Maybe it's just me but I love having guests over for tea. It's fun because you can serve an assortment of savory and sweet treats to go along with it. And, of course, I love trotting out my different tea sets!
My go-to, fool-proof tea cake recipe is a French classic: the madeleine. The authentic, buttery, plain version is divine, but today I felt like adding something exotic and flavored the batter with coconut. The coconut version doesn't puff up as much as traditional madeleines normally do, but they are a touch crispier and pair wonderfully with a hot cup of tea.
Servings: 30 cookies
1 cup all-purpose flour
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, + extra for greasing the pan
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup superfine sugar
1 teaspoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons orange blossom raw honey
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 scant teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon imitation coconut extract (optional)
½ cup homemade coconut flakes (or sweetened store-bought)
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips, melted
Preheat the oven to 410°F.
Note: Before starting the batter, make sure all the ingredients are at room temperature.
In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs with ½ cup sugar until they're pale yellow and foamy. Add the brown sugar, raw honey, vanilla and coconut extract (if using).
In a bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking powder. Sift the dry ingredients. Using a spatula, add them to the egg mixture and stir well.
Cream the butter with the remaining sugar. Add the butter to the egg mixture. Lastly add ⅓ cup coconut flakes (to ensure they're well incorporated, I ground them in a food processor until almost powdered) and mix well.
Place about 2 tablespoons of madeleine dough into each of the spaces of two 18-cavity madeleine pans.
Bake the muffins for 5 minutes at 410°F, then lower the temperature to 350°F and bake for another 6-8 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
Make sure the chocolate chips are melted and smooth in a bowl. Line a sheet pan with parchment or waxed paper. Once the madeleines are cool, hold the madeleine by one end, dip the cookie part-way into the dark chocolate, lift and twist slightly, letting any excess chocolate fall back into the bowl. Sprinkle with the remaining coconut flakes and place on the parchment paper. Let set for about 20 minutes.
Serve with a nice cup of hot tea.
To guarantee quality baked goods, use the best butter you can find.
Unlike the regular plain version, the significant bump isn't as noticeable. I've made this recipe over the years and I was never able to get it. I think it's due to the heavy coconut flakes. After many experiments, I came to the conclusion that placing the dough in the freezer for this version only prior to baking isn't necessary. But again, this doesn't alter the taste in any way!
I grated my own coconut and used the rest for making lima bean masala.