When it comes to madeleines, I’m extremely judgmental. This could be because I learned to make madeleines at a French pastry-making class and they’re best served, in my humble opinion, fresh out of the oven.

They’re delicious the next day, perhaps, soaked in some tea or coffee. But their value drops considerably in my eyes once a few hours has passed after they’ve cooled.

By the time you’ve purchased it at a store, chances are, it’s been a few hours, if not days. Depending on where you buy them of course. I recently tried some from what’s supposed to be the best patisserie in Toronto and I was unimpressed.

This isn’t the first time I’ve blogged about madeleines. I make them quite often, especially because I’m so picky about the ones I’ve purchased at even the best pastry shops. I even have a couple of different molds. But when my craving struck the last time, I thought I’d try a recipe from one of my favourite pastry books, Paris Sweets, by Dorie Greenspan. Every recipe I’ve tried from that book is a surefire hit. She’s amazing. And if I were to ever get around to making my list of dream dinner guests, she’d definitely be on the list.

In any case, you should buy the book. It’s the one I turn to when I feel like making something simple and sweet and stunning and I don’t have any ideas. And for what it’s worth, I have absolutely no incentive in encouraging you to do so.

Greenspan’s recipe is adapted from the recipe from Boulangerie-Pâtisserie Poujauran.  One blogger wrote about it here, but I have to say I wouldn’t be so keen on drizzling mine in honey. To each her own, however.

This recipe is terrific because it’s subtle yet chic. Like the French. It makes an impression without trying hard. That certain je ne sais quoi. I’d take this over an Oreo any day. Perhaps it takes some finesse to fill the molds just right, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be on a roll. Let me be frank here, I’m slightly drooling just thinking about that first madeleine that falls out of the mold with a slight jiggle.

Substitutions: None. But once you get the hang of making them, usually after that first batch you pull out, you may start feeling more confident to experiment and try new flavours – perhaps another extract or zest.

Would I make this again? Surely, if not soon.

Grade: Five stars out of five.