For the madeleines
- 225g unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
- 250g caster sugar, plus about 75g to dust
- 250g plain flour
- 1 vanilla pod, split, seeds scraped
- 2 tbsp clear honey
- 3 medium free-range eggs, lightly beaten
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
For the sauce
- 100g caster sugar
- 350ml double cream
- 1 star anise
- ½ cinnamon stick
- 25g unsalted butter
You'll also need
- 12 hole madeleine tins (3 ideally; but one’s fine – you can bake in batches; see know-how)
- For the madeleines, heat the oven to 160°C/fan140°C/gas 3 and butter the madeleine tin(s).
- Gently heat the 225g butter in a saucepan until just melted. Mix the 250g sugar and flour in a bowl, then add the vanilla seeds (reserve the pod), honey and eggs. Whisk in the melted butter until you have a nice smooth batter. Spoon into the tins, only half-filling each indent. Bake for 12-15 minutes for larger madeleines, or 8-10 minutes for smaller, depending on your tin.
- While the madeleines are still warm, put the sugar for dusting in a broad, shallow dish with the ground cinnamon. Roll the warm madeleines in the sugar to coat.
- For the sauce, put the sugar into a pan and heat until a light golden brown. Don’t stir the pan, but swirl it occasionally. Pour in half the cream and bring to the boil, stirring well.
- Add the star anise, cinnamon, reserved vanilla pod and butter, then pour in the remaining cream and cook for 2-3 minutes until thickened and smooth. Strain through a fine sieve into a serving bowl or small jug. Serve the madeleines with the sauce.
- Don’t overfill the madeleine tins in step 2 or they’ll come out shapeless.
- The batter can be made, covered and stored in the fridge for up to one day ahead of cooking. The madeleines can be kept in an airtight container for up to 2 days but are best on the day they’re made.
- James Martin says: “Madeleines, a classic from France, require the correct moulds. Mine are old tins I ended up buying on an auction site, but you can get new tins that work better. I’ve done a nice twist on a caramel sauce here, but they’re just as good with chocolate sauce.”