James Martin shares his decadent winter dessert – cinnamon madeleines that pair perfectly with a addictive spiced caramel sauce
“A classic from France, madeleines need the correct moulds. Mine are old tins I ended up buying on an auction site, but you can get new tins that work better.
The batter can be made, covered and stored in the fridge before cooking for up to one day, as the key to these is to bake and serve them on the same day.
I’ve done a nice twist on a caramel sauce here, but they are just as good with chocolate sauce”.
For the madeleines:
• 225g unsalted butter, plus more for the tin(s)
• 250g caster sugar
• 75g caster sugar, to dust
• 250g plain flour
• 1 vanilla pod, split, seeds scraped out
• 2 tablespoons runny honey
• 3 eggs, lightly beaten
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
For the sauce:
• 100g caster sugar
• 350g double cream
• 1 star anise
• 1/2 cinnamon stick
• 25g unsalted butter
1 To make the madeleines, preheat the oven to 160°C and butter the madeleine tins. If you’ve only got one madeleine tin (more likely!), just bake them in batches.
2 Gently heat the butter in a saucepan until just melted.
3 Mix the sugar and flour in a bowl, then add the vanilla seeds (reserve the pod), honey and eggs.
4 Whisk in the melted butter until you have a nice smooth batter. Spoon into the tins, only half filling each indent.
5 Bake for 12–15 minutes for larger madeleines, or eight to 10 minutes for smaller, depending on your tin.
6 While the madeleines are still warm, place the sugar for dusting in a broad, shallow dish with the ground cinnamon. Roll them around to coat. The madeleines can be kept in an airtight container for up to one week.
7 For the sauce, place the sugar into a pan and heat until a light golden brown. Don’t stir the pan, but swirl it occasionally.
8 Pour in half the cream and bring to the boil, stirring well.
9 Add the star anise, cinnamon, reserved vanilla pod and butter, then pour in the remaining cream and cook for two or three minutes until thickened and smooth. Strain through a fine sieve into a serving bowl.
10 Serve the madeleines with the sauce.
Recipe courtesy of James Martin, extracted from Home Comforts