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Madeleines with mandarin, raw cacao & wattleseed

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This recipe came out of thinking about what to do with mandarin peels, of which I have a lot, as my boys are obsessed with eating just in season delicious juicy mandarins from the local markets. They are so sweet and good they are almost instantly eaten as soon as they arrive at home. Madeleines – small French cakes made in the shape of a shell – have finely grated peel in them – usually lemon and lime. I remembered a recipe from Gourmet Traveller that had chocolate and orange. My twist on this orange chocolate – jaffa flavour – has the advantage of using up mandarin peels and brings mandarin together with raw cacao and wattleseed. The slightly bitter sweet, aromatic mandarin peel is gorgeous with the rich intensity of raw cacao and the sweet nutty chocolate-coffee flavour of wattleseed. My madeleines are also gluten free – using almond meal and arrowroot flour with cultured butter, coconut sugar and organic eggs. These madeleines are delicious served with wattleseed coffee. I’m hoping that if you try them you will find them as enticing as Proust who famously wrote about the evocative memory these small cakes could stir. Find your own sensual memory of the flavours of the beautiful shell patterned cakes flavoured with mandarin, chocolate and wattleseed: warming you up and keeping you cosy as Australian winter begins.


Madeleines with mandarin, raw cacao & wattleseed

Print Recipe
Serves: 36 cakes Cooking Time: 1 hour (30 minutes preparation and 30 minutes cooking)


  • 3 organic eggs
  • ½ cup coconut sugar
  • Finely grated zest of 1 large or 2 small mandarins
  • ½ cup almond meal
  • 3/8 cup arrowroot flour
  • ¼ cup raw cacao, plus 1 tablespoon for dusting when cooled if desired
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons melted and cooled cultured butter, plus one extra tablespoon for greasing the madeleine tray
  • ½ teaspoon ground wattleseed, plus more for sprinkling once cooled if you like
  • Seeds scaped from one vanilla pod



Preheat oven to 200 degrees C


Melt butter and set aside to cool


Grease the madeleine tray very liberally with melted butter – if the cakes stick you lose the lovely shell patterns so the secret is to really grease your tin well including the tops of the tin and the insides of the moulds


Mix eggs, coconut sugar, peel, wattleseed and vanilla with a hand beater or mixer until light and creamy – you will notice there is a change in consistency – the mixture becomes lighter, thicker and glossier as more air is incorporated


Sift the flours and raw cacao and baking powder together – be careful to remove any lumps as the cakes are very delicate and light


Fold in the flours and the melted butter to the egg mixture with a spoon – avoid over mixing so you allow the batter to remain light and airy


Fill the madeleine tray with mixture – it’s best to underfill each shell slightly as the mix will expand as it is cooking – if you fill them to the top they will overflow and then they are more likely to stick to the top of the tray


Cook for 8-10 minutes – the cakes are ready when you lightly press the centres and they spring back slightly, and when the edges are just pulling away from the moulds


Cool on a wire rack


Clean the madeleine moulds and repeat the process – they are tricky to completely dry, so I like to use a clean tea towel and then pop back in the hot oven for a couple of minutes to remove any remaining drops of water and then liberally grease with butter before using again


You can dust the cakes with raw cacao and ground wattleseed or eat them as is – they are delicious either way


Enjoy with wattleseed coffee and fresh mandarins – save the rind to make more cakes!


I used Pepe Saya cultured butter. I sourced my Herbies spices Wattleseed from Essential Ingredient Rozelle. Inspired by Chocolate and candied-orange madeleines Gourmet Traveller (Rodney Dunn: July 1, 2008). Gourmet Traveller have a great madeleines section if you are looking for further inspiration.

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