Madeleine's are a sweet delicacy perfect as little snacks or dessert items. They are typically made in specific cooking pans to give them the traditional seashell look. But, how to make madeleines without mold? Is it even possible?
It is indeed possible to make them without having to spend extra bucks behind a unique mold. After all, the ingredients don't have anything to do with how the final product looks.
So, if you are willing to sacrifice the traditional looks by not using proper molds, the rest is as easy as it goes. Read on to find out about some of the best alternative methods of preparing madeleines without a mold.
Why Is the Sea-Shell Shape So Significant for Madeleines?
Well, technically, it's not as significant as it is traditional. There are several myths and mysteries attached to this delicious sponge cake's first appearance. And not all of them go hand in hand for scholars to come to concise conclusions.
However, the most popular story behind the sea-shell-shaped madeleines is the story of Madeleine herself. She invented the recipe for this sweet delicacy on her voyage to the "Compostela."
Not only did she come up with it, but she also used to offer these madeleines to fellow travelers. In short, several 19th-century pilgrims passing through Lorraine came across her madeleines one way or the other.
Do you see the connection yet? The seashell shape represents the tales of the brave pilgrims and their long voyage to the ocean. Quite fascinating, isn't it?
Can You Make Madeleines without the Sea-Shell Mold?
By now, you have already figured out that the shape of a madeleine doesn't have anything to do with its taste. Here are some alternative baking pans that you can use to make madeleines instead of madeleine molds.
Yup. If you have enough skills and know your way around the oven, you can make madeleines simply on a baking tray. Furthermore, you can somewhat make a seashell shape via this method.
But there's a catch. The mixture of madeleines doesn't work like regular cookies. So, if it's too runny and not evenly spaced out, stay prepared for some grotesque-looking sponge cakes.
The rest is pretty similar. Just take out the mixture one scoop at a time, place it on the tray, and pop 'em inside the oven with the correct time and temperature. You can also use a fork to give slight seashell-looking curves around the edges.
This is another viable method of preparing madeleines without having to use madeleine molds. But cupcake molds are usually a little thicker than madeleine molds, so you'll have to adjust the oven settings appropriately.
It's also a good idea to use cupcake liners since the madeleine mixture often becomes a little runny. Also, make sure to oil the edges and the bottoms properly so the madeleines can come out in one piece afterward.
While researching, we came across quite a few cooks who gave us the unique idea of using aluminum foils! It sounds pretty strange, but if it works, it works, right?
The basic idea is to make short rectangular sheets of aluminum foils and then wrap 'em in a bowl-like structure. You can also go for a make-shift seashell-shaped impromptu wrapping if you're good with crafts.
But however you choose to do it, make sure that it can hold the mixture properly. Also, do not fill up to the brim while filling it, as the mixture will expand while cooking.
Try out this method as a last resort if you are out of options and don't want to let that sweet batter go to waste. It is somewhat equivalent to preparing a sponge cake in a sheet pan.
First of all, place the baking sheet on the pan and fully cover it. Make sure there are no gaps or air pockets on either side. After that, pour the mixture into the pan, and that's about it.
Do remember to pour it into a thin layer. Otherwise, the outside will get burnt while the heart will remain completely uncooked. Once it's cooked thoroughly, cut the madeleines out in a square shape and enjoy them in a falafel style.
What to Watch out for While Preparing Madeleines in a Different Mold?
The same rules don't apply to all the pots and pans now, do they? Here are some of these factors that you should watch out for if you're using a different pan.
Cooking Time and Temperature
You must watch over the oven settings for cooking time and temperature, even if you're sure of it. One little mistake can ruin the whole batch if you are not careful.
Both the time and temperature depend on how thick the walls of your mold are. The thicker the wall, the higher the temperature since it needs to penetrate through it to cook the madeleines.
Typically, madeleines take about 200-220° C in madeleine pans. And it takes about 12-15 minutes in a preheated oven. If the pan you are using is thicker than that, adjust the settings accordingly.
Preparing the Mixture
Another thing to watch out for is the mixture itself. If it is too stiff, the outer parts will dry out and get burnt. On the other hand, if it is too runny, it will drip off the make-shift mold.
Unless you want to spend your day cleaning off the counter, try your best to make sure that it's not runny. If needed, add some more all-purpose flour to the mixture to make it more stable.
But not so much so that it dries out the mixture. If that happens, you'll again have to add more butter and egg, and you might start a never-ending vicious cycle of adding and eliminating.
All in all, watch out for the proper measurements in advance and listen to your guts! With or without a mold, that is all it takes to make some sweet madeleines for your afternoon snacks!
So, how to make madeleines without mold after all? It turns out, if you are willing to go past the traditional looks, you can mold them in any shape you want to. Try it out immediately, and let us know if you had fun!