you make them the normal size? If so, how long do I need to bake them for?

Mihaela N.

Merci, Dominique! Miam miam les madeleines! Great receipe, I am very grateful to you for these gorgeous masterpieces that I loved baking with my kids! We read Proust for breakfast, hence literature plus cookink...Grand merci.💜

laura J.

This was my morning, what a wonderful way to start my day! Love this class, next to fruit tart lesson, fabulous for me, never traveled to Europe until now, everything I wanted to do is here.

Ramona W.

Wow! I made these little puffs of air and they are delicious! You're so right about they don't last long, not sure about them hardening after they cool, because they were gone before they had a chance to cool! hahaha