Tag: Madeleines

Brown Butter Buckwheat Madeleines

Brown Butter Buckwheat Madeleines | Serious CrustBrown Butter Buckwheat Madeleines | Serious Crust

I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a batch of baked goods disappear so quickly. I just wanted to warn you right off the bat. Whether you’re making these buckwheat madeleines for you and your honey at home or to take to a fête, you should know either way that they won’t be around for long. I think it’s because they dance on the edge of sweetness and toe the line between a soft, cakey middle and crunchy browned edges. The outside is a tiny bit sticky from a spoonful of honey, and so when you finish eating one you have to lick your fingers, which only reminds you of the comforting flavors swirling around your tastebuds.

I spotted the recipe for these madeleines in my dad’s copy of My Paris Kitchen, which, yes I’ve been pining over and no I don’t have yet (but I may have just ordered). David Lebovitz has long had a home in my kitchen. I believe his lemon curd was the first one I ever made, and I’ve churned plenty of his ice cream recipes. When my dad got his cookbook, he almost immediately sent me the recipe for the leeks with mustard-bacon vinaigrette, which are delicious and you should definitely make them. I think I love his writing so much because I used to dream of packing up my life and moving to Paris, where I would use my 6 years of French lessons to make French friends and shop at French markets and cook French meals and it would all be so perfectly French.

But sometimes that isn’t quite how real life goes. You do sensible things like go to college and have roommates and get a job (or a few) instead of living the dream life in Paris. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have French inspired food and toss little French phrases around with other French speakers. And it certainly doesn’t mean you can’t brown butter in your kitchen so the house smells like nutty, toasty heaven, whisk that brown butter in with buckwheat flour and honey, and fill the molds of a madeleine pan with the batter. And it doesn’t mean you can’t break one of the madeleines in two while it’s still warm, the inside springy and spongey and the edges perfectly crispy. And it definitely doesn’t mean you can’t eat three (or four…) in the span of 10 minutes.

Brown Butter Buckwheat Madeleines


8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cubed
2/3 cup buckwheat flour
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
4 egg whites, equaling about 1/2 cup (hint: keep the remaining yolks to make a citrus curd later)
1 tbsp honey
3 tbsp cocoa nibs (optional – I didn’t use these)


In a pan over medium heat, cook the butter until it’s the color of a perfectly cooked marshmallow or toast. The butter will foam and spit, don’t be afraid. When it’s brown, pour into a heat proof bowl and set aside.

Preheat your oven to 400°F. In a medium bowl whisk together the flours, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the egg whites and honey and whisk until combined. Add about a third of the brown butter, and mix until combined, then slowly add the rest of the butter while mixing. If you’re using the cocoa nibs, add them now and mix until they’re evenly distributed.

Brush your madeleine pan with butter, and fill the molds about 3/4 of the way full with batter – about one tablespoon. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the madeleines spring back lightly when you touch them in the middle. Thanks to the buckwheat flour, you can’t really rely on color here too much, but you’ll kind of be able to tell when the edges are looking a little on the golden side. Allow to cool in the pan for about a minute before popping them out onto a cooling rack. I recommend eating them warm (or at least the same day) with a cup of coffee or tea.

Matcha Green Tea Madeleines

Matcha Green Tea Madeleines // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

Matcha Green Tea Madeleines // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Matcha Green Tea Madeleines // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

Everything is melting. Meeeeelllllting! It’s like I’m the wicked witch of the west. Or rather that Portland is, anyway. Which is seemingly appropriate given the hue of today’s baked goods recipe. (In case you missed it, we are officially on the tail end of a large snow storm, at least by Pacific North West proportions, where it snowed for days and no one could drive anywhere and we all got cabin fever.)

I have long been wanting to try some variation of Matcha green tea madeleines. I’m sure, at this point, I have a bunch of recipes on my Pinterest board, and really I was just waiting for the time to come when I actually remembered to purchase Matcha at Tea Chai Té. You’d think it wouldn’t be hard, since I usually visit one of their shops every other week. But remembering is harder than you think.

You know what else is harder than you think? Weighing all of your ingredients. See, every recipe I found for these madeleines had the amounts in weight, or it didn’t have quite enough of this or that for my taste. OR even worse, it had some of the ingredients measured in weight and some in teaspoons or cups. Which is fine, I have a scale. But when it came down to it, and I was finally making these little gems, I was not in the mood to weigh a million things and add a little bit more, a teaspoon at a time, until the weight was exactly right. So… I guestimated. If I was someone else, I would have made this recipe multiple times, adjusting the amounts of ingredients to make sure I was giving you the absolute best variation. But I’m not someone else. I’m me. And this recipe worked. So this recipe is what I’m giving you. I hope that’s ok. And hey, wouldn’t you rather I be me instead of someone else?

Matcha Green Tea Madeleines


2 Tbl Matcha green tea powder
1/2 cup flour (all-purpose)
1 tsp baking powder
8 Tbl butter (1 stick), melted and cooled
3 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract


Butter and lightly dust your madeleine pan with flour. Keep the pan in the freezer while you prepare the dough.

In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and Matcha powder and set it aside. In a bowl, beat the eggs for 1 minute (I used my electric mixer; a handheld mixer would work too), and then add the sugar and salt. Mix until the sugar/egg mixture is pale and a bit thick, about 5-6 minutes.  Add the vanilla, and mix for another minute. Now add in the flour and Matcha mixture, blending until it’s just combined. You’ll want to be gentle when adding the flour mixture, and may even want to use a spatula and gently fold it together – you don’t want to deflate the eggs. If you’re using an electric mixer, I recommend switching from the whisk to the paddle attachment. Once you’ve mixed in the flour mixture, slowly add the butter and beat until the dough is smooth with the mixer on a low speed, or with your spatula. Cover bowl and refrigerate for at least one hour.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees, and remove the pan from the freezer. In each little madeleine mold, drop about a teaspoon of batter. Bake for ~8 minutes, or until they have puffed up and are golden brown around the edges. Allow the madeleines to cool in the pan for a minute before removing them. I found it easier to remove them by placing the wire rack upside down over the pan and then flipping it over, then lifting the pan off.  These are best enjoyed the same day, preferably right out of the oven, with a nice cup of tea (and no, it doesn’t have to be green tea).

Earl Grey Madeleines

Earl Grey Madeleines // Serious Crust by Annie FasslerEarl Grey Madeleines // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler

Elsa has discovered my secret.

My dear friend Elsa and I were hanging out quite a bit when she finally got back from her worldly travels this summer, as she was job hunting, so had her days free, just like I do. She came over one afternoon, and we decided to bake something. I started looking for recipes, and suggested rosemary shortbread, thyme/sea salt/chocolate chunk cookies, or these earl grey madeleines from Baking a Moment. She looked at me and said “Are we only allowed to make things that involve weird flavor combinations?”

She’s right. I like trying new flavor combinations. Why have chocolate chip cookies when you can add thyme? Or plain shortbread when you can add rosemary? Why not spice it up a bit? Plus, combinations like this are becoming rather mainstream. I think I’ve got her on the weird flavor combo train at this point, but she still teases me all the time. Anyway, on that afternoon, I convinced her to make earl grey madeleines with me. And dang, were they good.

For the record, Elsa made me zucchini, jalapeno, lime cookies for my birthday.

Earl Grey Madeleines


6 Tbl unsalted butter
3 bags earl grey tea
2 tsp light brown sugar
2 tsp honey
2 eggs
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp kosher salt


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

In a small pot on the stove, melt the butter. While the butter is melting, cut open the tea bags, and then stir the loose tea into the melted butter. Allow to steep over low heat for about 5 minutes, then remove from the heat and allow it to steep for another 5 minutes. Strain the tea butter. I used a mesh sieve that I overlayed with the tea bags (which I had cut to make sheets). If you have cheesecloth, you can use that.

Stir the brown sugar and honey into the tea butter. They may stay kind of separated, and you can slightly reheat to try to combine them better. Ours wouldn’t really combine no matter how much we reheated them, and everything worked out just fine. So don’t stress about it.

Here’s another weird step. In a (preferably metal) mixing bowl, combine the eggs and granulated sugar. Fill another bowl with very hot water, and put the bowl of eggs/sugar into the bowl of hot water. Mix this with your fingers (I know, I know) until the eggs feel slightly warm and the sugar has dissolved and is no longer grainy. When you’ve reached that point, you can remove the bowl from the water and whip the eggs/sugar on high until it has tripled in volume.

In another bowl (I know, it’s a bowl heavy recipe), sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Gently fold the egg mixture in in two additions. Pour a little bit of this batter into the tea butter, stir it up, and then pour the tea butter into the batter. Again, gently fold until thoroughly combined.

Spoon the batter into a buttered and floured madeleine pan. You only need to fill up the molds about 2/3 of the way. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until they’re golden-brown around the edges. Remove the madeleines from the pan immediately and allow them to cool on a wire rack. Enjoy with a glass of milk, a nice coffee, or tea!

Restaurant Review: St. Jack

A while back I picked up Portland Monthly Magazine, the Best Restaurant issue. I look forward to this issue every year so that I can see how many of Portland’s top restaurants I’ve eaten at and which ones I need to get to. At the top of last year’s list was a restaurant called St. Jack. I’d heard of it before, but hadn’t read about it until the magazine. I’d also noticed it because it’s right near Jonah’s office, so I would pass it whenever I dropped him off on my way to work. I was very excited when my Dad came to town and we decided (well, I decided really) to go there for dinner.

St. Jack

After reading the menu probably about 10 times, I made a reservation. We showed up and were seated at a table in the back. The interior of the restaurant was so lovely. Simple and clean, with little artistic and crafty touches, like the giant wax candle towers on the back bar. I was particularly excited to eat here because one of the things I’d heard about St. Jack is that they have really good original cocktails. My dad and I both got the Guillotine (rum, cointreau, lemon, housemade grenadine, and absinthe), which was wonderful! It was a really refreshing drink, and a little bit wintery, which I like this time of year (unlike Jonah’s very delicious French Pearl, which was mint, gin, lemon, and sugar).

As for appetizers, we got two of the Salad Lyonnaise, a salad of frisee, bacon lardons, bacon fat croutons, and a poached egg. I absolutely loved this salad (since we can’t make bacon in our apartment I’m super into bacon when we eat out). It was warm and delicious and a little tart. We also got the pommes frites and the Cervelle de Canut, which was like a mixture of cheeses and herbs served with bread. For dinner, I got the Coq a la Biere, a half a chicken braised in ale with veggies underneath. Jonah ordered some steak, Dad got the trout, and Darla got the onion tarte. All of these dishes were splendid, but a consensus was reached that my chicken was the best (Yes! I won!).

St. Jack

For dessert we ordered the madeleines, which are baked to order. I had never actually had madeleines before, and I thought these were delicious. Simple and light with a touch of lemon. A lovely end to the meal.

Overall, our experience was great. The waitstaff was very friendly and helpful. The atmosphere was perfect: enough noise so you don’t know the place is dead, but not a roar. It was a peaceful, relaxed meal of thoughtful, delicious food. I would highly recommend this restaurant if you’re on the search for a romantic evening or a slightly fancy dinner. I loved it!

Photos from St. Jack’s website.