I have to confess I have developed a recent madeleine obsession. In the past I was unfamiliar with madeleines. I had never tried them and could not comprehend what all the fuss was about – madeleines looked plain, simple and un-exciting.
It wasn’t until I saw Rachel Khoo recreate the infamous shell-shaped treats on an episode of her Little Paris Kitchen that I started to become excited by the idea of the french butter cakes.
Everywhere I turned madeleines were just there… they beckoned from behind patisserie windows, jumped off the pages of cookbooks and glossy magazines and were fussed about in conversations between friends, family and even strangers. It seemed that suddenly everyone was a madeleine specialist.
I finally conceded into all the hype and went out and bought a madeleine pan to create my first batch. Oh and boy did the infamous french treats deliver! They had crisp edges, were moistly textured and filled with an oozy lemon interior. The delicious butter cakes were so popular a second batch had to be baked as the first was devoured instantly after coming out of the oven.
Madeleines are synonymous with being sweet but who said that they couldn’t also be savoury? As this recipe name suggests madeleines can be adapted into a mouth-watering savoury treat in a matter of steps. These savoury cakes are loaded with polenta, parmesan, gruyere, sage, black pepper and generously sprinkled with truffled sea salt. These madeleines are a definite savoury revelation and are just as, if not more, delicious as their sweet counterparts.
This is a savoury re-invention of what is traditionally served as a sweet cake. These madeleines are best devoured instantly when hot out of the oven. They can also be served with a side of endive and arugula salad drizzled with a vinaigrette and are even so perfect as one-bite party appetizers.
I strongly recommend making a double batch… these beautifully shaped cheesy cakes are pure decadence and will disappear fast!
- 1/3 cup instant polenta
- 2tbs plain flour, sifted
- 1/4tsp bicarbonate of soda, sifted
- 1/2 cup parmesan, grated
- 1/3 cup gruyere, grated
- 2tbs black cracked pepper
- 4tbs diced sage leaves
- 20g butter, melted
- 1 egg, lightly whisked
- 1/3 cup buttermilk
- Truffled Sea Salt to sprinkle
- 12 sage leaves to decorate
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
- Place the polenta, sifted flour, bicarbonate of side, parmesan, gruyere, diced sage leaves, black pepper and a sprinkle of salt in a bowl and mix to combine.
- Add the melted butter, egg and buttermilk and stir until smooth.
- Lightly grease and flour a madeleine mould pan and place a sage leave in the middle of each mould base.
- Spoon the polenta mixture on top of the sage leaves and bake for up to 10 minutes or until puffed, golden and beginning to crisp around the edges.
- Turn out onto a wire rack and let cool.
- Best served hot.