Aside from that, they can be quite versatile. Not a fan of rose? Replace with some other flavouring - orange blossom water would be the obvious place to start, but you could try anything from the vast variety of citrus to classic vanilla or tropical coconut. Just become familiar with the essences shelf in the supermarket, or even the weird looking liqueurs at the bottle shop hidden away on the very top or bottom shelves. (I must confess I never have tried these with anything but rose as I find it most delicious!)
- 50g unsalted butter, plus extra tbsp for greasing
- 1 egg
- 40 caster sugar
- 45g plain flour (or Italian 00 if you can)
- 1 tbsp rosewater
- icing sugar, for dusting
- a madeleine tin (either 12 or 24 hole mini tin)
Melt butter (on stove over low heat or in short blasts in the microwave). Set aside.
Beat eggs and caster sugar with an electric mixer until its thick (like mayonnaise - the proper stuff). Sift in the flour, and fold in gently with a spoon.
Set aside a tablespoon of the melted butter, and add the rest to the batter along with the rosewater. Mix well, but gently (I know right, but you get what I mean - we don't want to beat the crap out of it). Rest in the fridge for an hour, the take out and rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 220C.
With a pastry brush, coat the insides of the madeleine tins with melted butter. This mixture makes enough for 24 mini madeleines, or 12 ordinary sized ones. Divide the batter evenly between holes, about a teaspoonful for the mini ones, or 2 for the full sized (it spreads quite a lot, so don't worry about how little each seems to have).
Bake for 3-5 minutes. They should be lightly golden at the edges and spring back when lightly pressed. Turn out to cool on a wire rack. Dust with icing sugar to serve.
P.S. Apologies for the awful photos. I can assure you these are far prettier and delicate looking in real life!