As an Australian married to a Frenchman, could there be a more perfect cake to represent the union of our two cultures than the madelamington, a French madeleine dressed up as an Australian lamington? No, I didn’t come up with this name, but I am rather disappointed that I didn’t coin this term myself. In fact, as a frequent baker and consumer of madeleines and lamingtons, I wonder how the idea of marrying these two cakes had never occurred to me.
It was precisely this recipe in Rachel Allen’s new book, Cake, which prompted me to buy the book. Not that I really needed a recipe – I could have used my go-to madeleine recipe and the chocolate icing from my lamington recipe. But the idea of the madelamington itself was so cute that I was sold on the book.
As far as madeleine recipes go, this particular recipe was good, but didn’t produce the moist and cakey madeleines that I expected. Upon comparing Rachel Allen’s recipe to my regular recipe, I found that the ingredients were more or less the same (only the ratio was altered), but that the method was slightly different. The recipe which I usually use requires you to rest the batter for at least an hour, thereby allowing the gluten to relax and for the batter to become thicker in consistency. This resting period would give rise to a cake with a more delicate, moist and spongey texture than if you were to skip this step.
And whilst the melted chocolate provided a quick and simple coating for the coconut to adhere to, I think a proper chocolate icing (like that used in my lamington recipe) would have made them taste closer to a lamington.
Overall, while the idea of a madelamington is really cute, I think some tweaks here and there would make this the perfect sweet treat.
Happy Australia Day everyone!
Recipe adapted from Cake by Rachel Allen
Makes about 12 madeleines, depending on the size of the madeleine mould
One deviation from Rachel Allen’s recipe which I took was to omit 25 g (1 oz) of dessicated coconut from the batter. Lamingtons typically do not have coconut in the sponge cake but I imagine that these cakes would have still tasted lovely with this addition.