This recipe is from Simply French by Patricia Wells and Joel Robuchon. This little, shell-shaped cake was made famous by Marcel Proust's Remembrance of Things Past. After reading his description, the reader is powerless to resist the small confections. "She sent for one of those squat plump little cakes called "petites madeleines," which look as though they had been molded in the fluted valve of a scallop shell ... I raised to my lips a spoonful of the tea in which I had soaked a morsel of the cake. No sooner had the warm liquid mixed with the crumbs touched my palate than a shudder ran through me and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary thing that was happening to me. An exquisite pleasure invaded my senses ... And suddenly the memory revealed itself. The taste was that of the little piece of madeleine..." This recipe is a combination of browned butter, honey, lemon zest and almond meal, which make an incredibly rich cake that's soft on the inside, crisp on the outside and worthy of the shuddering Proust describes. The key to the success of this recipe is to use really flavorful honey, chill the batter before baking and make sure your scalloped madeleine pans are really well buttered.
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