Gluten-Free Chocolate Madeleines

So here’s the thing, I’m not gluten-free.  I don’t know the first thing about gluten-free baking other than what I’ve read online and from some of the cooking blogs I follow.  All I know is that it’s pretty much the worst.  I brought up gluten-free baking to one of my very best friends (who happens to be gluten-free) whose reaction was to laugh quietly at me, and tell me something along the lines of, Welcome to Hell.

But I was determined.  Very determined.  I was determined because I know so many people who need to eat gluten-free and I want them to enjoy delicious things like madeleines and cookies and cakes and sweet things.  Of course it wasn’t easy.  I wanted to make the traditional madeleines, however I was out of lemons and frankly the idea of going to the store sounded worse than anything on the planet right then.  So I decided to go with chocolate instead.

The first recipe turned out… interesting.  And by interesting I mean my husband took one bite and was like oh hmm, mmm.  I asked him if he wanted more and suddenly he needed to do several errands.  So of course I tasted it myself, promptly went into the bathroom mirror and went full Gordon Ramsay on myself.

The batter came out kind of like fudgy brownies, but maybe even thicker.  And it was like swallowing a chocolate-flavored rock.  I knew it wasn’t going to be good the moment I tried to trowel the batter into the madeleine pan, but a small part of me hoped a little.  Of course that hope was dashed into fine powder the moment I pulled them from the oven.  At that point it was tempting to give up, it really was.  However I’m not that kind of baker.  So I rearranged some of the ingredients, adjusted some of the steps, and viola!

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They were not only edible but also–if I do say so myself– delicious.  They’re gluten-free so of course they’re not exactly like madeleines.  A little more dry than their counterpart, which honestly will be solved if you heathens eat them PROPERLY by dunking them into a hot beverage *side-eyes all of you* but they are by no means crumbly nor do they feel like you just took a mouthful of the Sahara.

Dipping them in chocolate also provides another pop of flavor and a little more moisture to the cake, so it’s a step you don’t have to follow, but I recommend it anyway.

So without further ado, here’s the chocolate madeleine recipe.

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Ingredients:

1/4- cup all purpose gluten-free flour blend

1/4- cup dutch processed, unsweetened cocoa powder

1/8- tsp xanthan gum

6- tbsp butter (melted and cooled, but still liquid)

1/3- cup sugar

1- full egg

2- egg yolks

1- tsp vanilla

 

Ingredients for chocolate coating-

2/3- cup butter

1- cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

 

Prepare your mixer with the whisk attachment, and in a metal bowl, combine the egg, egg yolks, and sugar, and set mixer to medium.  Whip eggs and sugar for about ten full minutes, or until the mixture reaches the ribbon stage.

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Continue mixing until just before stiff peaks start to form.  You want it super airy, almost meringue but not quite.  Since you’re doing this gluten-free, this allows the batter to be slightly more airy than a typical madeleine which will help in retaining that traditional madeleine texture, and avoid having your cakes come out crumbly and dry.

Set batter aside, and in a separate bowl, combine the gluten free flour and xanthan gum.  Give a good stir to fully incorporate.  Sift in the cocoa and with a fork give a good stir until the flour and chocolate are fully mixed.

Add the vanilla to the butter, testing to make sure the butter is at room temperature.  No hotter, or it’ll affect the egg and sugar batter.  Once the butter is cool enough, with a rubber spatula, slowly incorporate the butter into the egg and sugar mixture, folding gently until completely combined.  Then, one tablespoon at a time, gently fold in the chocolate.  Make sure you’re stirring very gently so you don’t lose any of the airy texture of the batter.

Once the batter is fully combined, prep your madeleine pan with a little bit of butter and flour, and carefully spoon batter into the molds.

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Let set in the fridge for at least one hour, or up to three.  Once the batter is set, preheat your oven to 375F.  While the oven is heating, let the madeleine pan rest on the counter.  Bake for about 8 minutes, and then remove immediately to cooling rack.

While the madeleines are cooling, prepare your chocolate.  In a sauce pan or in a microwave safe bowl, combine the chocolate chips and butter.  In the microwave, heat thirty seconds at a time, giving a good stir after each round, until fully melted and combined.  If you’re using the stove-top, heat on medium, stirring until chocolate chips and butter are fully melted and combined.

Once that’s finished, dip the madelienes into the chocolate so half the cookie is coated, and let sit on the cooling rack until the chocolate hardens.  If you like, sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar for another pop of sweet, or just eat as is.

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If you want to try these delectable treats, and would like them shipped directly to your home, please visit my etsy shop where you can purchase one dozen of these tasty little teacakes!  (And you can try their gluten-y counterpart as well)

 

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Traditional French Madeleines

Here’s the thing about these little treats– they are my all-time favorite.  And by all time I mean literally all time.  There’s something about the spongy, zesty, sweet cakes being dipped into a hot coffee or tea that just… it brings me to my happy place.

And let me tell you something else about these sumbitches… they’re hard.  The preparation is a pain in the butt, the flavor is fickle, and the batter is so delicate one wrong move will cause it to fall and the whole thing turns into bitter failure.  They also require a pan which you literally can’t use for anything other than madeleines.  Except maybe a chocolate mold if for some reason you want some weird sort of sea shell shaped chocolates?  Hey it could work, right?

Either way, buying the pan for me was worth it.  Modifying the recipes I’ve been playing with was too.  If you can make it work though, trust me, you’ll want to treat yourself to something nice and snazzy as a reward.

So here we go.

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Ingredients-

1- large egg and 2 egg yolks (this can also be substituted as two large eggs) all room temp

6- tbsp butter (melted and then brought to room temp, but still liquid)

1- tsp vanilla

1/3- cup granulated sugar

1/2- cup cake flour (this is important)

3- tbsp lemon zest (depending on your desire for lemony flavor.  I used the zest of three lemons for this batch)

 

For this recipe we will not be preheating our oven.  The dough must chill at least 2 hours before baking, so keep that on hold.

Start by putting your eggs and/or yolks into a mixing bowl and add in the sugar.  With your stand or hand mixer, use the whisk attachment and set to medium. 

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Whisk for five to seven minutes, or until the mixture reaches the ribbon stage.  The ribbon stage is basically when you lift the whisk (while it’s off– yes I made this mistake– more than once.  I know, I am ashamed) out of the batter and it slowly drizzles down in a sort of ribbon pattern.  There are some fantastic youtube videos if you need clarification on what exactly the ribbon stage is going to look like.  Also if you’re using a hand mixer be prepared for epic muscle aches.  Seven minutes is a long, LONG time.

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Next you’re going to add the lemon zest to the butter and give a good stir.  Let it sit for a good minute or so.  The next step can be done one of two ways. 

Option one you can add the vanilla to the butter and lemon, and add that to the egg mixture and slowly fold in with a rubber spatula.  Then you add in the flour folding in about two tbsp at a time until fully incorporated.  Doing this prevents the egg mixture from falling because you want to keep it light and airy.

Or, option two (which is what I prefer) you add the flour into the butter and lemon mixture and stir until fully combined.  Add the vanilla to the egg mixture and fold in with the rubber spatula.  Using a hand whisk (not the mixer) gently whisk together the eggs and flour-butter until combined into a light dough.  This method will give you slightly denser cakes.  Be very careful you don’t over-whisk and cause the dough to fall completely.

Next prep your madeleine pan with a little bit of butter and flour (shaking off excess flour into the sink).

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Fill your madeleine molds almost completely full, leaving just a slight bit of room at the top.  Make sure you clean up any excess that spills on the side because it won’t have a pleasing smell in the oven when it starts crisping.  (And yes, I also learned this the hard way.)

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Place the pan into the fridge and let set at least two hours, preferably three.  You can even cover and let set overnight, or up to two days if necessary.  Once the dough has been chilled, set on the counter, preheat your oven to 375F.  Place pan in the oven once preheated and cook for about 7-8 minutes, or until the edges are a golden brown.  I usually check about a minute early, and pat the tops.  If they spring back, the cakes are done.  If they depress, they need another minute or two.

Remove from oven and remove from pan and set on a cooling rack.  When cookies reach room temperature, sprinkle with some confectioner’s sugar and serve.

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These cookies keep fairly well if you keep them in an airtight container.  They last about a week and a half, and even longer if frozen.  Enjoyed best with a hot beverage for dunking.

If you don’t want to take on this task, feel free to place an order with my etsy shop and have some shipped out asap.