Ever since I started considering white chocolate not as actual chocolate but as an ingredient combining fat, sugar, and hints of vanilla I can’t stop myself from adding it to my usual bakes, to see what it brings to the table. I absolutely loved the vanilla flavor it added to my classic butter madeleines recipe and I decided to accentuate it even more with the addition of vanilla seeds and my oh my! These white chocolate madeleines are super duper delicious (and frankly addictive).
The texture of these adorable tiny cakes is light and bouncy, crispy around the edges but so fluffy at the center. These white chocolate madeleines are not overly sweet, so the vanilla comes through beautifully, as well as the taste of butter. Can a madeleine be a madeleine if it isn’t buttery anyway? White chocolate and vanilla really bring madeleines to a whole new level with a taste lingering in your mouth you won’t forget.
EASIEST TEACAKE EVER
I remember a girl who used to come to school with homemade madeleines in a plastic container. No one was convinced that she was making them herself (I believed her, for the record!) and she quickly gave up trying to explain how easy it was to make madeleines. But it sure is easy to make them and those white chocolate madeleines are no exception. In half an hour you can have your batter chilling in the fridge and your ‘workspace’ tidied up.
There are some recipes saying that you should beat the eggs and sugar for 10 minutes (sometimes 20!) because the longer you beat them, the more air is incorporated in the batter and the higher your madeleines will rise. And they are supposed to be extra fluffy. Seriously, I have tried beating the egg mixture that long, and I don’t taste any noticeable differences. At least not enough differences to make me beat a batter for 20 min. If I had a stand mixer I would consider it but I don’t and honestly, beating the egg mixture for 5 min is more than enough.
Baking powder will also make your white chocolate madeleines rise, so it doesn’t solely rely on beating the egg mixture. Some say that adding baking powder is cheating but I! don’t! care! and neither should you. Baking powder will ensure a nice rise and a stress-free baking time.
If you want madeleines with their characteristic humps: 1/ you definitely need to chill the batter in the fridge overnight (or at least for 4 hours), as you would to get a dome-shaped muffin, and 2/preheating your oven and getting it really hot (at the right temperature) will help the madeleines rise well during the first minutes of baking.
CHILDHOOD BAKE PAR EXCELLENCE
I totally get the desire to play around in the kitchen and to add a glaze or filling to madeleines. But to me, madeleines should remain, flavor-wise and recipe-wise, as simple as possible. Probably because that’s how I grew up eating them and childhood memories are pretty much sacred. Madeleines can seem plain and boring, but they actually are very delicate, very balanced. Gloriously buttery, madeleines are the goûter (after-school snack) of choice of many French children. And for good reason, few things are as comforting as a good old madeleine. I now realize it’s because of the amount of butter, so use good quality butter for this white chocolate madeleines recipe.
A madeleine is such a nostalgic dessert for people who grew up in France, so reminiscent of happy childhood memories. It’s not like we could remember a specific time we ate madeleines but we know we mainly ate madeleines while in primary/middle school. I don’t know why I stopped eating madeleines when I grew up but now that I learned how to bake them, I can’t stop myself from making madeleines every two weeks or so. It doesn’t help that they are so easy to make.
LEFTOVER VANILLA BEAN AND MADELEINES VARIANTS
➝ What can I do with the other half of the vanilla bean? You can easily make vanilla-scented sugar! Fill a small jar with caster sugar (or your preferred type of sugar), scrape the vanilla seeds, and rub them into the sugar. Add the pod, stir well, put the lid on and the vanilla seeds infuse and do their work. You can keep vanilla sugar forever BUT it will become clumpy over time (because of the moisture present in the vanilla bean) so stir well before using. It’s always a great addition to any cup of tea and coffee :).
➝ If you are feeling adventurous, here are some madeleines variants:
- Chocolate madeleines: replace the white chocolate by dark chocolate (70% cacao), 2 tbsp of caster sugar and 1 tbsp of cocoa powder, omit the vanilla pod/extract
- Orange madeleines: omit the chocolate and vanilla pod and add the finely grated zest of 1 orange and 1 tbsp of its juice
- Lemon madeleines: omit the chocolate and vanilla pod and add the finely grated zest of 1 lemon and 1 tbsp of its juice
- Almond or coconut madeleines: omit the chocolate and vanilla pod and add 1 tbsp of almond or coconut extract
Are you looking for other French chocolate desserts? Here are some of my favorites:
- Chocolate sablés (crispy chocolate cookies)
- Chocolate marble cake (marbré)
- Chocolate and orange truffles
Bring your madeleines to a whole new level with white chocolate! They’ll taste heavenly with hints of vanilla, crispy edges and the fluffiest centers.
- 50g white chocolate, roughly chopped (2 oz)
- 100g butter (3.5 oz), plus extra for pan
- 100g flour (¾ cup)
- 3g baking powder (¾ tsp)
- 100g eggs, around 2 small eggs
- 65g caster sugar (⅓ cup)
- ½ vanilla pod or ½ tsp vanilla extract
- Place the chocolate and butter in a saucepan and heat gently over low heat. Stir from time to time with a rubber spatula. Don’t worry if the chocolate and butter split, they will mix in the batter properly.
- Once completely melted, remove from the heat and leave to cool.
- Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.
- In a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar with a hand mixer (or a whisk and some elbow grease) until pale and thick, about 5 min.
- Cut the vanilla bean lengthwise and use a pointy knife to scrape out the seeds from one side of the split bean. Add the seeds to the egg mixture (or the vanilla extract).
- Sieve the dry ingredients over the egg mixture and beat at the lowest speed until just incorporated.
- Pour in the melted chocolate and butter and beat again at the lowest speed until just incorporated.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate the batter overnight.
- Preheat your oven to 200°C (400°F)* and set the rack in the middle. Generously butter the indentations of your madeleines pan.
- Using a tablespoon fill each shell to three-quarters full with the batter, around 25g (1oz) of batter for each shell (you don’t have to weigh each madeleine but it’s to give you an idea). The batter should not reach the top of the hollowed shell. Don’t be tempted to entirely fill the shells or you won’t get the distinctive madeleine shapes and they might not cook properly.
- Place the pan in the oven and bake for 10 to 11 min, until the madeleines are golden with darker edges and the centers are cooked. They should have risen and their tops should spring back when lightly pressed.
- Let the madeleines cool for 5 min before gently nudging them from the pan with a finger. Transfer the madeleines to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Madeleines are best eaten fresh, the day they are made but they can keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.
* 180°C (355°F) if you use a convection oven
You can make the batter in advance and keep it in the fridge, covered with plastic wrap, for up to 2 days before baking. Keep in mind that the longer the batter chills, the ‘darker’ the madeleine will get while baking. They will also taste less sweet but the vanilla flavor will be stronger. I usually prefer my madeleines when the batter has only been chilled for 10h, but it’s up to you and your personal preferences.
- Serving Size: 1 madeleine
- Calories: 107
- Fat: 6.6g
Keywords: madeleines, white chocolate madeleines, white chocolate, french dessert