This post is a part of my Madeleine series in tribute to this iconic French pastry and all that it means - from its fascinating history, choosing the right ingredients, all the secrets of authentic madeleine hump, and storage suggestions - you name it!
Learn how to choose the best madeleine pan to make a classic French dessert. There are a lot of different madeleine pans on the market, and it can be hard to know which one is right for you. Check out this guide on how best to choose your own!
Madeleines are small, delicious French cakes that often come in shell-like form.
The secret to making them well is not just about using the right ingredients and following the recipe instructions but also knowing how to bake them right!
To get started on your journey towards becoming skilled at this delicate art form - you need is one good madeleine tin without which the madeleine recipe can't be successful.
Madeleine molds are plenty on the market - that means you are bound to find one with just what you need.
However, there can be issues when it comes down to selecting which material is suitable for you and how much money you should actually spend at all?
So, how to choose the best madeleine mold?
The choice of a madeleine tray is crucial because it determines what material will be used. You can find different molds made from silicone, steel, or aluminum.
Steel madeleine pans are known for their excellent heat transfer. In addition, there is durable carbon steel, coated or not.
If it has a non-stick coating of sufficient quality, you will be able to avoid deteriorating during baking.
Make sure that steel pans don't release harmful substances, such as PTFE, PFOA, etc., at high temperatures.
Guy Demarle also offers professional quality FLEXIPAN® ORIGINE madeleine mold that provides exceptional flexibility, non-stick properties, and resistance to extreme temperatures.
One of the downsides to aluminum molds is that they may not support frequent use.
Even though the aluminum conductive properties are reasonable, it is not the best material to choose.
You should bake these little cakes in a very hot oven, so be sure to check what temperature the mold can handle.
For example, the madeleine mold from Lekue can withstand a high temperature of 446 degrees F/230 degrees C; the De Buyer madeleine pan allows baking up to 425 degrees F/218 degrees C.
You will also need to place the mold filled with batter in the refrigerator. It is good to know that some materials, such as silicone, will withstand the fridge's cold.
The best way to ensure that your madeleines will be successful is by providing the overall size of pan (outer dimensions) compatible with the size of the oven you use.
And most importantly, the madeleine cake pan should have deep cavities, instead of shallow ones, that can guarantee the most beautiful bump on top of madeleines.
Most metal pans are too shallow to form the good-quality madeleine hump.
The market offers a variety of madeleine trays for regular-sized cakes, mini-madeleine pans, and giant versions.
You might not know, but madeleine cakes can be made in different shapes.
The most popular is the shell-shaped design, but there are also round, scallop-like, heart-shaped, and animal ones for those who look for something different.
The number and variety of cavities need consideration, so take what works for yourself.
The average size for these tasty treats is 12 cavities per batch; however, there are pans baking from 16 to 36 and even more.
You can make 80 perfectly shaped madeleines at once with a professional Gobel madeleine pan.
Read the madeleine recipe you will make and check the number of servings.
For example, if you want to make 36 madeleines from the classic recipe, then choosing a pan with 12 or 18 cavities makes sense.
When choosing a madeleine baking pan, the type and quality are essential.
Madeleine pans are designed explicitly for madeleines. So keep in mind how often you make them and what shape/size best suits your needs.
You can get by with a less expensive madeleine pan if you are a beginner at madeleine baking.
Start with a simple silicone madeleine mold that makes perfect madeleines despite the cheap mold's price.
If you want to make madeleines often and look for something durable that will last long enough, think about brands used by professional chefs.
The cost of madeleines molds will vary depending on which brand you buy.
With all these madeleine pans out there, how will you ever decide? You could end up with a pan from any number of brands.
This decision should be based on personal preference - which means it can involve some serious weighing action. So which brand do you like best?
Le Creuset is a company that has been around for decades, and they still make some of the best kitchen tools and cookware out there.
Their non-stick madeleine pan offers excellent heat conduction, so it guarantees your madeleines will always be baked to perfection.
The Moul'flex madeleine mold from silicone is an excellent example of the craftsmanship at De Buyer.
The pan's superior heat conduction makes it even more perfect for making traditional small sponge cakes that are sure not to disappoint.
Gobel, another French brand, is a go-to for home bakers and chefs who want to make authentic madeleines.
Another must-have nonstick mold for your kitchen is the Silpat madeleine mold (sold by Amazon and Sur La Table) that provides an easy release of your baked treats.
This French invention has been around since 1959, and it still rules supreme as one of, if not the best option available today.
Not only does this impeccably designed utensil perform every single time you use it, but its quality never goes down with age either.
One of the specialties of the French company Matfer Bourgeat is producing a sharing madeleine mold to make XXL-sized madeleine (la madeleine du partage in French).
The giant madeleine mold is a perfect gift for those who love this traditional French treat.
The innovative design from the French pastry chef Fabrice le Bourdat allows people to make "a royal madeleine" to share with family and friends.
If you live in America, try out some brands like Chicago Metallic or CHEFMADE to get your hands on high-quality, durable pans at an affordable price point.
Chicago Metallic madeleine pan is made by one of the leaders-manufacturers that produce pans for home and commercial baking.
Should you invest in a new madeleine pan if you have one at home? This is a great question. You might have an old, vintage madeleine pan from your grandma!
If you don't want to invest in something new but still want the best results and quality, then there is a solution for you.
Use what is already there for better success with this foolproof recipe and see if that works.
Later, you might experiment by switching up your madeleine pan with the professional one and trying your favorite madeleine recipe.
Frequently asked questions
The Madeleine pan is an iconic baking dish specifically designed to make French madeleines. Each cavity has an appealing, shell-like shape and measures about 2 x 3 inches. Small cakes baked upside-down have a signature hump on top.
To prevent madeleines from sticking, it is essential to prepare your mold. When using a metal pan, brush its cavities with softened butter and a pastry brush, then sprinkle flour inside before removing any excess. There is an option to use a cooking spray, designed to withstand high temperatures. Silicone molds don't usually require greasing.
If you use a silicone madeleine pan, simply push each cavity from the bottom. In the case of a metal madeleine mold, gently lift the madeleines from the pan, and place them on their side to cool down. There is another way to unmold madeleines from the metal mold. Just hold the pan with both hands, tilt it forward so that you are looking at the back of the pan, and tap the side of the mold firmly on the countertop. The madeleines will come out all at once. Please don't use a wire rack to avoid its traces on the surface of madeleines. Also, don't use sharp metal utensils with silicone and nonstick pans.
Madeleine pan is mostly hand wash bakeware. Silicone and some other materials can be put in the dishwasher. Still, many manufacturers recommend you use a soft cloth or sponge to get all those grooves clean after letting them soak with soapy warm water for just a few minutes. Then, dry the pan completely before putting it away.
When an old-fashioned madeleine pan is called for in a recipe, try using one of these alternatives - a mini muffin pan or mini tart or scone baking tins. They may not have the traditional shell shape but still taste great.
Here are the recipes and tips you need to make perfect madeleines every time.
Whether you are a beginner or an experienced baker, there is something for everyone.