Intensely flavored, appearing in the form of a moist cake or a crisp cookie, what could capture the holidays better than gingerbread? The scent of the spices is like the sound of bells, immediately evoking the season. I love mixing flavors and techniques, especially in baking, so I thought it would be fun to take the intensity of gingerbread and apply it to delicate madeleines. The little cakes are still light, but the flavor is bold. The molasses glaze adds a bit of depth and that classic gingerbread bite, but without overwhelming the madeleine. Enjoy!
9 tablespoons (1 stick plus a tablespoon) unsalted butter, browned and cooled to room temperature, plus additional melted butter for preparing the molds
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2/3 cup white sugar
1 large pinch kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon all purpose flour, plus extra for dusting trays
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoons ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon double acting baking powder
INGREDIENTS (MOLASSES GLAZE)
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon molasses
3 tablespoons milk
Brush the indentations of a madeleine mold with melted butter. Dust with flour, tap off any excess, and place in the fridge or freezer. In the bowl of a standing mixer (or with an electric hand mixer), whip the eggs, sugar, salt, and vanilla for 5 minutes until pale and thickened.
Whisk together the flour, spices, and baking powder. Use a rubber spatula to fold in the flour as you sprinkle it over the batter. Drizzle the browned butter into the batter, a little at a time, while simultaneously folding to incorporate the butter. Fold just until all the butter is incorporated.
Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. (Batter can be chilled for up to 12 hours.)
To bake the madeleines, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Meanwhile, make the glaze by mixing ingredients until smooth.
Plop enough batter in the center of each mold that you think will fill it by 3/4′s (it’s about a tablespoon and a half on my trays). Do not spread it.
Bake for 9 to 10 minutes or until the cakes just feel set, (press the cakes lightly with your finger and if it bounces back they’re done. If it stays indented, give it another minute in the oven). While the cakes are baking, make a glaze in a small mixing bowl by stirring together the powdered sugar, molasses, milk, until smooth.
Remove 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 your finger. After dipping, rest each one back on the cooking rack, scalloped side up, until the cakes are cool and the glaze has firmed up.
Glazed madeleines are best left uncovered and eaten as soon as possible after they’re baked.