I know, I know. A gluten-free dessert recipe. Who really wants that? But it just had to be done.
As you probably know I’m not particularly special needs about my diet. (…Actually that’s a huge lie. I have a gourmet food-blog, HELLO delusional self). But! To be fair- as a rule I don’t follow much in the way of dietary restrictions (unless of course, you consider excessive Pain au Chocolat consumption a “restriction.”)
However! I have a close friend of mine who, for medical reasons, needs to keep a gluten-free diet. So I do what I can to try to make gluten-free (yet also palatable) baked goods whenever we’re having a potluck or dinner party or she needs a thank-you present for caring for our cats while we were in Europe for 2 weeks… And so as a result I’ve found myself entering the realm of bizarre flour-types and powdered nonsense, attempting to make sense of it all. Basically what I’ve decided is that it’s not worth it to obsess too much about flours because gluten-free people are typically so excited that you would even think of baking a gluten-free item that anything you create will make them jump for joy. However as gluten-eater I find it somewhat upsetting to have any sort of baked good that is dry, crumbly, and tasting oddly like fava beans (I’m talking about you, Bob’s Red Mill). Hence I have made small efforts to find a decently flavored and readily accessible all-purpose gluten-free flour: Trader Joe’s brand. (Also per my gluten free friend, Cup4Cup is an even better brand and can be located at Sur La Table).Additionally, I think there are certain recipes that inherently are going to work better for gluten-free baking. It seems like recipes that involve something with a cake-like texture are going to perform better than a recipe for short-bread crust. You can almost always substitute gluten-free for regular flour in a cake recipe and expect a decent outcome.
Thus, basically what I’m saying is that armed with knowledge of easily accessible, non-funky tasting, gluten-free flour and the belief that I could basically make recipe exactly as written, I commenced with testing the famous Blé Sucré madeleine recipe.
And Oh. My. Word. You will forever be indebted to me if you decide to make this recipe.
Blé Sucré is a bakery in Paris that Dave and I visited a few months ago on our Europe vacation. I was, naturally, on a Proust-inspired mission to find the best madeleine in town. (Naturally). And armed with millennial-style googling skills and food-blogger-style dedication, Dave and I managed to locate such a pastry.
And wow. Just WOW.Now I’m not overly impressed with madeleines I’ve had in the US; i.e. the ones served at the local Starbucks, for example. They’re not terrible, and certainly will satisfy my sweet tooth, but they’re more like firm vanilla pound cakes in a cute clam-shell shape. And this was somewhat my expectation in Paris as well… I assumed they would be good, but that I’d always truly prefer Pain au Chocolat. But now that I’ve tasted these pastries, I’ve begun to question everything I know to be true in this world… (and also Starbucks’ madeleines become completely disappointing when compared to the fluffy, buttery, perfectly puffed madeleines of Blé Sucré).
Taking things even further than I thought possible is the fact that the Blé Sucré madeleines are dunked in a light citrus glaze to make them even more decadent for a morning (or afternoon..or evening… or bedtime…) snack.
Gah!!! I. JUST. CAN’T. EVEN.So upon my return home, I located and began attempting the Blé Sucré recipe. I’ve also failed at this recipe about 4x before realizing that you absolutely cannot use a dark (non-stick) madeleine pan and expect these to turn out correct. They will BURN, people. Gotta use tin for proper heat-conduction.
So the gluten-free recipe was the 5th test and was baked in my brand new TIN madeleine baking tray. And they turned out 100% perfect.
So I have no reason to not think that this recipe would work equally perfectly with regular flour, but since I have not personally confirmed this, I will not advertise it here. And thus, gluten-free is what you’re getting today. So I will end this post with- If you have a gluten-free friend take the time to make these for her.
She will think you’re an amazing baking-genius and you will both get to enjoy a delicious little madeleine pastry that tastes like it was straight from ovens of Paris.
Gluten Free Madeleines
That being said, make sure to generously butter and flour your tin to avoid sticking.