These Lemon-Glazed Madeleines are a delightful lemon cake in an equally delightful shape!
Lately it feels like my work life has been spiraling out of control. I am so exhausted every single day that I find very little motivation, let alone the energy, to do the things I love. When I come home, I take a shower and try to write or blog and before I can even come up with anything cohesive, my eyes either droop uncontrollably until I jolt into wakefulness in the middle of the night only to find out I had fallen asleep in front of the computer.
It’s come to the point that I’m too weary to even get up to bake. My back is perennially in pain. My eyes are always bloodshot even on the nights I sleep early. I wake up in the mornings convincing myself I’m ready to take on the day, but by lunchtime all the energy has already leaked through my fingertips. It also helps no one that I’m cranky all the time! The negativity was too much, but at the same time I didn’t know how to sort it out.
But today… Today was different. I’m not sure what changed, because my routine was very much the same as any other day. It was even a little busier than usual at work, as evidenced by the fact that I could not sit down on my desk even for 5 minutes as I kept being called away for something else. And yet there was a smile on my face throughout the day. I did not once inwardly grunt in frustration, roll my eyes, or imagine myself pulling all my hair out. I did not once lose my temper or my patience, and I joked around a lot more.
It was strange. It was unexplainable. But I like it.
I came home tonight feeling bubbly inside and I realize I miss how nice it feels to actually be able to type my thoughts out without my brain shutting down on me. I think I just really need to accept that we all have bad days, and once they’ve passed we will have good days too.
For the record, I wasn’t able to bake anything in the last two weeks because I did not feel like baking at all. So I went into my archives for something that made me feel really good when I pulled them out of the oven. (Which is frankly a lot of the things I bake so…)
I remembered there being so much excitement and glee over having this new thing come out of my oven. This was my first time making madeleines, and I loved them so much they spurred me on to collect madeleine recipes on a Pinterest board, and even to buy a book devoted on madeleines alone.
I also find that I’ve begun to trust David Lebovitz‘s recipes more and more when it comes to my first attempts at making recipes that are new to me. So far he has had a 100% success rate with me. He was responsible for my first ice cream, and my first try at macarons, and now I’ve done it with these pretty madeleines. And boy are these madeleines fantabulous.
These Lemon-Glazed Madeleines have that firm bite to them while being crunchy around the edges as well as the top, where the hardened glaze adds more texture. The cakes themselves have this lovely butteriness about them, but the lemon glaze adds a wonderful scent and tang that makes them, for lack of a better word, just perfect.
For the madeleines
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 ¼ cups 175 grams all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder, optional *
- 1 small lemon's zest
- 9 tablespoons 120 grams unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
- unsalted butter, melted, additional for preparing the molds
For the glaze
- ¾ cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons water
Make the madeleines
- 1. Brush the indentations of a madeleine mold with melted butter. Dust with flour, tap off any excess, and place in the fridge or freezer.
- 2. In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, whip the eggs, granulated sugar, and salt for 5 minutes until frothy and thickened.
- 3. Spoon the flour and baking powder, if using, into a sifter or mesh strainer and use a spatula to fold in the flour as you sift it over the batter. Rest the bowl on a damp towel to help steady it for you.
- 4. Add the lemon zest to the cooled butter, then dribble the butter into the batter, a few spoonfuls at a time while simultaneously folding to incorporate the butter. Fold just until all the butter is incorporated.
- 5. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, up to 12 hours.
- 6. To bake the madeleines, preheat the oven to 425°F (218°C).
- 7. Remove madeleine pans from the fridge. Plop the batter in the center of each indentation until it is about 3/4′s full. Do not spread it. Bake for 8 to 9 minutes or until the cakes just feel set. If browner tops are preferred, these can be baked on the upper-third of the oven.
Make the glaze
- 8. While the cakes are baking, in a medium bowl, stir together the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and water until smooth.
- 9. Once baked, remove pan from the oven and tilt the madeleines out onto a cooling rack. The moment they’re cool enough to handle, dip each cake in the glaze, turning them over to make sure both sides are coated and scrape off any excess with a dull knife. After dipping, rest each one back on the cooking rack, scalloped side up, until the cakes are cool and the glaze has firmed up.
- Storage: Glazed madeleines are best left uncovered, or not tightly-wrapped; they’re best eaten the day they’re made. They can be kept in a container for up to three days after baking, if necessary. I don’t recommend freezing them since the glaze will melt.