My little madeleines

Last year when SBS aired French Food Safari I managed to miss practically every episode. Kinda surprising considering I have a MASSIVE crush on Guillaume Brahimi. For those of you that aren’t acquainted, he’s french, he cooks amazing food, is rather cheeky and completely charming.

Thanks to catch-up TV I’m now working my way through the series and am totally loving it. French food fascinates me but I think it also scares me, at least subconsciously. I don’t often cook it and only have a couple of french cookbooks in my library (for those of you following at home, I’m now up to 75 cookbooks!) but between all the chocolate, cheese, pastries, wine and copious amounts of butter, what’s not to love?!

The show has inspired me to experiment more with french food and I thought I would start with Guillaume’s madeleines or at least my version of them. They’re quick, easy and completely delicious.

Given my current mandarin obsession (tis the season after all) and a rather unexpected and strange hankering for cinnamon, I thought I would combine the two in these delightful little cakes. While I’m not sure Guillaume would condone this flavour combo, I certainly do. And the smell while they were cooking?!

Mandarin Madeleines (makes about 12 cakes)

  • 40 gm butter, melted
  • 100 gm caster sugar
  • 115 gm plain flour, sifted
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 mandarin
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 tbsp milk
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsbp caster sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees celsius and grease a 12 capacity (small-medium) madeleine tray.
  2. Carefully zest half the mandarin, add to a bowl and set aside. Peel the mandarin and each of the individual segments to remove the white pith and the membrane which holds each piece together. Place in a blender and blend until smooth. Keep the unzested skin of the mandarin for later use.
  3. In the bowl with the zest, add the egg and milk and whisk together. Add the mandarin puree and combine well.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the caster sugar, flour and baking powder and mix well. Add to the egg and milk mixture and combine well. Add the melted butter slowly until you have a smooth, thick batter.
  5. Leave the batter to rest in the fridge for 45 minutes before spooning it into the tray. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
  6. While the cakes are baking, combine the cinnamon, caster sugar and left over mandarin skin together in a bowl. Once the cakes are out of the oven, remove the mandarin skin and toss the cakes in the sugar and cinnamon before serving immediately.

These little guys are best straight out of the oven and as they don’t keep well anyway, you may as well enjoy the lot!