Rose & Pistachio Madeleines
I absolutely adore the flavours of rose and pistachio in cakes, they offer a beautiful delicate flavour and aroma to a bake (providing the rose is used with a little restraint of course).
These Rose & Pistachio Madeleines make the perfect little cake to pair with your afternoon brew and look gorgeous set up as part of a high tea. The other bonus is they are so easy to make - no mixer required, you barely even need elbow grease.
If you don’t have a madeleine tray, I strongly urge you to get one! They are easy to find at cookery stores and most of the large department stores will have them. You can substitute with a patty pan tin or even a mini muffin tin, but….…..well, if it’s not the distinctive shell shape, then is it really a madeleine?? Probably not. Also, a true madeleine will develop it’s characteristic little hump in the middle - don’t panic, this is meant to happen!
Finally, madeleines are best eaten the day they are made, however, I have eaten them the day after and enjoyed them immensely. Having said that though, I highly doubt these will make it to the next day!
Rose & Pistachio Madeleines
75g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
75g caster sugar
30g coarsely ground pistachio nuts (20g for the cake, 10g for the garnish)
80g unsalted butter
1 tbsp rosewater
1 tsp vanilla paste
100g white chocolate callets/chips, or finely chopped
edible rose petals
reserved ground pistachio
Preheat oven to 180C and grease a 12 hole madeleine tray (make sure you get into all the grooves).
Begin by placing the butter in a small saucepan and warm over low heat until the butter is just melted, don’t let it boil. Set aside to cool a little.
Meanwhile, crack the eggs into a mixing bowl along with the sugar, 20g of ground pistachio (reserve the remainder for the garnish), rosewater and vanilla paste and use a hand whisk to gently mix them together (the objective is to combine the ingredients, not incorporate air). Sift the flour and baking powder over the top and whisk gently, then add the cooled butter and whisk until smooth, being careful not to overmix otherwise the madeleines will be tough.
As the batter is quite runny, I find it best to use a jug to pour the batter into the tray. Fill each hole in the madeleine tray, leaving around 3mm gap at the top. Bake for 10 minutes or until the hump has formed and is springy to touch.
Remove from the oven and immediately tip them out onto a wire rack to cool.
If you are confident to do so, temper the white chocolate - it’s actually easier than you might think. If you don’t temper the chocolate, it wont set at room temperature and will remain tacky.
For small amounts of chocolate such as what we need here, the microwave is the perfect tool for tempering. Place the chocolate in a glass bowl and melt in 20 second bursts, mixing well each time so that the heat evenly distributes. Continue this process until 60-70% of the chocolate is melted. Now continue mixing the chocolate until the residual heat from the melted chocolate melts the remaining callets. You will notice that the chocolate is now thicker, smooth and shiny. It is now ready to use.
Dip the top half of each madeleine into the chocolate, and (with clean hands!) use a finger to wipe the excess chocolate off the madeleine back into the chocolate bowl, leaving a thin shell of chocolate on the madeleine. Whilst the chocolate is still wet, sprinkle with the reserved ground pistachio and edible rose petals. If your chocolate is not setting at room temperature, place the madeleines in the fridge for 5 minutes to speed up the process.
Tip: I grind the pistachios in a mortar and pestle, remove the 20g required for the cakes and then add my rose petals to the remaining pistachio and grind some more until the petals are smaller pieces.
Honey & Lemon: Omit pistachio, rosewater and vanilla and replace with 1 tbsp honey and finely grated zest of 1 lemon. Garnish with sifted icing sugar.
Orange & Hazelnut: Omit pistachio, rosewater and vanilla and replace with 2 tbsp ground hazelnut and 1 tbsp orange blossom water. Garnish with tempered dark chocolate and finely grated orange zest.
Cinnamon Sugar: Omit pistachio and rosewater and replace with 1 tbsp honey. Whilst the madeleines are still warm from the oven coat them in a mixture of ground cinnamon and sugar. These are amazing eaten warm!