Candice Brown’s orange and hibiscus madeleines make seriously pretty bakes that are perfect for parties and family gatherings. This French delicacy will make everyone’s day – they could even work as part of a special breakfast on a lazy Sunday. This madeleines recipe makes 32 cakes, so plenty to feed a small crowd of friends and family – and if you need more, it’s easy to double up the quantities. There’s a lot of prep work but nothing too difficult – you can even get the kids to help you. You’ll need around an hour to make them. Candice Brown says: ‘I love France, everything and anything French, and j’adore Paris! I first tried madeleines on a school trip to France and loved the simplicity of them along with a bowl of hot chocolate. Now when I make them, they are barely out of the oven before I’m shovelling one into my mouth! Orange adds a lovely citrus taste and the hibiscus almost a berry/rose-like touch. Hibiscus is great in tea too!’
- 1tbsp dried hibiscus petals
- 100ml boiling water
- 90g unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus extra to grease the moulds
- 50g soft light brown sugar
- 100g golden caster sugar
- 2 large eggs
- grated zest and juice of 1 orange, plus extra zest to decorate
- 100g plain flour, plus extra for the moulds
- just under 1tsp baking powder
- pinch of salt
- 1tbsp orange blossom honey
Put the dried hibiscus petals in a small bowl and pour over the boiling water. Leave to soften for about 5 mins.
Meanwhile, brush your madeleine moulds with melted butter, then dust them lightly with flour.
Combine the brown sugar, 50g of the caster sugar and the eggs in a large bowl and whisk with an electric hand whisk until light and fluffy. Add the orange zest, 90g cooled melted butter, plain flour, baking powder, salt, honey and 1tbsp of the hibiscus water, and mix together to make a batter. Leave for a minimum of 30 mins.
Preheat the oven to 190C, 170C fan, gas 5.
Spoon the batter into the prepared madeleine moulds (you will need to bake in batches). Take care not to overfill the moulds. Bake for 10-12 mins until risen and golden.
Remove the madeleines from the moulds and place on a wire rack. Cool the moulds, then brush with melted butter and dust with flour again before baking another batch of madeleines.
Once all the madeleines have been baked and cooled, mix together the orange juice, the remaining 50g caster sugar and 3tbsp of the hibiscus water in a small saucepan. Stir over a medium heat until the sugar has dissolved and you have a thick syrup.
Poke a hole in the underside of each madeleine and brush over the syrup. Wait for this to soak in, then brush on a second coat of the syrup. Finish with a grating of orange zest. These are best eaten fresh on the day of baking.