When blogger, Rebecca Firth, lived in Beijing, her family would often go to Maison Boulud, where the bartenders served up madeleines with cocktails. This recipe from Rebecca reminds her of that beautiful, now-defunct bar. Instead of the traditional melted butter, she uses softened butter for extra lift and a cake-like texture. You’ll know your butter is perfectly softened when it’s easily smeared on a plate. Find more recipes with Chinese Five-Spice in our November/December 2017 issue!
Pink Peppercorn Madeleines with Five-Spice Pomegranate Glaze
- ⅔ cup (133 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon (3 grams) pink peppercorns
- 2 large eggs (100 grams), room temperature
- 1 tablespoon (15 grams) whole milk, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon (4 grams) vanilla extract
- ⅔ cup (84 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon (8 grams) cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon (9 grams) orange zest
- ½ teaspoon (2.5 grams) baking powder
- ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) sea salt
- ½ cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, softened and cubed
- ¼ cup (30 grams) confectioners’ sugar
- Five-Spice Pomegranate Glaze (recipe follows)
- Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Butter and flour 20 madeleine pan wells. Freeze for at least 5 minutes.
- In the work bowl of a food processor, place granulated sugar and peppercorns; process until finely ground. (The sugar will have the appearance of confectioners’ sugar with flecks of peppercorns.)
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat sugar mixture and eggs at high speed until pale yellow and thick, about 5 minutes. With mixer on low speed, add milk and vanilla; beat for 1 minute.
- In a small bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, zest, baking powder, and salt. With mixer on medium-low speed, add flour mixture and butter to sugar mixture; beat for 1 minute. (Mixture will be smooth and creamy with some small butter chunks visible.)
- Place about 1 tablespoon batter in each prepared madeleine well. (They should be between halfway and three-fourths full. Place batter in deep end of each well, not the middle. Do not smooth or flatten.) Place madeleine pans back in freezer for 5 minutes. Move directly from freezer to center of oven.
- Bake for 8 minutes. Rotate pans, and bake until golden around the edges and puffed up in the middle, 3 to 4 minutes more. Let cool in pans for 1 minute. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks. Sift with confectioners’ sugar. Dip top edge of each cookie in Five-Spice Pomegranate Glaze. These cookies are best eaten the day they are baked.
Five-Spice Pomegranate Glaze
Makes about ½ cup
- 1 cup (120 grams) confectioners’ sugar
- 1 tablespoon (15 grams) pomegranate juice
- ¼ teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
- 1 tablespoon (15 grams) whole milk (optional)
- In a small bowl, whisk together confectioners’ sugar, pomegranate juice, and five-spice powder. Add milk to thin, if necessary.