How to Make Perfect Madeleines, According to Great British Bake Off’s Martha Collison
The youngest-ever GBBO contestant’s go-to recipe.
Martha Collison, baking wunderkind, wants you to get more creative with your cookies.
As with many Great British Bake Off alums, Collison's baking influence hasn’t waned since her 2014 turn on the hit BBC show. The Series 5 quarterfinalist—known for her prim, pleasant demeanor and charming bakes—has continued to spread the baking gospel on her blog and in her weekly Waitrose Weekend column. And now she’s written a book, packed with new takes on old favorites. Did we mention that she just turned 20?
Martha’s cookbook debut comes stateside on June 6 with the U.S. release of Twist: Creative Ideas to Reinvent Your Baking. And keep a look out for the July U.K. release of her sophomore collection—Crave: Brilliantly Indulgent Recipes.
The themes of Twist echo Martha’s ethos on Great British Bake Off—building a mastery of basic technique and classic recipes, and then improvising on this solid foundation. One recipe that proves to be a great canvas for creativity: Martha’s simple signature madeleines. These light cakes, local to the Lorraine region of France, are said to be named after the cook who invented them—though the identity of the real Madeleine has been lost to history. To attain the traditional shape, the airy batter is baked in distinctive shell-shaped molds—then topped with a vanilla glaze to finish. Don’t feel bad if they disappear quickly; Martha advises that “madeleines are best served as fresh as possible.”
These simple cakes are delicious on their own, but also easy to riff on: supplement them with herbs, spices and citrus zests, or get inventive with different syrups and glazes (in the book, she offers a twist inspired by Neapolitan ice cream, featuring freeze-dried strawberries). Says Martha, “When I ﬁrst came across these shell-shaped cakes, I didn’t think they were anything special. I could not have been more wrong!”
Twist: Creative Ideas to Reinvent Your Baking by Martha Collison, $22 on amazon.com