St. JOHN Smithfield Madeleines 0006

How To Make The Perfect… Madeleines

By Jonathan Hatchman, Food Editor, @TLE_Food

This week’s “How To Make The Perfect…” column recipe comes from St. JOHN, a dining institution first opened in Clerkenwell, near Smithfield Meat Market, in 1994. Now the original restaurant holds a Michelin Star, and a small number of humble offshoots, including a Bread and Wine restaurant in Spitalfields and a Bakery Counter within London’s Selfridges. And having featured in our recent roundup of London’s must-try dishes, we have the recipe for St. JOHN’s famous Madeleines, perfect to make at home, washed down with a glass of fine Cognac.


You will need a Madeleine tray.

Makes about two dozen

Unsalted butter, 135g

Pure honey, 2 tbsp

Large eggs, 3

Caster sugar, 110g

Soft light brown sugar, 15g

Self-raising flour, 135g, sifted


Melt the butter and honey in a saucepan and simmer until golden brown. Leave to cool. Using an electric mixer, whisk the eggs, caster sugar and brown sugar together for 8-10 minutes, until the mixture has tripled in volume and leaves a trail on the surface for a few seconds when the whisk is lifted.

Fold the sifted flour and melted butter through the egg mixture until it is all incorporated. Pour into a plastic container and leave to rest in the fridge for 2-3 hours.

Grease the Madeleine moulds with butter, and then dust them with flour, tapping off any excess. Place a dessertspoon of the mixture in each mould and bake in an oven preheated to 190C/Gas Mark 5 for 12-15 minutes, until firm to touch and golden brown.

St. JOHN’s Clerkenwell Restaurant can be found at 26 St John Street, London, EC1M 4AY.

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