Saffron, Orange, And Honey Madeleines
Traditionally, madeleines are best eaten as close to coming out of the oven as possible. Here, untraditionally, we forgo all the beating and just place the ingredients in a food processor. Mixing them this way means that the resulting madeleines won’t be quite as light as those made by hand-whisking, but they’re every bit as delicate and buttery as you’d hope. We do it this way to build in a little bit of robustness, which allows them to still be eaten hours (rather than minutes) after they come out of the oven. This recipe is from Sweet, a cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh. Read their tips for making intimidating-seeming desserts at home, right this way.
MAKES ABOUT 22
6 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon unsalted butter, plus more, melted, for brushing
2 teaspoons plus 3 tablespoons honey
¼ teaspoon saffron threads (optional)
¼ vanilla bean
2 large eggs
⅓ cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1 teaspoon baking powder
⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup plus 1 tablespoon plus 1½ teaspoons all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2½ tablespoons shelled pistachio kernels
Cook 6 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. butter, 2 tsp. honey, and saffron threads (if using) in a small saucepan over low heat until butter is melted. Let cool to room temperature.
Scrape vanilla seeds into a food processor; discard pod. Add eggs, sugar, and orange zest and process until smooth and combined. Sift baking powder, salt, and ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon plus 1½ teaspoons flour into a small bowl, then add to egg mixture. Pulse a few times just to combine. Add honey mixture. Process once more, then pour batter into a small bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and chill 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 400°. If using metal madeleine pans, brush molds with melted butter and dust liberally with flour. Silicone pans should not need any greasing or flouring, but you can lightly brush with a little melted butter, if you like. Tap to ensure molds are dusted, shaking off excess flour.
Spoon a heaping teaspoon of batter into each mold; it should rise two-thirds of the way up the sides of the molds. If you only have 1 madeleine pan, chill remaining batter (you’ll need to wash and dry pan before greasing and flouring again).
Bake madeleines until beginning to brown around the edges and they spring back when tapped lightly in the center, 9–10 minutes. Remove pan from oven and let sit 1 minute before releasing madeleines. The best way to do this, with a metal pan, is to go around the edges of each with a small knife or offset spatula (to make sure they aren’t stuck), then tap edge of pan on the counter until they fall out. With a silicone pan, they should just fall out of their molds. Transfer cakes to a wire rack to cool.
Pulse pistachios in food processor. Pile pistachios onto a plate in a straight line. Melt remaining 3 Tbsp. honey in a small saucepan or in a microwave until very runny. Brush lightly over shell-patterned side of one madeleine. With shell side facing down toward nuts, roll narrower end of madeleine along pile of pistachios so you have a straight ⅓” strip of pistachios at base of madeleine. Repeat with remaining madeleines. Transfer nut side up to a platter.
Do Ahead: Madeleines can be made 1 day ahead. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.