I have been waiting to bake Madeleines ever since I bought the molds last week. These scalloped spongy cakes go great with tea or coffee. I also love them cause they are so versatile that both adults and kids alike can enjoy them.
The French tea cakes originated in the town of Commercy which is located in eastern France. Rumor has it that the name came from a maid called Madeleine Paulmier who worked for the Duke of Lorraine in the late 18th century. When Louis XV got a hold of the recipe, it became popular in Versailles. The tea cake rose in popularity again in the mid-20th century through Marcel Proust’s novel, “À la recherche du temps perdu”. Now they are known and sold globally.
However, the recipe varies depending on where the cakes are being made. Some choose to dip them in chocolate, add honey, or lemon zest. In France, they refrain from using zest or vanilla extract. Instead the ingredients are much simpler. A little sugar, flour, and yeast go a long way for the French.