Ginger, Honey and Lemon Madeleines

The start of a new year is always tough. The frivolity and overindulgence of Christmas is rapidly replaced with detoxes and promises to exercise more, eat less and generally be more mindful. The wintry weather finally takes hold, frosty mornings, car windscreens needing de-icing and if you’ve got this far without getting a cold or sniffles, you’ve done well.

These little madeleines are the antidote to all of these things small enough not to undo any dieting plans, packed with ginger, honey and lemon they’re perfect for the immune system. What nicer way to get your vitamin fix, in a delicious warming little cake.

Traditionally madeleines are made to order and served at breakfast time, they are light, sweet and delicious served warm with a strong black coffee. They even lend themselves to breakfast baking as they are best when you make the batter the night before and rest it in the fridge till the morning.

This recipe requires you to make a beurre noisette, if you don't feel confident doing this, you can just melt the butter. The beurre noisette does help give the madeleines their classical caramel colour and nutty taste. The batter also needs to be left in the fridge overnight, which helps them keep their shape and form a hump when baking.

These delights take about 10 minutes to bake and the batter will last in the fridge for a few days, so you don’t have to cook a dozen all at once. Dust them with icing sugar when they’re still hot from the oven and they become almost doughnut like.

Ginger, Honey and Lemon Madeleines

Makes 16

125g Unsalted Butter
100g Icing Sugar
40g Ground Almonds
40g Plain Flour
Pinch of Salt
3 Egg Whites (approx 90g)
2 Tsp Honey
2 Tsp Lemon Juice
½ Tsp Ground Ginger


  1. Place the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat and let it melt. Get a bowl ready and stand it on a heatproof service (a trivet or towel), you will pour the butter into this bowl to stop it cooking further.
  2. Cook the butter until it turns golden. It will bubble up, so you need a spatula or spoon to scrape the bubbles back so you can see the colour. The butter will also start to smell nutty.
  3. As soon as the butter starts to colour pour it straight into the bowl to stop it cooking. Allow to cool, but don’t let it harden or set.
  4. Sift the sugar, almonds, flour and salt into a bowl. Whisk in the egg whites, honey, lemon and ground ginger until combined. Finally add the cooled beurre noisette and whisk until it is fully mixed in.
  5. The mixture can then be placed in the fridge overnight or for at least 8-10 hours. This helps the mixture thicken to the right consistency for baking. Just before baking pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees Fan, 190 degrees C (325 degrees F), Gas 3.
  6. Take the madeleine pan and rub butter into the scalloped moulds, then dust the tray with flour. Tap off the excess flour and then fill each mould with a heaped teaspoon of batter.
  7. You may find you have batter left over, do not over fill the moulds, you can use this batter to make more madeleines after your first batch.
  8. Bake the madeleines in the pre-heated oven for 12-15mins, you may need to rotate the pan half-way through baking to ensure they cook evenly.
  9. Allow to cool slightly and then remove the madeleines from the pan, dust them with icing sugar if you wish, or have them plain.

Angela Field