Lemon and Poppy Seed Madeleines
I was inspired to make this cake after seeing tiny individual cakes being sold in my local supermarket. It got me thinking that we have all become so used to being served giant slabs of cake that we've forgotten that something small and delicate can be just as satisfying and a lot less sickly. Individual cakes can be wrapped in foil and frozen. I sometimes serve madeleines with fresh raspberries and half-fat crème fraiche or cream for a quick dessert.
- 2 large eggs
- 50 g caster sugar
- finely grated zest of 2 lemons
- 1 tsp poppy seeds (optional)
- 75 g plain flour
- oil, for spraying or brushing
- Preheat the oven to 200℃/Fan180℃/Gas 6.
- Put the eggs, sugar, lemon zest and poppy seeds in a heatproof bowl and place of a pan of gently simmering water. Whisk using an electric whisk until the mixture is pale, creamy and thick enough to leave a trail when the whisk is lifted – this should take about 5 minutes.
- Carefully remove the bowl from the heat and continue whisking for a further 1-2 minutes. Sift over half the flour and , using a large metal spoon, lightly fold the flour into the egg mixture. Sift over the remaining flour and fold in. It's important to use gentle movements to retain as much air as possible in the batter but you'll need to watch out for pockets of flour.
- Carefully spoon the batter into a 12 hole non-stick madeleine tin that has been lightly sprayed or brushed with oil. Bake for 6-7 minutes until well risen, pale golden brown and firm to the touch. Allow to cool completely in the tin before gently removing them one at a time.
Freeze the madeleines individually by wrapping in foil and placing in a freezer bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. Unwrap while frozen and defrost at room temperature for about 30 minutes before serving. Cook’s Tip: Madeleine tines are available in cookshops, department stores and online. They are a worthwhile investment if you like baking but find the idea of portion control really useful.