Honey, Thyme and White Chocolate Madeleines – We Should Cocoa #32

As soon as I chose honey for this month’s We Should Cocoa, I’ve done nothing but dream of honey bakes. I love honey and if money was no object would use it instead of sugar almost exclusively. As well as the flavour, honey has a lot of health benefits which are not found in sugar. When I saw that Classic French this month was madeleines, my mind immediately moved to how I could incorporate honey and chocolate into these delicate little French cakes. I was recently sent some New Zealand Honey to try out and whilst I liked the woody notes of the 10+ pre-biotic Beech Forest Honeydew, I thought the more floral notes of the 10+ antioxidant Thyme Honey would work better here.  Right until the last minute I was going to grate some milk chocolate into the mix which I thought would give a pretty speckled look. However, I wanted a hint of thyme to shine through and I thought this would be better achieved with white chocolate. I had seen a recipe for Honey Madeleines in a recent book I was sent for review purposes, Stacie Bakes, so I set to and adapted it quite heavily.

This is how I made:

Honey, Thyme and White Chocolate Madeleines

  • Melted 50g unsalted butter in a small pan over low heat.
  • Added 50g chopped white chocolate and 1 heaped tbsp thyme honey.
  • Beat 2 duck eggs with 50g cardamom (caster) sugar until thick, pale and tripled in volume.
  • Poured the chocolate mixture gently down the side of the bowl and folded into the egg mixture as gently as possible.
  • Sifted in 75g unbleached flour and just over half teaspoon of baking powder.
  • Finally folded in a scant teaspoon of finely chopped fresh lemon thyme.
  • Spooned into 16 madeleine moulds and baked in the middle of the oven at 180C for ten minutes.
  • Turned out onto a wire rack to cool.

These were by far and away the most delicious madeleines I’ve made yet. The honey was the predominate flavour, but it also gave them a succulent and sticky texture which was just delightful. White chocolate seems to work really well in bakes and although the flavour can’t be detected, it gives them a certain body and je ne sais quoi. They are very different without it. Lemon thyme & cardamom sugar combined to give a soupcon of citrus to the proceedings. They could, of course, be dusted with icing sugar, but I thought they were quite pretty in their yellow and brown livery, so left them au natural. I got the desired “foot” that is required for a classic madeleine, but in my short madeleine making career, I have not so far had a problem with this. Unlike most madeleines that really need to be eaten as soon after baking as possible, these improved with age and became stickier and even more scrumptious, although that didn’t prevent us from tucking in immediately.

I am obviously entering these madeleines into my very own We Should Cocoa.

I am also submitting them to Classic French with Jen of Blue Kitchen Bakes who has chosen Madeleines as this month’s theme.

I adore herbs and use them a lot both in my cooking and for medicinal and cosmetic purposes, but I rarely pair them with chocolate. So it is a rare event that I am able to enter Karen’s excellent Herbs on Saturdays and I am always a little bit excited when I can do so – you never know I might just win a book. This month’s book sounds especially good and right up my street – cooking with edible flowers by Miriam Jacobs. I’m crossing fingers.

Thanks to the New Zealand Honey Co. for sending me some of their delicious honey to try.


  1. Leave a Reply

    Charlotte Charlotte'sKitchenDiary
    19th April 2013

    These sound delectable Choclette. Your method of making them is quite different to ones I have tried before, so I will be giving these a go next time I bake them. I think madeleines make a wonderful bake – delicious little cakes which last for a few days (with a little self- restraint!)

    • Leave a Reply

      22nd April 2013

      Ah yes, self-restraint – what’s that? Thanks Charlotte, They did turn out to be quite different to the previous ones I’ve made and I thought much nicer. The only ones I’ve ever eaten though are the ones I’ve made myself, so I’m not entirely sure what they should be like.

  2. Leave a Reply

    19th April 2013

    I love madeleines in all their forms. I think the honey is a great addition!

  3. Leave a Reply

    Angie Schneider
    19th April 2013

    These madeleines sound and look fantastic! Duck eggs must have made these little treats really special.

  4. Leave a Reply

    Janice Pattie
    19th April 2013

    ooh I was thinking of making honey madeleines for Classic French, will see if I have time this weekend, might find a way of including chocolate too, now I’ve seen yours!

  5. Leave a Reply

    19th April 2013

    These look amazing, love anything with white chocolate…I need to buy a madeline pan though 🙂

  6. Leave a Reply

    lapin d'or
    20th April 2013

    Looking great Choclette, honey, thyme, cardamom and chocolate , love them all.

  7. Leave a Reply

    Susie @ Fold in the Flour
    20th April 2013

    They sound absolutely lovely. The flavour combination is great and the texture looks like it’d make you just want to sink your teeth into one. 🙂

  8. Leave a Reply

    Johanna GGG
    20th April 2013

    I’d been looking forward to your WSC entry – I love honey too and this blog event has made me want to do lots of baking with honey. When I was looking at honey and chocolate recipes I thought that honey and white chocolate would be too sweet so I am really interested to see you chose to use them together. I think honey really improves the texture of a cake so am not surprised to hear that you found these madeleines had a lovely texture – they sound scrumptious to me

  9. Leave a Reply

    20th April 2013

    They look delicious Choclette – love the idea of combining honey and white chocolate with thyme. I need to get on and think of a honey entry – I love it enough to eat it by the spoonful…. the difficulty is getting as far as baking with it!

  10. Leave a Reply

    Jen Price
    20th April 2013

    I’m really intrigued by this combination as I love honey but don’t tend to do much with it apart from drizzling it on my porridge! The texture of your madeleines looks really light and fluffy, so thanks for entering into Classic French this month 🙂 (can you add to linky please)

  11. Leave a Reply

    Garden Tea Cakes and Me
    21st April 2013

    Love the sound of these with the addition of the thyme – making Madeleines for this challenge reminds that I should bake them more often.


  12. Leave a Reply

    Kitchen Butterfly
    21st April 2013

    I loveeeee the flavours, and Madeleines are some of my absolutely favourite things. In fact a couple of months ago, I baked various combos every other day! Very nice

  13. Leave a Reply

    21st April 2013

    I love that WSC is at no 32! Well done. Your madeleines look so fluffy and delicious. I very much like the sound of the honey.

  14. Leave a Reply

    Christian Halfmann
    24th April 2013

    Those madeleines sound very intriguing with this honey and thyme in it. I imangine them to be very delicious. I tend to use thyme quite often, because it’s growing so well in the garden … in fact, massively. Too bad only, I don’t have any madeleine moulds.

  15. Leave a Reply

    Karen S Booth
    30th April 2013

    Beautiful entry for Herbs on Saturday and stunning little Madeleines too…..as always I LOVE your flavour combinations!Karen xx

  16. Leave a Reply

    2nd May 2013

    Thanks for the challenge! We love madeleines so I’ll have to try this recipe too.

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