Green Tea “Matcha” Madeleines

Madeleines with TeaThese Green Tea “Matcha” Madeleines are the result of a kitchen mishap.  Yesterday was warm, spring seemed like it might finally be ready to make an appearance, and I wanted nothing more than to whip up some ice cream and enjoy it without having to eat it under a blanket for warmth.  Weeks ago, on a whim, I’d picked up some culinary grade Matcha green tea powder from the store and with all the other ingredients for ice cream on hand it seemed I was well on my way to enjoying a fresh batch of green tea ice cream.  Then things went wrong.

Green Tea Matcha Powder

I won’t go into the details, but I was rushing and not thinking and after multiple attempts to salvage the damage I had done I was left with a spoonable custard mixture instead of a thick, cream-like sauce when it came time to add it to the ice cream maker.  Disheartened and annoyed, I decided to try again today, but when I woke up it was grey and cold and rainy.  I no longer wanted ice cream, but something to enjoy with tea.


Perhaps it’s Proust, but when I think of tea I think about Madeleines.  These small cakes with their dainty shell shapes, lightly browned edges, and distinctive humps never fail to delight and while I would eat them as a light breakfast, an indulgent snack, a modest dessert, or at any other time of day, they are best with a cup of tea.

With Matcha still on hand, I decided to tweak my traditional Madeleine recipe by omitting lemon zest in favor of green tea powder.  The Matcha not only makes these Madeleines a lovely green color, but also adds its distinct herbaceous flavor for a sweet treat that seems to promise the arrival of spring.   Served with a steaming mug of tea, nibbling on one of these cakes seems the ideal way to wait out these final days of winter and get over any failed ice cream attempts along the way.  Happy cooking!

Green Tea “Matcha” Madeleines – Printer Friendly Recipe
Makes about 20 small cake-like cookies

Aside from giving these Madeleines a lovely green hue, the Matcha green tea powder lends a grassy note to these otherwise sweet cookies. It’s a lovely combination made even better when accompanied by a cup of tea or coffee.  

To get authentic Madeleines, use a baking sheet specifically designed for these small cakes. Looking for another use for this specialty pan? Use it to bake individual servings of cornbread for a special occasion.

10 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon plus 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup cake flour
1 ½ to 2 teaspoons (to your taste) green tea (culinary grade) “matcha” powder
generous pinch of kosher salt
3 large eggs, at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Confectioner’s sugar, to dust cookies (optional)
Special equipment: Madeleine baking tray

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Once melted, remove the saucepan from the heat and let the butter cool.

In a small bowl, combine two tablespoons of the melted butter with 1 tablespoon of all purpose flour. Brush the shells of the Madeleine trays with this mixture and use a dry brush to remove any butter that pools in the shell. Set the trays aside until ready to bake.

Combine the remaining ¾ cup all purpose flour, the cake flour, green tea “matcha” powder, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk to combine making sure to disperse the green tea powder evenly.

Add the eggs to the bowl of an electric mixer and begin to beat at a medium-low speed. Sprinkle in the sugar and beat until incorporated. Add the vanilla extract and increase the speed of the electric mixer to high. Beat until the egg and sugar mixture is very thick and pale yellow, about five to ten minutes. If using a hand-held mixer, this step may take even longer.

When the egg mixture is thick, remove the bowl from the electric mixer. Sprinkle a quarter of the flour mixture over the batter and using a rubber spatula gently fold in the mixture. Add a third of the butter and fold it in. Repeat, alternating the flour and butter, until both are used (the flour mixture should be the last thing added).

Immediately add 1 tablespoon of batter to each Madeleine shell. Bake for about 8 to 10 minutes; rotating as needed for even cooking. When done, Madeleines will be lightly browned around the edges.

Remove from the oven and let cool for 2 to 3 minutes before turning the Madeleines out on a wire rack. If any of the Madeleines stick, use the tip of a knife to gently remove them from the pan. Let cool on a wire rack. If desired, dust with confectioners’ sugar before serving.

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