Spiced Honey and Almond Madeleines

These are adapted from a recipe of Tamasin Day-Lewis's in Simply the Best (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2001), and they are particularly sticky and delicious. Of all the honey things I have made, these are my favorite. Day-Lewis is a lover of honey, and her father, the poet C. Day-Lewis, translated Virgil's Georgia, which seems fitting. I have changed the recipe by using black raisins in place of Day-Lewis's sultanas, and often use whole eggs instead of just egg whites. I have also doubled the quantities, because there are never enough.

50 g black raisins
30 g flour
130 g caster sugar
30 g ground almonds
a pinch each of ginger, cinnamon, cloves and mace
1 00 g unsalted butter
2 tbsp honey
4 large egg whites or 2 whole eggs, beaten

Preheat the oven to 180 °C (gas mark 4). Soak the raisins in hot water for 20 minutes. Mix all the dry ingredients except the raisins together in a bowl. Melt the butter with the honey. Cool slightly, then add to the dry ingredients. Beat together in an electric mixer. Gradually add the beaten eggs until well mixed. Ideally chill the mixture for 30 minutes at this stage, though I have omitted this without major disaster. Chill a nine- or twelve-mould madeleine sheet. Brush the moulds with melted butter, dust with flour, shaking out any excess, and scatter the drained raisins over the bases. Spoon in half the mixture, and bake for 15-20 minutes, checking after 10 minutes, until golden and just firm to touch. Repeat with the other half of the mixture.

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