With a batter you can make in advance, it's easy to whip up a batch of these feather-light little cakes.
A friend's daughter calls these my "mermaid cakes" and, like mermaids, once spotted they won't be around very long.
Madeleines are very handy to have in your repertoire because you can make the batter in advance of cooking them. If someone’s coming around in the afternoon, you can hustle up the batter in the morning, leave it to rest in the fridge and calmly bake when they arrive.
My madeleine pan has 12 small moulds in the sheet. This recipe makes 20 in my moulds (I put it through the oven twice), or 10 if you’re using the larger 6-to-a-sheet madeleine pan. If using a mini muffin tin, it will make 12.
50g (2 oz) caster (superfine) sugar
50g (2 oz) plain flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
25g (1 oz) shredded coconut
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
45g (3 tablespoons) butter
butter and flour, to prepare the pan
Melt the larger amount of butter. I find it easiest to do this in the microwave on half power for a 30-second burst, and again if it needs it. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, whisk the egg and sugar together until light and fluffy.
Add the flour, baking powder, coconut, lemon zest and butter. Stir together until well combined.
Cover the bowl with cling film and let the mixture rest for an hour in a cool place, or in the fridge if it’s very warm or you want to make them much later.
When you’re ready to bake, set the oven to 180°C (350°F).
Brush the madeleine moulds or mini-muffin tin with a little melted butter and dust with flour, tapping out the excess. Using two teaspoons, fill the moulds two-thirds full.
Bake for 10 minutes until golden and risen, just browning lightly along the edges.