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 I’ 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.
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.
Honey, Thyme and White Chocolate Madeleines – The Recipe
- 50g unsalted butter
- 50g white chocolate – chopped
- 1 heaped tbsp thyme honey
- 2 large eggs (I used duck eggs)
- 50g golden caster sugar (I used cardamom sugar)
- 75g unbleached flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves – finely chopped (I used lemon thyme)
- Melt the butter in a small pan over low heat.
- Turn off the heat, add the chocolate and honey and stir until melted.
- Beat the eggs and sugar together until thick, pale and tripled in volume. Electric beaters are best for this.
- Pour the chocolate mixture gently down the side of the bowl and fold into the egg mixture as gently as possible.
- Sift in the flour and baking powder.
- Finally fold in the thyme.
- Spoon into 16 silicone madeleine moulds, or floured tin moulds and bake in the middle of the oven at 180℃ (160℃ fan, 350℉, Gas 4) for ten minutes.
- Turn out onto a wire rack to cool.
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 some of their delicious honey to try.