Madeleines w/ Chocolate Dipping Sauce


Madeleines.  Elegant simplicity, deliciously captured in small, shell-shaped cookies.   The madeleine has a quiet grace, not preening for your love with mind-blowing flavors or chocolate oozing goodness.  However that quiet simplicity inspires adoration and longing. A  well-made madeleine has the ability to pause time, and allow one the chance to reflect and savor the simple beauty in life.

My love affair with madeleines began nearly 10 years ago when I was managing a cafe/market. Everyday around 3 o’clock there would be a lull between the lunch rush and the late afternoon crowd/clean-up routine.  During this pause Antoine (my blue-collar French friend) and I would quietly make ourselves an espresso with a dollop of fresh whipped cream, grab a madeleine, lean up against the marble counter tops and silently enjoy life.  It became one of those inner restaurant rituals that helped us maintain sound, peaceful minds even on the crappiest of days.

Now, years later, any time I have a madeleine I’m reminded of that feeling, two friends side by side,  pausing time to appreciate life’s small pleasures.

madeleines recipe

If there is something I love eating, I want to be able to make it at home and craft it with at least a comparable quality for which I know it can be done. Usually I succeed, but in regards to madeleines I have failed.  I’ve never been able to nail the texture.  I’ve gone through a dozen recipes, trying them multiple times attempting to  properly decipher and correctly make the recipe.  Some have been good, but never “it.”

The same frustrations have come with buying madeleines.  I rarely find a madeleine that has time-pausing goodness.  Madeleines have become one of those delights I long for, yet rarely am able to enjoy.  Until now.  A few months ago, Keiko over at Nordljus posted a recipe for Truffle Honey Madelines which she adapted from Claire Clarke, head pastry chef at The French Laundry.  Nearly all of you have probably seen the post, and those of you who haven’t, should.  Keiko’s photographic skills immerse you in their warmth and rustic beauty.  She inspires us every time we visit her site.

After reading Keiko’s post, I felt there was something special about these madeleines.  I knew that I needed to try them, and I made a serious mental note to make this recipe.




There was this inner feeling that this may be the recipe I had been searching and longing for.  Eventually I set aside the time to try my hand in making these little pastry mistresses.  The excitement and anticipation built as the recipe progressed.  It was simple, yet elegant.  Just as madeleines should be.

The batter had good flavor and everything seemed very promising.  I  used a mini-madeleine pan so the baking time was even quicker than usual.  After a brief moment baking, I pulled the little mini-madeleines out of the oven,  popped them off the pan, barely allowed them to cool and had a taste.  Time paused.  For quite a long time.  Everything I had been searching for and intimately longing for in a madeleine had now been found.  Thank you Keiko and Claire.


madeleines w/ chocolate sauce

Nothing needs to be changed from Claire Clark’s or Keiko’s adaption of this recipe because they are perfect.  But to give you another option to play with the madeleines, here is a slightly alcoholic chocolate dipping sauce version.

The madeleines have such an incredibly delicate texture, we didn’t want to contrast to heavily against it by using a straight tempered chocolate to dip with, so we took our basic ganache recipe, softened it a bit more by changing the ratio, added a little adult beverage kick, then serve the chocolate dipping sauce slightly warmed along side the madeleines.  The sauce will be fairly soft even at room temp., but warming it little gives it the best mouthfeel, temp. & texture-wise. If you’d like the madeleines to be dipped the classic way, (like Jen did here for her canided orange peels) after the madeleines have cooled, temper some dark chocolate, dip the madeleines half-way, then allow to cool on some wax paper.  We bake our madeleines with a mini-madeleine pan because they are just so damn cute, but the recipe works the same for regular sized madeleines, just approx. double the baking time.

5 from 1 vote
Mini-Honey Madeleines with Tuaca Chocolate Sauce
Total Time
1 hr 30 mins

Adapted from Claire Clarke's Indulge.

Tuaca Chocolate Dipping Sauce
Tuaca is an exquisite Italian brandy based liqueur that has been crafted with vanilla and citrus. If you don't have any in your bar, substitute the alcohol of your choice.  Dark rum and Kahlua are excellent options.  For a virgin sauce, use about  1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 1 1/2 Tablespoons filtered OJ.

Madeleine Ingredients
  • 6 1/2 Tablespoons (90 g) unsalted butter (plus extra for buttering molds)
  • 1 Tablespoon (15 g) quality Honey (tupelo honey is our fav.)
  • 3/4 cup (90 g) Flour (unbleached, all-purpose)
  • 1/2 teaspoon (3 g) Baking Powder
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2/3 cup (75 g) Confectioners sugar
  • 2 teaspoons (10g) Brown Sugar
  • pinch of salt
Tuaca Chocolate Sauce Ingredients
  • 1 Egg Yolk
  • 2 Tablespoons (30g) Granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) Heavy Cream
  • 1/4 lb. (125g) Dark Chocolate (chopped in fine pieces)
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 2 Tablespoons (30ml) Tuaca
Madeleines Directions
  1. Combine butter and honey in a saucepan and melt the butter.  Set aside and allow to cool a bit.
  2. Combine the flour and baking powder together in a sifter and set aside.
  3. Whisk the eggs, sugars, and salt together until everything is a pale yellow and at least doubled in size.  The batter should fall in ribbons from the whisk. (This step takes a bit of whisking.  It's much more comfortable to do on a machine than by hand.)
  4. Sift the flour and baking powder on top of the batter and gently fold.  Pour the cooled honey/butter along the edge of the bowl so it gently pools on top of the batter.  Gently mix, trying to maintain the volume as best possible. Cover and allow to rest in the fridge for at least 30min.-1 hr.
  5. Preheat oven to 425° F regular bake or 400°F convection bake.  Melt about 1 Tablespoon butter and brush the madeleine molds.

  6. Carefully pour batter into a pastry bag fitted with a 4pt or 6pt tip (depending on your madeleine pan.) Try to keep from over-handling the batter and destroying it's volume.  Alt. method. Put batter in gallon size plastic bag then cut tip of one corner for an instant, disposable pastry bag. Pipe a line of batter in each mold cavity filling about 85% full (batter will spread during baking, so don't worry about pressing it to edges.)
  7. Place in oven on middle rack, and bake for no more than 5 minutes (10 min. for regular madeleine pans.)  Be careful not to over-bake or else the madeleines will dry out. Immediately remove madeleines from molds and allow to cool on a wire rack.
Chocolate Sauce Directions
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolk and sugar until it is a pale yellow and slightly fluffy.
  2. In a saucepan, combine heavy cream and chocolate pieces. Heat over medium heat until chocolate is fully melted and temperature is about 160°F. Remove from heat.
  3. Pour chocolate into egg mixture and stir until fully incorporated.  Continue stirring for a minute or two to make sure sugar is fully dissolved.  Add pinch of salt and Tuaca and stir until incorporated. Sauce keeps at room temp for about a week, and longer when refrigerated.
{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }
  1. alice

    Have you ever tried browning the butter? It gives them a whole new dimension of flavor. I made brown butter madeleines yesterday and they were so excellent. give it a try. love your site.

    1. White on Rice Couple

      You are so right about brown butter making madeleines even better. That is our favorite way to make them for the past couple years. I thought we had a more recent recipe posted for brown butter madeleines, but I guess not. Have to put that on the to-do list. Thanks so much for the suggestion and sweet compliment!

  2. Jude

    I really appreciate how you have the weigh measurements. That will definitely help in trying to reproduce your wonderful results over here.

  3. Rebecca

    Having a Proustian moment…these look absolutely amazing!

  4. Hélène

    I never had Madeleines. Yours made me want to start baking them. They are beautiful.

  5. Kate

    I have a special place in my culinary heart for Madeleines and these look fantastic. Are they the slightly crispy outer edged ones or spongy like the ones you buy in France?

  6. Lori Lynn

    Small pleasures. Very sweet.
    Love the shot of the pan & pastry bag.

  7. Julia

    I know this doesn’t compare, but I love getting the madeleines from Starbucks — the chocolate dipped ones. I’m sure this one is much better! I wonder how they freeze….

  8. Sophie

    Lovely dessert!! The madeleines look superb dipped half in chocolate! This is a excellent to eat with my morning coffee! I love them!

  9. Food Woolf

    wow. you had me at photo 1. my god you people know how to cook and photograph your dishes. amazing. suddenly i’m thoroughly craving madelines! great, guys. thanks a lot! guess i’ll have to try this recipe out sooner than later.


  10. White on Rice Couple

    desiree – “Madeleines” I purr. And chocolate.

    keiko – Dōmo arigatō gozaimashita. I take your comments deeply to heart. Thank you for inspiring us every time we visit you. Someday we will have to get together, either when you visit the LA area, or when we make it to the UK.

    bucatar maniac – Thank you.

    Happy Cook – I love my madeleine pans. I have the non-stick, too, but I don’t like using them. After the first couple uses with these pans, they seasoned up and cook beautifully. Quality is key for the madeleine pan.

    vernon – We’ve heard a couple people say the same about the Transporter movie. How funny.

    Natanya – You could even play with some of the honey in the chocolate sauce. What a shame, serving non-boozers. Ah well. The more for the rest of us.

    maggie – Thank you.

    Thanks for stopping by and visiting everyone. Another note about the madeleines: If you have a copper bowl to whisk the eggs in, all the better. It will give a little extra lightness to the cookies. Make sure you go visit Keiko’s site at: Her photography and writing are mesmerizing. Todd.

  11. matt wright

    Loving the “adult beverage kick”. Really great looking recipe. I love Madeleines, but have always been too chicken to make em.

    And WOW. talk about great photography here. Love the rustic shots on the wood, and the super clean shot of the mixer going.

  12. maggie (p&c)

    Such gorgeous photos! Lovely.

  13. Natanya

    One of my favorite madeline recipes is from the former pastry chef at the White House. He taught me that a small, tasty cake can be the perfect desert when a big, sweet confection would be just too much. I’m planning to make these for my next party – the honey will be so unexpected and will give me a chance to highlight local wildflower honeys (although I agree Tupelo is fantastic as well). Thank you for providing thoughts on a “virgin” chocolate sauce as I regularly feed a group that doesn’t like booze in their food.

  14. veron

    I have her book! Whenever I think of Madeleines , I think of the Transporter movies with Jason statham…
    these looks fantastic!

  15. Happy Cook

    Imust buy one of these pans to make them.
    looks so so yumm especially with the chocolate.

  16. keiko

    Dear Todd – I’m honoured by your kind words, and your madeleines look absolutely lovely. Your beautiful photos have made me want to make a batch right now, with your irresistible sounding chocolate dipping sauce of course! Keep inspiring us with your beautiful, sensitive posts – I always feel warm and happy every time I visit your site. keiko xx

  17. bucatar maniac

    Realy beautiful cookies!Love them!

  18. desiree@lookiloos

    Oh you had me at Madeleines! Will definitely gives these a try. Thanks!

  19. White on Rice Couple

    Asianmommy – Thanks.

    Jules – If you have a copper bowl to whisk the eggs in, it comes out even better.

    Lily – Thank you very much. Amaretto would be an excellent choice. Might have to do that next batch of chocolate sauce.

    krysta – Thanks sweetheart.

    Phoo-D – Ahh, Tuaca is excellent. Great for cocktails too, obviously. There will be more on that later!

    sharon – Thank you. I love saying, making, and eating them.

    Rachael – Sorry for the torment, and thanks for the compliments.

    sweetbird – The minis work for a diet, right!

    Lisa – Thank you very much. Now go get yourself a madeleine pan.

    Thanks for visiting and all the love, everyone. If you can, take the time to make these. They are tasty. Todd.

  20. Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary

    I have always wanted to make madeleines. The pan is always on my wish list but I never seem to get around to getting it. I just might have to get it now.

    Your post and photos were beautiful Todd.

  21. sweetbird

    Madeleines make me happy. Very happy.

    Someone should develop a madeleine that can be eaten whilst on a diet.

  22. Rachael

    I am again cursing the fact that I do not have an oven. Blast.

    These are beautiful- thanks for the great post!

  23. sharon

    Just the name of these treats alone is elegant. I love these and your Madeleines are so perfectly beautiful.

  24. Phoo-D

    Enchanting photos and story. I need to go find a madeleine mold pronto! We’ve never heard of Tuaca before, your description sounds like we’ve been seriously missing out! Thank you Todd.

  25. krysta

    the photos are stunning…. wow. speechless.

  26. Jules @ Lovely Las Vegas

    I love madeleines! Looks like a lovely recipes. Gonna give it a try : ).

  27. Lily

    Beautiful photos, wonderful description, and you definitely do this cookie justice! This cookies are so wonderful, and I grew up eating them, but have never dipped them in chocolate myself. I love the Kahlua option for the chocolate. Luxardo Amaretto would probably be good too! You always have such fantastic recipes etc. Enjoy the rest fo your weekend!


  28. Asianmommy

    Beautiful cookies!

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