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Friday 27 September 2013

Let Her Eat Cake: Raspberry & Pistachio Madeleines

Madeleines are brilliant: tasty, scallop-shaped bites of delight. They're petite, but still impressive enough to make you seem like Michel Roux Jr in your spare time.

They also have an excellent spurious food history story: apparently they were invented after Stanislaw I, deposed king of Poland, yelled at his pastry chef in the middle of a party. Pastry chef quit, serving girl stepped in to provide the dessert, and presto, pleased Kingy names cakes after her. Her name was Geoff, obviously. 

These are based on Michel Roux Jr's recipe but with an added pretty-pretty twist of pistachios, raspberries and an orange blossom water icing. 

Pistachio & Raspberry Madeleines (Makes 12)
You will need:
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 100g plain flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 100g butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 20g raspberries, fresh or frozen
  • 25g shelled pistachios, plus extra for decorating
  • A few drops green food colouring (optional)
For the icing:
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 50ml boiling water
  • 1/2 tsp orange blossom essence
  • a few drops pink food colouring
  • Make it!

The cakes:
  1. Pre-heat your oven to 200C / 400F / Gas mark 6. Grease a 12 cup madeleine tray by brushing on melted butter. 
  2. Whisk together the eggs and caster sugar until light and frothy. 
  3. Melt the butter and leave to cool slightly, then stir in gently, along with the flour and baking powder. Be careful not to overwork. 
  4. In a separate bowl, crush the raspberries into a pulp. 
  5. Spoon half the cake mixture into the raspberry pulp and stir together. 
  6. Using a hand blender (or a pestle and mortar, phew!) finely grind the pistachios. (It's ok if there are a few larger pieces). 
  7. Tip into the remaining plain batter and stir in gently, along with a few drops of green food colouring, if using. 
  8. Spoon into the prepared tins, being careful not to overfill and smoothing over the tops. You should have enough for six raspberry and six pistachio madeleines. 
  9. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until risen and a skewer comes out clean. These cook very quickly, so keep your eye on them!
  10. Transfer to cool on a wire rack. 
The icing:
  1. Sift the icing sugar into a clean bowl. 
  2. Slowly, pour in half the boiling water and the orange blossom essence and stir together. If it looks a little stiff, add a tiny bit more hot water. 
  3. Add a drop or two of pink food colouring and stir to combine: a little goes a long way!
  4. Leave for a minute or two before using. 
  5. Drizzle the icing in lines over the madeleines, sprinkle with a few crushed pistachios and serve, still warm, with a cup of tea, and doilies and saucers and everything. 


  1. "Her name was Geoff" that made me cackle.

    These look so, so pretty!

    1. I'm going to call my next cat Geoff. Such a great name.

      Thanks! I was feeling the need for a dose of girly.


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