Rachel Allen was brought up in Dublin and left home at eighteen to study at the world-famous Ballymaloe Cookery School. Rachel is now a busy ...
50 g (2oz) caster sugar
50 g (2oz) plain flour, plus extra for dusting
1/4 tsp baking powder
50 g (2oz) butter, melted, plus extra for greasing
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
icing sugar, for dusting
1 tblsp cocoa powder
100 g dark or white chocolate (broken into pieces)
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F), Gas mark 4. Brush a little melted butter over the madeleine moulds (making sure to coat every ridge) and dust a little flour into each one, tapping out any excess.
Place the egg and sugar in a large bowl or in an electric food mixer. Using a hand-held electric beater or the food mixer with its whisk attachment, whisk on a high speed for about 5 minutes or until the mixture is pale, thick and mousse-like and has grown almost three times in volume.
Sift the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder into the whisked egg and sugar and carefully fold in, then fold in the melted butter and vanilla extract, taking care not to over-mix.
Either pouring the batter directly from the bowl or using a tablespoon to spoon it in, divide the batter between the madeleine moulds, filling each almost to the top.
Bake for 12–15 minutes or until golden and lightly springy to the touch.
Remove from the oven and carefully remove each madeleine from its mould using a palette knife, then place on a wire rack to cool.
Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set over a pan of simmering water. Leave just until melted, stirring occasionally, then remove from the heat.
Holding one of the madeleines by one end, dip it into the chocolate so that it comes about a third of the way up.
Remove from the chocolate, shaking off any excess into the bowl, then place on a sheet of baking parchment to set. Repeat with the rest of the madeleines until all of them are dipped.