sticky date madeleines with a butterscotch dipping sauce. Check out that sexy dipping action shot. Oh yeah.
madeleines. They are fluffy, buttery clouds of shell-shaped sponge cake happiness. But I'm still a little traumatised from the week where I could not bake a decent madeleine to save my life. It was the baking equivalent of the yips. I've never been so confident about a recipe and had so many successful attempts at it, only to have it completely fail over and over again. I've always thought that a real madeleine doesn't use any chemical leavening, but that week I eventually gave up after numerous failures and used self-raising flour just so I could stop making shell-shaped pancakes. The other day I came across Gourmet Traveller's madeleine recipe and they use baking powder in the batter. I've never had a failure with a GT recipe, so why should I argue with them? I decided to give it a go, but instead of a regular lemon madeleine, I adapted it to be a brown sugar and golden syrup madeleine with chunks of dates. It smells so good while it's baking in the oven.
Sticky Date Madeleines with Butterscotch Sauce
(makes about 24, adapted from Gourmet Traveller's Madeleine recipe)
NOTE: This recipe needs to be started several hours ahead of time or the night before
120g (about 1 stick) butter
100g dates, pitted and finely chopped
3 eggs, at room temperature
120g (about a packed 1/2 cup) brown sugar
1 tbsp golden syrup
A pinch of salt
175g (approx 1 1/4 cups) plain flour, sifted
1 tsp baking powder
For the butterscotch sauce:
1/2 cup cream
25g (about 2 tbsp) salted butter (or unsalted butter + 1/2 tsp salt)
100g (a bit less than half a cup) brown sugar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Melt butter, either in a saucepan over low heat or zap it in the microwave for a about a minute, set aside so it cools to room temperature but stays liquid (about 2-3 mins). Whisk eggs, golden syrup, brown sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on high speed until pale, fluffy and tripled in volume (about 4-5 minutes). Sift over flour and baking powder and fold until just combined. Fold in butter mixture a little at a time until just combined. When you are about to add the last bit of butter, fold in the chopped dates until just incorporated. Cover with clingfilm and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
Prepare the butterscotch dipping sauce; place cream, butter, sugar and vanilla in a small saucepan and stir over low heat until butter and sugar has melted. Increase heat to medium to bring just to the boil and then reduce back to low and simmer for about 5 minutes or until the mixture thickens. Best served warm. If you do not want to serve with a dipping sauce you can use it to glaze the madeleines.