Chai Madeleines

Posted on: Monday, January 28, 2013

For a mid-afternoon tea at our yiayia’s house, we remember marveling over her antique teacup collection. Opening her glass armoire display, we were mesmerized by the myriad of vintage teacups with scrolled handles, porcelain bodies, intricately etched flowers and matching saucers. After selecting our cup, we would sit in anticipation at the dining room table while Yi heated her tea kettle and waited for the whistle. Yi would return from the kitchen with her porcelain teapot, a box of assorted tea bags, and a tin of tasty shortbread cookies. Once the goodies hit the table, we were transformed into an Alice in Wonderland tea party.

With the latest rush of intensely cold weather, we craved a cup of tea and sweet treat. We decided to breakout our cast iron baking tin and whip up a long overdue batch of Madeleines. Traditionally from the Lorraine region in northeastern France, the adorable shell-shaped mini sponge cakes are moist and buttery. The classic recipe combines eggs, butter, flour and vanilla, but can be enhanced with various flavors like chocolate, lemon, and almond, to name a few.

Madeleines are often enjoyed while sipping tea, so we figured, why not combine the two? We chose a Masala Chai blend. While there are many variations for Masala Chai tea, the popular Southeast Asian black tea blend always has a touch of spice and sweet. We brewed a batch to add to a basic Madeleine recipe further enhanced by a drizzle of Masala Chai Glaze.

Masala Chai Madeleines

2/3 c granulated sugar
1/2 t salt  
3 large eggs
1 1/2 c flour, plus more for dusting the cookie tin
1 T baking powder

1 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t ground ginger
1/2 t ground clove
1/4 t ground nutmeg
1/4 t allspice
8 T unsalted butter plus 2 T to brush the cookie tin, melted and cooled
Masala Chai Glaze (see below) 
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. With 2 tablespoons melted butter, brush the Madeleine tin generously and sprinkle with flour. Place in the freezer until ready to use. In a bowl, beat the sugar, salt and eggs on high until light and fluffy, about five minutes. Fold in the flour, baking powder, ground cinnamon, ground ginger, ground clove, ground nutmeg, and allspice . Next, add 8 tablespoons melted butter into the mixture and stir until fully incorporated. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to set, at least a half hour. 

Place a heaping tablespoon of the cooled batter in the middle of each mold. Place in the oven and cook for 10 minutes.
Transfer to a cooling rack and continue with the remaining batter.  Makes 20-22 cookies

Masala Chai Glaze
2 black tea bags

1/2 c boiling water
1/2 c confectioners sugar
1/2 t ground cinnamon
1/4 t ground cloves
1/4 t ground ginger
1/8 t ground nutmeg

1/8 t allspice

In a small bowl, pour the 1/2 cup of boiling water over the tea bags and let steep for 5 minutes. In another bowl, combine the sugar and spices. Add two tablespoons of the concentrated black tea mix to the spice blend and stir until completely dissolved. If the mixture is too thick, add a little more brewed tea. With a spoon, drizzle the glaze over the madeleines and serve.


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