I love clipping recipes. I paste them onto pages of a three-ring binder and file them into detailed categories, arranging them just right so they fit together on a page. I have so many clipped recipes that what started out as one binder in 1993 has become three, so full of recipes that I may have to opt for a fourth. Those cookbooks gave this blog its name. They’re a treasure.

Occasionally when I find I’ve clipped a recipe for one that’s already in my book, I’ll do a bake-off to determine which one to keep. I make both at the same time and then compare them side by side. The winner gets a prized place in my cookbook, along with a notation that it won the contest.

One of these bake-off winners is these madeleines, little tasty cakes that are perfect to have alongside a cup of tea or coffee. I think I actually compared three recipes on the day of the bake-off in August 2007, and this one came out on top.

Makes 24-30
125g/4 oz. unsalted butter, melted
3 medium eggs, plus 1 yolk
125g/4 oz. granulated sugar
1 Tbsp. orange flower water
Pinch of salt
125g/4 oz. plain flour, sifted
Icing/powdered sugar to serve

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Use butter to grease madeleine trays or tins.

Put the eggs, yolk, sugar, orange flower water and salt into a large bowl and, using a hand whisk, beat until creamy and thick. Whisk in the rest of the butter, then use a large spoon to fold in the flour.

Spoon the mixture into the molds, half filling them, and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden and turning brown on the edges.

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