Meyer Lemon-Iced Brown Butter Madeleines from the Bountiful Cookbook

Meyer Lemon-Iced Brown Butter Madeleines from the Bountiful Cookbook

I’ve been taking stock of the incredible roller-coaster that was my 2013 and, in a brand new book with brand new pen, I’ve been jotting down how I want my 2014 to take shape. And what better way to start the year than with a recipe of the quintessential perfect morsel, the madeleine.

Madeleines are small French teacakes with a distinctive shell-like shape. They’re like miniature sponge cakes but better. Made right, they have wonderfully crisp edges that lead to buttery, moist and tender cake. They were made famous in literature by the early 20th century French novelist Marcel Proust when he wrote of a forgotten childhood memory that was triggered by biting into one. As someone who recreates food memories through my family recipes, I immediately connected to his writing and have wanted to bake madeleines ever since. Even though I didn’t grow up with them, I wanted to be transported to Proust’s French countryside and savor each bite as I dipped my madeleines in tea just as he did.

I recently stumbled across a wonderful recipe for Meyer Lemon-Iced Brown Butter Madeleines in the Bountiful Cookbook by Diane Cu & Todd Porter. Meyer lemons are just as citrusy as a regular lemons but are a little sweeter. They have hints of mandarin orange and they make these madeleines extra special. I like to serve these madeleines with homemade chai.

Meyer Lemon-Iced Brown Butter Madeleines

This post and recipe of madeleines encapsulates some of the main resolutions that I’ve been tossing around in my head. And without further ado, here are the ones I’d like to share:

1.  I will face my fears. With a deep breath, I will tackle whatever needs to get done even if it scares me. First up on that list? Baking. I find the precision of baking daunting. Ingredients need to be weighed, batter must be whipped just right, and all the cooking must be timed accurately. To top it off, you’re supposed to place the ingredients in an oven and abandon all control till the dish is done. This is so different to the way I cook where I have more of a dialogue with the evolving dish in front of me; I stir, I taste the flavors, I sense the ingredients and adjust them accordingly. And so, today I will bake madeleines!

And of course, me being me, I couldn’t help but spice things up a bit and I made a batch with cardamom. Cardamom lends a warm, aromatic, lemony, minty flavor to anything they’re cooked in.

Bountiful Cookbook Giveaway

2.  I will give more good to this world than I take from it. I’m going to start by giving one of you lucky readers the amazing cookbook that this madeleine recipe comes from with my first giveaway. It’s written and photographed by the wonderful Diane Cu & Todd Porter, with whom I studied food photography last year. The book is packed with some seriously irresistible recipes like Homemade Sriracha (!!), Onion Crack dip and Heirloom Tomato Galettes. As you flip through pages of gorgeous photographs, recipes and stories you’ll learn how down to earth and genuine this couple is. Plus, the recipes are easy and seasonal. Enter here and good luck!


3.  I will workout more. For example, this recipe calls for a stand mixer which I skipped since I don’t own one. I used my arms to whisk the batter. And after this 20 minute workout, I can now admire my toned biceps as I lift each tiny madeleine into my mouth.

4.  I will move out of my own way. I will say “yes” to myself and believe in my dreams. I will not be the one that says no to me. And, I’m going to start by making myself stop writing and rewarding myself with a few of these decadent tea cakes which I’m going to savor with my homemade chai.

Wishing you a lovely 2014! And good luck with the giveaway!

A printable list of ingredients and directions are at the end of this post,
along with an image of this Perfect Morsel.

Brown Butter Honey

Make the madeleines: In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. The butter will foam up initially but then settle down. Continue cooking, swirling the pan occasionally, until the solids begin to separate and brown and the liquids turn a light brown color. The browned butter should have a nutty, toasty aroma. Remove the pan from the heat.

Stir the honey into the browned butter. Set aside and allow to cool a bit.

Madeleine mix

 In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and Meyer lemon zest for 20 seconds and then set aside

Madeleine batter

 In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whisk the eggs, confectioners’ sugar, and salt together until pale yellow and at least doubled in volume.

Madeleine batter whisked

 The batter should fall in ribbons from the whisk.  I did this step by hand since I don’t own a stand mixer. It definitely takes longer by hand but you build some muscles!

Madeleine batter whisked

Gently fold the flour mixture into the batter with a rubber spatula. Some flour streaks will still remain. Do not overmix.

Pour the cooled brown butter along the edge of the bowl so it gently pools on top of the batter. Gently fold it into the batter, trying to maintain the batter’s volume as much as possible. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Cardmom Madeleines

 It was at this step that I divided the batter into 2 and added crushed seeds from 3 cardamoms. This is optional.

Madeleines Pan

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220C). Brush a mini-madeleine mold with melted butter, and then dust with flour. Tap out the excess flour.

Carefully pour the batter into a pastry bag fitted with a 4pt or 6pt tip (depending on your madeleine pan). Alternatively, put the batter in a gallon-size zip-top bag and cut the tip off one corner. Try to keep from overhandling and deflating the batter. Piper batter into each cavity of the mold, filling each about 85 percent full (the batter will expand during the baking, so don’t worry about pressing it to the edges).

Place in the oven on the middle rack, and bake for no more than 5 minutes. (If you are using a regular-size madeleine pan, bake for no more than 10 minutes.) Be careful not to overbake the madeleines or they will dry out. Immediately remove the madeleines from the molds and place them on a wire rack.

Meyer-Lemon Icing

 Make the icing: In the clean bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk together the icing ingredients until smooth. Dip the madeleines halfway into the icing, tap off any excess icing, then place them back on a wire rack until the icing cools. The madeleines are best served the same day.

Perfect Morsel: Madeleine

Serve these lovely madeleines with chai or your favorite tea.


  1. Neena says

    Look delicious and why won’t they be ? To have involved yourself and enjoyed what you were creating is really the icing on these wonders !
    Continue baking and believing in yourself baby.No one can do it better than you- perhaps even the oven will understand your fears if any.
    Happy 2014! May dreams come true and may you reach out to many through perfect morsel!
    Love you lots,

  2. Moni Malhotra says

    Keep it up Anjali my angel. I am sooo proud of you. Knowing you as well as I do, I know you have the determination, with Almighty’s blessings of course, to fulfill all your dreams. Good luck with all my love.


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