These light-as-air French cakes with their distinctive shell shape are made with a traditional whisked genoise batter. They have a similar texture to sponge cakes but with a lighter texture and wonderful rich buttery flavour. You’ll need a specialist tray with the shell shaped dips which need thoroughly greasing with melted butter and dusting with flour to ensure the cakes slip out of the tins easily after baking.
- 1 large egg
- 50g caster sugar
- 55g self-raising flour
- 40g unsalted butter, melted
- Icing sugar, to dust
Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas Mark 5. Grease a 12-hole Madeleine tray with melted butter then lightly dust with flour, tipping out any excess.
Place the egg and caster sugar in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Using an electric whisk, beat together the egg and sugar until the mixture is thick and pale and leaves a trail on the surface when the whisk is lifted. This will take about 10 mins
Sift over the flour and fold in gently, then pour in the butter and fold in until just incorporated.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared tray. Bake in the preheated oven for 8-10 mins, or until risen and springy to the touch. Leave in the tin for 5 mins then turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool. Dust the warm Madeleine’s lightly with sifted icing sugar.
Flavour the cake batter with a little finely grated lemon or orange zest or replace 10g of the flour with cocoa powder, if liked.