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Madeleines – a classic French recipe

French madeleines

A classic of French cuisine, madeleines is traditionally made in shell-shaped moulds. Like HOT CROSS BUNS, This recipe is from the culinary book of the Downton Abbey series. Quick and easy to cook, they are perfect for a cup of afternoon tea, but also during the rest of the day when you need a little sweet.

Ingredients for 20 madeleines:

  • 90 g unsalted butter melted to a browning and cooled, plus room temperature butter to grease baking moulds
  • 6 tbsp of caster sugar, plus extra for the moulds
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp orange flower water
  • grated zest and juice of half a small lemon
  • 2 eggs, separated
  • icing sugar, for serving


Put the melted butter, caster sugar and flour into bowl and stir to mix well. Add the orange water, lemon zest and lemon juice and mix again. Add the yolks and stir again.

In another bowl, mix egg whites and salt. Whisk them until stiff foam.

Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Grease the baking moulds of the madeleines. Sprinkle with caster sugar. Bake until lightly browned at the edges (10-12 minutes). Cool the form in 5 minutes.

Remove the madeleines on the grate and allow them to cool completely. Sprinkle with icing sugar just before serving.

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