This is what Marcel Proust said about madeleines in his novel Swann’s Way. Personally, I have never bought into the myth that madeleines are classics because of Prousts novel. I mean, let’s face it, he wrote seven ponderous volumes all supposedly based on his memory of eating a madeleine and yet all he has to say about it is ““… one of those squat, plump little cakes called ‘petites madeleines,’ which look as though they had been moulded in the fluted valve of a scallop shell.”” Personally, I have never found the novel endearing enough to make me want to read more than the first volume and it took me almost two years to get through that. I would rather believe that these have become beloved classics because they are delicious and not for anything Proust had to say (or didn’t have to say) about them.
I have made many different kinds of madeleines over the years and I generally like all of them. I have to say that after all this time the classic lemon flavored Commercy madeleine is still my reigning favorite. I just never see why it needs to be changed. My only complaint about madeleines is that they go stale so quickly. While I am not adverse to eating dozens of them in one sitting, I wish there was a way to keep them as fresh and tasty as when they are first baked.
I thought these chocolate madeleines were good but they were not my favorite by any means. They had a nice round chocolate flavor but still just seemed to be nothing more than a plain chocolate cake. I am sure that all of you who know me already know that I didn’t find the idea of painting these things with an artist brush at all appealing and you would be right. If I was to make these again I would either just dunk them in the chocolate glaze or skip it all together and just dust them with cocoa. Once a curmudgeon, always a curmudgeon. Enjoy!