Mad about Madeleines
A perfectly apt name for its small stature, the madeleine is a spongy cake that adopts the deceiving image of a shell. Another distinct and recognisable feature is the scalloping that daintily rings out the edges of the cake. Such a shape is achieved by baking them in dariole moulds, or in specially curated madeleine moulds.
When making the madeleine, génoise cake batter is typically used, and ground nuts and almonds are often tossed into the mix. There are also other variations, like madeleines with added lemon zest or flavour. This gives it a tart and piquant flavour, and is a crowd favourite with audiences who prefer less dense and sugary bakes (including me).
After being baked and left to cool, some people prefer to eat it with jam. On muggy afternoons, it is also best enjoyed with a piping hot cup of tea or coffee.
Unsurprisingly, madeleines originated from France. (Another bake from France? Yep.)
Origins of Ms MadeleineMadeleine sounds awfully like a name, doesn’t it? Well, legend has it that they got their name from a servant girl in the town of Commercy in the Lorraine region, who made them for the deposed king of Poland (Stanislas Leszczynska).
In turn, when 1755 saw King Louis XV on a visit to Lorraine, he was swept off his feet by madeleines. Upon gifting them to his wife, Marie, she re-introduced this bake to the court of Versailles. That was when it really took off.
Unfortunately, like most bakes themselves, there is no common consensus surrounding this myth, and the identity of the character remains a mystery to this day.
A fun fact about the madeleine is that it bears heavy significance in Marcel Proust’s classic, In Search of Lost Time (i.e. The Remembrance of Things Past). As Proust is undeniably one of the Titans of literature, it’s not an understatement to also claim that his mention of madeleines in evoking memory, was something that further popularised the madeleine, especially in the 1920s-30s.
Our home bakers are mad about the madeleine!Madeleines are a darling favourite with the English. Unfortunately, they’ve often been cast out of the spotlight or neglected in favour of other more popular, decorative bakes. But don’t be fooled by its normal, sandy exterior. There’s more to the madeleine than what meets the eye, and today, I’m here to share some wonderful Singa-Bakes with you!
Some moreish chocolate orange madeleines — a perfect mix of tangy and tasty!
Over @supadupa.madeleines, they’re rolling out some of the most inventive madeleines you can get in Singapore! Aside from the perfect concoction of chocolate orange madeleines, they also invite you to take a taste-test of their callebaut-sprinkled madeleines.
Callebaut, callebaut, callebaut
If your taste-buds prefer the customary madeleines, she provides those too!
Crisp and soft — just the way I like it~
2. @shesells.seashells.sgAnother home baker who’s really worth checking out is Rachel, who mans the business @shesells.seashells.sg. What they call the “face of [their] brand” is their absolutely delightful matcha-yuzu madeleines, which are rich in deep-, light-green colours, and lightly powdered over with matcha.
I will rush to buy this when I get paid from my other jobs!
They’ve also shaken up the mix and introduced new Butter & Vanilla, and Black Truffle Madeleines. Yum.
Perfectly framed and perfectly baked.
Check-out our blog!Curious for more? Aside from madeleines, we’ve also had a running series of bake anatomies where we dissect the bake; one includes macarons, and another, tiramisu. Alongside that are some similar articles on the origins of bakes, including fruit cakes and seasonal CNY and Christmas bakes! Lastly, find us on Instagram to stay updated on local bakers!