They’re short, sweet and very chic — they’re madeleines, a ubiquitous French pastry that’s a cross between a cake, a cookie and a sea creature. Bake dozens of these shell pastries at home with author Barbara Feldman Morse’s new book, Madeleines.
From the moment I bought my first madeleine pans and started creating my own recipes, I tried to pack as much chocolate into the batter as I could. This trait served me well when I entered the Ghirardelli Chocolate Company Great American Chocolate Cookie Contest at the San Francisco Fair in 1980 and won the top prize for my “San Francisco Fudge Foggies,” a mix between brownies, fudge, and dense chocolate cake. My recipe went on to win the Grand COCO Award for best overall recipe in Chocolatier magazine’s first Great Chocolate Challenge, and I’ve adapted it to create these dark chocolate espresso madeleines. I love serving them warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
- 1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (or 4 ounces chopped semisweet chocolate)
- 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder, dissolved in 1/3 cup warm water (or 1/3 cup strong black coffee, or 2 tablespoons instant coffee crystals dissolved in 1/3 cup warm water)
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, either Dutch-processed or natural
- 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 325°F.
- Coat two 12-shell pans with baking spray, or melt an additional 4 tablespoons butter and brush a little in each mold.
- Place butter, sugar, chocolate and espresso in a 2-quart microwavable glass bowl or measuring cup.
- Microwave on low power for 1 to 2 minutes and then stir mixture with a whisk until smooth. If butter is not melted, microwave for 15-second intervals, stirring after each, until smooth. (Alternatively, you can combine these ingredients in the top of a double boiler over simmering water and stir with a whisk until smooth. Remove from heat.)
- Let mixture cool for about 3 to 4 minutes and then add eggs, one at a time, whisking well after each addition until completely blended.
- Add the flour and cocoa, whisking thoroughly. The mixture should be very dark, thick, and shiny.
- Using a 1 1/2-inch-diameter scoop or a teaspoon, fill shell molds with batter until almost full.
- Gently press batter to distribute it evenly.
- Bake for 10 to 13 minutes, until madeleines puff up and no shiny spots remain in the centers. Small cracks may appear, but be careful not to overbake.
- Remove pans from oven and let cool on a wire rack for 2 to 3 minutes, then invert and tap madeleines onto the rack. You may also use a small offset spatula to remove each one individually.
- Let cool completely.
For the chocolate glaze:
- Place chocolate in a 2-quart microwavable glass bowl or measuring cup.
- Microwave on low power for 1 to 2 minutes and then stir with a whisk until smooth. If chocolate is not melted, microwave for 15-second intervals, stirring after each, until smooth.
- Place a piece of waxed paper on a cookie sheet or large wire rack.
- Hold each madeleine by its narrow end and dip one-third of it in the warm chocolate glaze.
- Lift the madeleine and scrape the flat side along the side of the bowl to remove excess.
- Place madeleines on the waxed paper and let glaze set, 30 to 60 minutes.
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