Last weekend, we celebrated my Mom's and brother's birthday. They were born on the same about a birthday present for my Mother.

I didn't have a chance to make anything the day before, since I was gone all day, travelling to Hamburg and back for an interview. So in the morning, I set to work, baking a little something for them that wouldn't require too much time to make.

For no particular reason, Madeleines came to mind. These french little treats are part of my earliest memories, baking with my Mom. I remember how much I loved the baking tin, with its cute seashell shape. And guess what, I still loved it just as much 20 years later. The recipe is as old as the baking tin itself and comes from this ancient cookbook, which (obviously) I couldn't find online. I only adapted the recipe slightly, by omitting the rum and adding vanilla and poppy seeds. It's not really the taste of poppy seeds, but the visual effect I adore so much. These little black specks look simply beautiful and add a whimsical touch. I didn't end up putting on the lemon glaze from the recipe, but kept it simple with a dusting of powdered sugar instead. If you can, use really fresh and/or organic eggs, since they are an integral part of the recipe. 

We all enjoyed these Madeleines so much, dipping them in our tea whilst unpacking presents. Well, how about I just stop talking now and give you the recipe, so you can try for yourself? 


makes 1 dozen with 165kcal each, as stated in the book

3 eggs (preferably organic and really fresh)

125 g sugar

zest from 1/2 a lemon

100 g flour

60 g butter, liquid and then cooled a bit

1 pack vanilla sugar or 1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp poppy seed

For the glaze:

200g confectioner's sugar

2 tbsp lemon juice

2 tbsp water

Preheat oven to 180°C-200°C, depending on the power of your oven. Grease a baking pan.

With a hand or standing mixer, beat eggs until light and fluffy. Bit by bit, add the sugar, lemon zest and vanilla, until the mixture is creamy. Fold in sieved flour, butter and poppy seeds. Fill in the baking form and bake for 12 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack, before applying a dusting of powdered sugar or the glaze.