Chocolate madeleines

February 11, 2011

Chocolate madeleines

She sent out for one of those short, plump little cakes called petites madeleines, which look as though they had been moulded in the fluted scallop of a pilgrim’s shell. . . .

I raised to my lips a spoonful of the tea in which I had soaked a morsel of the cake. No sooner had the warm liquid, and the crumbs with it, touched my palate than a shudder ran through my whole body, and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary changes that were taking place . . . at once the vicissitudes of life had become indifferent to me, its disasters innocuous, its brevity illusory.

Marcel Proust, Remembrance of Things Past. (English translation, C. K. Scott-Moncrieff. London: Chatto and Windus, 1922)

This passage from Proust, perhaps the most famous words in all of French literature, has made these delicate little cakes immortal.

But I will confess that it’s not dunked in tea that I prefer nibbling madeleines. I’m more likely to be sipping a glass of Cognac or a chocolate martini when I enjoy them.

Undoubtedly though, there’s always a certain je ne sais quoi about biting into a madeleine. After all, a tiny cake that can inspire such revelations is definitely worth savoring.

These chocolate madeleines are a delicious take on the traditional vanilla or lemon ones. They might not trigger an involuntary memory, but they’ll surely make you reach for seconds… or even thirds.

Cocktail iconTry the madeleines with this decadent chocolate-ginger martini with cayenne-spiked rim… or with a glass of Cognac or Armagnac!

Chocolate madeleines in tray

Chocolate madeleines

makes 1 dozen large madeleines
active time: 30 min

  1. 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  2. 1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  3. 1/4 cup Dutch process cocoa – sifted
  4. 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  5. pinch sea salt
  6. 2 extra large eggs – at room temperature
  7. 1/3 cup organic sugar
  8. 1 tablespoon Godiva chocolate liqueur or Cognac
  9. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. powdered sugar – sifted, as garnish
  2. 1 non-stick madeleine pan
  3. Wax paper or Silpat

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC).
  2. Step 1: Melt butter in a small pan and transfer to a small bowl to cool. Very lightly brush the Madeleine mold with the melted butter, making sure butter doesn’t collect in the grooves, and dust with flour.
  3. Step 2: In a small bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt.
  4. Step 3: In a large bowl place the eggs. Whisk with an electric mixer at high speed until pale and thick (about 2 minutes). Slowly add the sugar, liqueur and vanilla and continue whisking at high speed until well incorporated.
  5. Step 4: Add half the flour mixture to the egg mixture. Fold it in carefully. Then add half the melted butter, folding carefully. Repeat again and fold until flour and butter have been just incorporated. Do not overmix.
  6. Step 5: Spoon the batter into the prepared mold. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until risen and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and carefully invert onto a cooling rack lined with wax paper or Silpat. The Madeleines should pop right out. Once the Madeleines have cooled to room temperature, sprinkle them with the powdered sugar and serve.
  7. Cook’s note: The madeleines are best eaten the day they’re made but will store up to 2 days in a sealed container at room temperature.

cookies, madeleine, chocolate, French

© 2014 Viviane Bauquet Farre Food & Style NY LLC

Disclaimer: As always, my point of view is my own. I do not accept samples, and have no commercial relationship with any product, food or wine company.

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Kate @ February 12, 2011 at 12:10 pm

Is it wrong that I like to enjoy them with a cup of coffee, instead? :)
Your madeleines look gorgeous – such a classy and delicious little treat.


Viviane February 12, 2011 at 12:23 pm

Kate! Coffee with these madeleines sounds pretty good to me… I won’t tell Marcel!


MarmandeintheKitchen February 12, 2011 at 1:27 pm

A chocolate madeleine and cognac sounds perfect right now. Looks delicious!


Maggie Ha February 12, 2011 at 2:35 pm

that looks amazing! I would like a couple right now with a hot chocolate.


El February 12, 2011 at 3:44 pm

They look wonderful. The passage and the picture have me craving them very badly. I actually might have to whip up a batch today along with some hot chocolate!


veggietestkitchen February 12, 2011 at 7:57 pm

Madelines look so fantastic! I wish I could eat them, but I can’t: egg allergy! Thanks for sharing =)


Liz February 13, 2011 at 11:30 am

I’m not a dunker, but I’d adore one with my morning tea…they look divine!!!!


irena February 14, 2011 at 1:21 pm

Love this fancy cookies, plus they are chocolate…wonderful:)


Joy February 17, 2011 at 4:58 pm

Those looks so good.


Angie's Recipes March 17, 2011 at 1:25 am

Beautiful madeleines! I must get a pan!


Tricia @ saving room for dessert April 29, 2011 at 3:39 pm

Do you think these could be piped with a pastry bag and tip instead of using a mold? They are so lovely!


Viviane April 29, 2011 at 5:04 pm

Hi Tricia, The batter for these delicate Madeleines is very loose. It wouldn’t be appropriate to pipe it. And they do need a mold (meaning that it wouldn’t work to spoon them on a cookie sheet for example). But you could use other shapes if you wish. Each madeleines takes about a heaped tablespoon-worth of batter. Have fun making them and eating them too!


Donna Ford December 22, 2011 at 4:49 pm

Beautiful photo Viviane. Now I want to make some for us all. We all love Chocolate and we have Cognac! Can’t wait :)


Loretta February 10, 2012 at 3:39 pm

Well; out come the madeleine pan. It has been sitting for a while , but think madeleines are worth a litte buttery indulgence for this holiday of love.


Viviane February 10, 2012 at 3:55 pm

Loretta! I’m so glad this recipe has inspired you to un-earth your madeleine pans… May you and Peter enjoy every buttery morsel!


Deb February 12, 2012 at 8:00 pm

My Madeleine pan is also languishing in my cupboard. Chocolate is a terrific idea and your lovely photos are inspiring me try a batch.


pat pavlucik February 15, 2014 at 3:44 pm

I’ve been browsing through a variety of madeleine cookie recipes and each of them calls for the batter to be chilled for at least an hour – your recipe doesn’t! Does it make a difference in the texture, etc? Your comments would be appreciated.


Viviane February 15, 2014 at 7:25 pm

Hi Pat, These Madeleines are lighter than the traditional Madeleines… Something I really like, especially for chocolate Madeleines. Enjoy!


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