The Perfect Madeline Humps

I have an obsession: madeleine humps. To me it just isn't a madeleine without the perfect, golden hump. So I put my KitchenAid® Artisan® Mini Mixer to the test—I made different variations of this recipe at least seven times. I varied ratios, baking temperatures, and batter amounts. I chilled the batter, didn't chill the batter; chilled the molds, didn't chill the molds. I controlled for every variable. I even made a spreadsheet. And this is, for me, the ultimate madeleine recipe. They aren't too cakey—I like mine with a buttery crispness—and, of course, they have the iconic hump.

Traditionally these little French butter cakes are flavored with a bit of lemon & brown butter, and I'm not one to fix it if it isn't broken so instead of changing the basic flavor profile, I just wanted to add something unexpected to it. Enter pink peppercorns. I've really been enjoying them in sweets, and they fit perfectly here. They add that, as the French say, je ne sais quoi.


Ingredients

  • 3 Eggs, Room Temperature
  • 3/4 cups Cane Sugar
  • 1 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tbsps Pink Peppercorns, coarsely ground
  • 1 tsp Kosher Salt
  • Zest Of One Lemon
  • 9 tbsps Unsalted Butter, melted & browned, slightly cooled
  • Powdered Sugar for dusting
 

Directions

  1. In the bowl of your KitchenAid® Artisan® Mini Mixer beat the eggs on high until tripled in volume, thick, and pale, about 3 minutes. Meanwhile whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, lemon zest, and pink peppercorns to combine in a bowl and set aside.

  2. Once eggs are thickened, pour sugar into the eggs in a steady stream with the mixer still running and whisk for an additional minute to dissolve. Remove bowl from mixer and sprinkle flour mixture on top. Fold gently with a spatula to combine.  Add the melted brown butter and stir with the spatula until just combined. Cover bowl and refrigerate at least an hour and up to 24 hours. I prefer at least a few hours.

  3. Heat oven to 425 F. Prepare madeline molds by brushing lightly but thoroughly with melted butter and dusting the molds with flour, tapping to remove excess. Or you can use non-stick molds as is. Chill molds in the freezer for at least 30 minutes. For standard sized molds fill each with a slightly generous tablespoon of batter, about 3/4 full but don't pat them down. Just place lumps of batter in each mold; they'll spread during baking.

  4. Bake 6-8 minutes until tops have pale golden humps and the edges are a deep, golden brown. Bang the pan to release the madelines unless using non-stick, just slide those out. Best baked to order and served fresh. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired. Eat immediately.