grapefruit rose madeleines (& dear reader)

Maybe I’m putting too much in one place. This post should cover blogging 101 assignments 3&4, as well as a recipe to submit to Fiesta Friday chez Novice Gardener!

Dear Ideal Reader, or so states assignment #4.

Yes, I blog for myself. But I also like the idea of blogging with someone else in mind.

However, when I heard the term ideal reader, nobody in particular came up, not even any defining characteristics. I realize this is because, quite simply, my ideal reader is probably you.

What I really want is for you to be interested (even only mildly) in what it is that I’ve baked, or even in what I’m writing (as unlikely as that may be).

It doesn’t matter whether or not baking is something you do at all just so long as perhaps I make you somewhat hungry or moderately inspired to bake something yourself. Or buy something. Or something like that. (Or nothing really at all; I do have low standards).

(Besides, if you’re reading this I think you’re quite a nice person already, so I’m rather fond of you!)

Assignment #3 was to follow five other bloggers. Here are some people that I’ve recently begun following, who I’m particularly excited about (though there are so many more!)

  1. From-the-ground-up blog: Boonie Adjacent – The tagline is “turning home into a homestead, one day at a time.” Well written posts on a number of interesting projects, including small scale agriculture and fermentation (!) such as miso.
  2. Science-y blog: Picture It – Somehow affiliated with the chemistry department at the University of Bristol, there’s quite a bit on food chemistry–really interesting and fun to read!
  3. Baking blog(s) (How could I choose just 1??):
    1. Beslington of Baker St – A bit of a newer blog, I’m excited to see what other “classic” baked goods he turns out, such as his Victoria sponge…
    2. Morning Brew and Tea – So many delicious things that I’d like to try to make! A lovely baking blog with nice photos and interesting recipes.
    3. foodlikecake – I love cake. So, enough said. But this blog is also simple and sweet and straightforwards.
  4. Photo blog: Chemistry – While there are only a couple posts at the moment, this looks to be very clearly and conscientiously designed, and the photos, beautiful.
  5. Culture blog: Hallyu Stranger – Again, only a couple posts so far, however this blog on her exploration of Korean culture has so far shown itself to be very thoughtful, not at all culturally insensitive, and, I think, a good read.

And now, onto the recipe…

I’ve still yet to make successful madeleines.

Or at least I think so…I’ve never had a madeleine made by anyone other than myself (there may be a deficit of good and affordable bakeries where I live), and from what I’ve heard, madeleines are terribly divine.

These are not quite.

They are not bad, but they are not spectacular in the way I hoped they would be.

Recipe notes

I think the flavour inspiration came from a soap–at least that’s what it sounds like to me, but all I ended up with was the bitterness of the grapefruit instead of its floral notes. Perhaps rubbing the zest in sugar would have helped a bit?

It’s likely just our oven, but I found a higher temperature was better as I prefer more browning.

Lastly, these madeleines did not take on the distinctive shape with the hump in the middle and sharp edges. Instead they rose in a sort of sloppy, non-committal manner, giving them the atmosphere of a cake forced into a madeleine’s clothes. Part of the blame could possibly be attributed to the leavener in the original recipe. Keller/Rouxel add some baking powder, 1/2 tsp, which I, perhaps not very wisely, had decided to eliminate.

A final note: the recipe was intended for 12 madeleines. I made 16 slightly smaller ones due to the pan I have.

Grapefruit rose madeleines

Adapted slightly from Thomas Keller and Sebastien Rouxel’s Bouchon Bakery. Expect to see more of them in the future, including their infuriatingly precise quantities. My condolences if you don’t have a scale.  Potentially makes 12-16 madeleines. 

80 g whole eggs (which is approximately 1 and then some)

55 g or 1/4 c + 1 1/4 tsp sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1 small capful rosewater

zest of 1/2 grapefruit

66 g butter

9 g honey

68 g or 1/4 c + 3 1/2 tbsp all purpose flour

Whisk the eggs, salt and sugar together in a glass bowl over a pot of simmering water. Continue to whisk until eggs are warmed and sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat continue beating away until pale, thickened, and the volume has doubled. Beat in the rosewater and grapefruit zest.

While this is happening, gently heat the butter and honey together in a pan until melted. Set aside to cool until only just warm.

Sift half the flour overtop of the eggs and gently fold in. Repeat with the remaining half. Slowly pour the melted butter overtop and fold until combined. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

The next day

Preheat the oven to 375F. Butter and lightly flour a madeleine pan OR brush the pan with melted butter and chill to allow the butter to set.

Using two spoons, scoop a generous tablespoon of batter into each mold.


Bake for 7-8 minutes until the tops are lightly golden and spring back when touched.

Immediately unmold by turning pan upside down over a wire rack, and rapping the bottom of the pan.

Turn the madeleines over if needed so that the “shell pattern” side faces down, and align the grooves with the wire rack – I started doing this after finding that the wire rack left “grill marks” in the top of the madeleines.



31 thoughts on “grapefruit rose madeleines (& dear reader)

    1. I haven’t used other sweetening agents very much, so I can’t say I have a definite opinion on the matter. I’m also not sure how the sweetness conversion would work. However, experimentation is always fun!
      If you do happen to make madeleines with stevia, let me know how it goes!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Lovely looking madeleines and interesting flavours! Also, thanks for the links to the baking blogs – they’re also great and I’m following them all now!! 🙂 Happy Fiesta Friday! 🙂


  2. These look absolutely divine. I’ve never tries baking with rose before but it sounds like something I should try and its such a delicate flavor too! Thanks for the inspiration and happy FF!


  3. I may have to join you on the quest for a perfect madeleine, I haven’t had one in ages and never see them here other than supermarket versions, so might have to try myself. I know grapefruit can be a bit tricky to work with, but I can see it working with rose so a nice combination. Thanks for bringing to Fiesta Friday!


    1. I’m always excited to gain new comrades!
      Though I think my first step should have been to try a good madeleine once (I can’t find them either!) …at the moment a perfect madeleine is a very abstract notion in my head, composed of mostly imagination and bit of vague visualization from written descriptions.


  4. What a fun flavour combination. If you’d like to get more of the floral grapefruit flavour perhaps try experimenting with adding some juice as I’ve found grapefruit zest doesn’t have a lot of flavour.
    I know you’re not completely happy with how they turned out but they look great!


    1. Thanks for the advice!! Now that you mention it, I do see how the zest doesn’t have too much flavour… Hmm, it wouldn’t be exactly traditional (?) but perhaps a glaze of some sort as with a lemon poundcake would be a way to add flavour…. I’ll have to keep in mind to try some juice next time!


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