I couldn't have been more wrong.
We begin (as I prefer) with an obscure and irreplaceable pan.
You cannot make a madeleine without a madeleine pan. Facts are facts.
(They're easy to find though, and worth the wait.)
(This will make 12.)
5 Tablespoons of the finest unsalted butter you can find
2 Tablespoon organic lavender flowers
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup pastry flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
Melt the butter over low heat and stir in the lavender. Let the flowers steep fifteen minutes. Strain well and set the butter aside.
With your fingertips (and pent-up aggression) vigorously work the lemon zest into the sugar. (I like this step, although it might be slightly less than necessary.)
Beat the eggs with the zest and sugar until thick, lemony yellow and light. Add the honey and vanilla, beating for another minute or so.
Now, gently fold the sifted dry ingredients into the eggs and sugar. (Starting now, we're handling this batter as a delicate emotional flower whose fragile ego and final texture require a gentle touch.)
Last, fold the liquid lavender butter into the batter and stop stirring as soon as it's combined. Press a piece of plastic wrap to the surface of the batter and put it in the refrigerator. It needs a nap, or preferably a good night's rest. (I make the batter at night and bake it in the morning.)
When you're ready to bake, preheat your oven to a toasty 400.° Butter your tins (I cannot stress the BUTTER here enough) and flour. Tap out the excess, and divide the batter equally. Give them 12 minutes to start, and don't exceed 14.
Cool briefly in the pans, and tap them out onto a rack to cool completely.
Don't you feel elegant?
Children love them. So do adults. So did Proust. You'll be in good company with these sweets.