Have you had a good madeleine lately? I have. These little cake-like cookies seem to be invading grocery stores all over the place nowadays and although I don't eat store-bought cookies, they actually look pretty decent. When I was thinking of the different types of madeleines I've had--vanilla, lemon, chocolate, orange, spice & even honey--I realized that I had never seen or tasted a chocolate marble one. In this country we seem to like marbleizing all sorts of baked goods and since I like "playing" around with cake batters, this became my goal. I turned to the dozens of cookbooks in my possession for inspiration, because some of my favorite authors also happen to have some of my favorite recipes for these spongy cookies. After trying a few methods, I decided on the tried-and-true creaming method to produce a light, cakey, fragrant and lovely madeleine. This is my second recipe for The Monthly Cookie and I'm very happy to share these with you.
The Chocolate Marble Madeleines.
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 tablespoon milk, room temperature
- 2 tablespoons Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 2 madeleine pans with 3" wells (12 shells per pan/plaque)
Note: Madeleine pans come in several sizes & shell shapes, so pay special attention to use the ones stated above.
This is room temperature butter. It should still be cool, NOT warm. If you press your finger into it, it should leave an indentation. You shouldn't be able to push your finger through the entire stick without some effort. Most people make the mistake of thinking that "room temperature" butter means, oily or mayonnaise-like butter. It is not!
Cream the butter in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium speed. Slowly add your granulated sugar down the side of the bowl. You want to beat this for a good 3 minutes, scraping down at least once or twice, until your mixture is light & smooth.
This is what your butter & sugar should look like when it's well creamed.
Add your eggs one at a time, making sure there are no bits of shell (this is best accomplished by cracking one into a bowl & then proceeding). Let each egg beat well into your mixture before adding the next one. Make sure you scrape your bowl at least twice during this process.
Sift your flour, baking powder & salt into a bowl. Reduce your speed to low and add these dry ingredients carefully.
Combine your milk and extracts, then add these to your batter. Mix well.
The finished batter! Make sure it is evenly mixed.
Divide your batter in half between two bowls. Sift your cocoa powder (this is Valrhona) into one of the bowls.
Cocoa powder always clumps, which is why it's imperative to sift. Push these lumps through the sieve. Blend the cocoa into the batter carefully. You want it to be fully absorbed & mixed
This may cause controversy amongst you purists. Many master bakers will butter & flour their madeleine pans, some with clarified butter & others with room temp butter; some may even chill the pans beforehand. I simply spray the pans with baking spray (the type with flour) and proceed.
Place half of the plain batter into one pan and half the chocolate batter into the other pan.
Divide the remaining batter over the pans, alternating flavors.
Take 2 toothpicks & begin to swirl the batter in each well, so that you get nice marbling. Try to leave it mounded in the center.
Place these into your heated oven & bake for 10-12 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking. The edges will begin to get golden and the middles will form a nice dome.
Piping hot right out of the oven.
When they come out of the oven, immediately flip the pans over a cooling rack & tap out the little madeleines. They should come out quite easily if you used the baking spray with flour, but if you're having trouble, pry them out with a toothpick.