madeleine inspired tea cakes

One day I would love to have a spacious kitchen with enough counter and storage space for all the gadgets I covet. I am one of those who could spend hours in Williams Sonoma or Sur la Table. But until then, this is my little kitchen…

What you see is what you get. It is not large but I am not complaining, I know that some of my fellow urban dwellers make do with even tighter cooking quarters, I am simply pointing out why there is no room for superfluous kitchen accoutrements in my life.  Every appliance and gadget which takes up precious real estate in this kitchen must pull its weight or face swift eviction.

All of which is my rather long-winded explanation for why I made “madeleine inspired” cakes as opposed to the honey-spiced madeleines which were this week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe. Madeleines, in case you are unfamiliar with them, are french tea cakes which have a unique sea shell shape to them. This distinct shape come from a special madeleine mold (do you see where I am going with this?), and since I do not have room in my kitchen for a cake pan with such a limited purpose in life, I instead baked my cakes in muffin tins.

Americans would probably categorize these as cookies because of their size, but they are actually made with cake batter which gives them a light fluffy texture and makes them perfect for dipping in tea or coffee.

Sadly I have to say that these little cakes, while certainly tasty, were not among our favorite Dorie recipes. They were easy enough to make and we certainly enjoyed them with our tea. I guess they just didn’t excite me enough to make me want to bake them again. Another point against them is that they do not keep very well, and there are only limited occasions where I would be willing to make a dessert which must be eaten the same day it is prepared.

C’est la vie. I am happy that I gave this one a try and I am already looking forward to the next recipe.

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27 Responses to madeleine inspired tea cakes

  1. It’s funny how many Doristas who made these madeleines commented on their 1. limited kitchen storage space, and 2. reluctance to buy a single-purpose kitchen tool. LOL. Like you, I’m willing to try out different pans (or molds) to make our madeleine-inspired cakelets. I liked the way yours turned out, next time I’ll try baking them in my muffin pans too!

  2. ….Or maybe bake them in my serving spoons, which are probably big enough to hold the batter!

  3. Aw sorry you didn’t enjoy these but it’s great to try new stuff, right? Mine turned out really well and we loved them (but I made the classic version though) and I – ahem- did bring a madeleine pan back from France with me. But normally I am not into single use things like that. Onwards and upwards, right?

    • It IS great to try new recipes and I am very happy I tried this one. I am also giving serious thought to trying the classic recipe, just to see how the original tastes.

  4. Kudos for giving them a try!

  5. Cakelaw says:

    Your tea cakes are rather cute, but we are agreed that madeleines are OK, but not exciting. I like your little kitchen – mine is similarly space challenged.

  6. Eileen says:

    I’m with you. I don’t think the pan is worth it, especially since I didn’t think these cakes were all that great. I may test out some of Dorie’s other madeleine recipes from Baking over the next year, just to make it earn its keep before I move again. I suspect the pan will not be moving with me, unless I’m blown away by another recipe.

  7. I agree that these aren’t the most amazing things ever, but I’m determined to find an amazing use for my madeleine pan. Maybe muffins, or homemade crayons!!

  8. “One day I would love to have a spacious kitchen with enough counter and storage space for all the gadgets I covet.” Amen.

  9. Kathy says:

    You did a great job with you’re little cakes! I love your kitchen…it may not be spacious but it’s so very cute!

  10. Cher says:

    I’m with Trevor (and you).
    Great adaptation.

  11. patty says:

    Your kitchen is so sweet! I have too much stuff for baking, it just accumulates over time.
    Your madeleine inspired tea cakes look lovely and I would dunk them in my tea anytime;-)

  12. I looked at the madeleine pans online for all four weeks leading up to this FFwD recipe, and couldn’t bring myself to order one. I’m still trying to justify the purchase of two mini-bundt pans! I loved the madeleine I had hot off the oven. I tried another one a bit later and I wished I had a drink to dunk it in… there was definitely a change in the texture.

  13. Alice says:

    your kitchen is so cute! mine is a bit more cluttered than your average kitchen and the surfaces are covered with cooking and baking projects Im working on! I think you could use the madeleine pans for a variety of different things but thats just me, that said I plan to bake many a madeline in my pans for I absolutely adore the shapes and the cakes themselves! I bet yours still tasted great though!

  14. Liz says:

    I love the look of your muffinish madeleines! I agree that they lose their appeal quickly since they dry out so easily. But I did enjoy them fresh out of the oven.
    PS…love your sweet kitchen~

  15. Elaine says:

    I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy these, but I am glad to see that they turned out so beautifully in another type of pan. I really like your kitchen and I covet your kitchen table! 🙂 Have a great weekend!

  16. Betsy says:

    Your kitchen is so bright and sunny (and cute)! I agree these are more like cake than cookies. I’m sorry these weren’t your favorites, but even though I enjoyed them, compared with the orange almond tart you made last week, the madeleines don’t match up.

    • I think that may have been a large part of the problem actually. Last week’s Orange Almond Tart was AMAZING and anything which followed was bound to suffer by comparison.

  17. alyssa says:

    I know what you mean about wanting every kitchen gadget known to man, but just not having the space. I did spring for the pan for these, but yours look just as great without the fluted shape. Nice post!

  18. Teresa says:

    Your kitchen is so cute – love the colour of your appliances. I have a small kitchen, but a large pantry, and still I feel like I have too much kitchen stuff. I also have a long list of things I’d like to acquire. Your little muffins turned out really well.

  19. Alan Toral says:

    I am in love with you kitchen!

  20. I think your kitchen is adorable, and should be in the Apartment Therapy showcase of small spaces. Your cakes look like they turned out well!

  21. Susan says:

    I think part of the charm of these really is in their shape. I applaud you for exercising the restraint I did not! I did buy the pan & I think we’ll enjoy them again, but they were not my absolute favorite, either.

    We spent most of our weekend culling through a lot of the Depression Glass, crystal, etc., that we’d both collected before we got married and making some tough decisions. Combining 2 complete households is hard work. Letting go of things seems, in a weird way, like letting go of the past. But, at the same time has some cathartic effect – if that makes any sense!

    • It does make sense. I remember moving to Germany and having to let go of most of my old “stuff” just because it was too expensive to ship. Definitely not easy. I did, however, pay to ship most of my cookware/bakeware, and thank goodness I did because my husband’s sum total contribution to our kitchen was exactly 2 small pans and a huge soccer ball shaped jar of nutella.

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