Texas-born, lifelong baker Molly Wilkinson traded a career in digital marketing to follow her dream of studying French pastry at Paris’s prestigious Le Cordon Bleu. Today, she teaches fun and accessible pastry classes online and out of her beautiful home in Versailles.
For our May/June 21 issue, Molly shared with us four deliciously sweet recipes from her first cookbook – French Pastry Made Simple – which was officially released this past week. A no-fuss and easy-to-follow guide to the delicious art of French-inspired baking, it offers fool-proof recipes for classic pâtisserie such as macarons, éclairs, tarts and so many more!
Below, we’ve included Molly’s recipe for Earl Grey Madeleines, a unique and classy spin on this traditional, petite French sponge cake. These tiny treats pack a flavorful punch, and – thanks to their ganache filling – are extra moist. The perfect tea-time companion… Bon appétit!
- Madeleine Cakes
- 2 tea bags (2 tsp [4 g]) finely ground Earl Grey tea
- 14 tbsp (1½ sticks + 2 tbsp [200 g]) unsalted butter, cubed
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- ¾ cup (150 g) granulated sugar
- ¼ cup (60 ml) whole milk
- 1½ cups (200 g) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1½ tsp (7 g) baking powder
- Soft unsalted butter, for the tin
- Pinch of salt
- Earl Grey Milk Chocolate Ganache
- ⅓ cup (80 ml) heavy cream
- 1 tea bag (1 tsp [2 g]) Earl Grey tea
- 4 oz (115 g) milk chocolate, chopped
Make the Madeleine Cakes
Cut open the tea bags and pour the tea leaves into a small to medium-sized saucepan. Add the butter and melt over medium-low heat, swirling occasionally. Once melted, remove from the heat and set aside.
In a big bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar by hand for 30 seconds, then whisk in the milk.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking powder. Add to the egg mixture (in two additions) and whisk to combine.
Pour in the melted butter (in two additions), whisking until smooth. Note: prepare this batter the day before baking, for best results—it will last in the fridge for 2 days.
Coat a 12-shell madeleine tin generously with soft butter and sprinkle each cavity with flour. These cakes tend to stick, so butter even a nonstick tin.
Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) and transfer the batter into a piping bag without a tip. Cut a large opening (alternatively, you can spoon the batter into the molds or use a tablespoon-sized (15-ml) scoop). Fill each mold three-quarters of the way full.
Place in the freezer for 5 minutes and then put directly into the hot oven.
Bake for 5 minutes, then lower the heat to 325°F (165°C) and bake for an additional 5 minutes. If using a silicone mold or a non-convection oven, you might need to bake them for 2 to 3 more minutes. When you touch the center of a madeleine, the cake should spring back and be nicely browned.
As soon as they come out of the oven, unmold by inverting the pan onto a clean kitchen towel, tapping the end if necessary.
Make the Ganache
In a small saucepan, combine the cream and tea (removed from the bag) over medium heat until it starts to simmer. Turn off the heat, cover and allow to infuse for 20 to 30 minutes.
Place the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl.
Return the cream back to the heat, bringing the mixture once more to a simmer. Pour through a small sieve onto the chopped chocolate.
Whisk together to incorporate, then allow to cool for 10 minutes or so to firm up slightly. Transfer to a piping bag with a ¼-in (6-mm) small round tip.
Insert the tip about ¼ in (6 mm) into the top of a cooled madeleine and fill with ganache.
Allow it to firm up for 30 minutes at room temperature before serving.
Photography © Joann Pai