These seashell-shaped French tea cakes were a customary addition to the afternoon tea tray at Downton and were kept in biscuit jars by the beds of Ladies Mary, Edith and Sybil for late-night snacking. They were also a favourite of Matthew, whose middle-class upbringing showed when on his first visit to The Dowager’s House, he loaded up his plate with the small delicate cake-like cookies.
This recipe comes from The Official Downton Abbey Afternoon Tea Cookbook
- 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted, cooled plus room temperature butter for the pan
- 1/2 cup Flour plus more for the pan
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 375F. Using a pastry brush, coat the 12 moulds of a madeleine pan, carefully coating each and every ridge. Dust the mould with flour, tilting the pan to coat evenly and then tapping out the excess.
- In a bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together the eggs, sugar, and salt, on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the vanilla. Turn off the mixer again and using a rubber spatula, gently fold I half of themelted butter just until incorporate. Then fold in the remain nelted butter just until blended.
- Scoop a heaping tablespoonful of the batter into each prepared mould. Bake the madeleines, rating the pan back to front hallways through baking, until the tops spring back when lightly pressed with a fingertip, 10-12 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, immediately invert it onto a wire rack, and tap the rack to release the madeleines. If any of them stick, turn the pan upright, loosen their edges with a butter knife, and then invert and tap again. Let cool completely before serving.