Madeleines have a reputation for being rather fussy things, and I suppose that reputation is deserved to some extent. However where small cakes are concerned, you’re always in good hands with Maida Heatter. Here’s her recipe slightly altered to reflect some of my ingrained habits.
about 1 cup bread crumbs, ground finely in a food processor
2 ounces (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 egg pus two egg yolks, room temperature
1.75 ounces (1/4 cup) sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2.5 ounces (1/2 cup) all-purpose flour
zest of one lemon
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit, having set a rack on a middle shelf, in the bottom third of the oven. Brush the Madeleine forms lightly but evenly with very soft (not melted) butter. Sprinkle on the crumbs, tilting the pan this way and that to coat the forms, then turn the pan over and tap it gently to shake of any excess.
Melt the butter in the microwave using several 10-second bursts, then leave it to cool, but not to the point that it’s firm.
Combine the egg, yolks, vanilla and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle and beat on high speed for about 15 minutes until the mixture barely flows. Turn the mixture down to low, then steadily add the flour. Scrape the bowl when needed. You only want to stir until the flour is barely incorporated. Fold in the lemon zest by hand, followed by the melted butter, about a tablespoon at a time.
Immediately spoon the batter into the forms and bake the Madeleines right away (this batter shouldn’t stand for long). Bake them for 12 minutes, until the tops are browned and the cakes spring back when tapped. Cover the pan with a sheet pan or cookie sheet and invert it. Cool the Madeleines on a rack.