1/2 cup (1 stick; 115g) unsalted butter
(plus another 2 tablespoons for the pan)
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup (115g) sifted all-purpose flour
1 tsp. lavender, plus more for decorating
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 oz. white chocolate, chopped
Melt the butter in microwave or stovestop, then add lavender and let steep 5 minutes; strain and set aside to slightly cool as you prepare the rest of the batter.
Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment (didn’t notice a difference using either one), beat the eggs and sugar together on high speed for at least 8 minutes. The mixture will be thick, pale, and form ribbons when you lift the beater(s). Beat in the lemon zest and vanilla extract until combined. (The remaining ingredients are mixed together by hand; you no longer need the mixer.)
Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a small bowl. Using a spatula or wooden spoon, gently fold into egg mixture. I suggest carefully folding the flour mixture in one half at a time, as opposed to dumping it in all at once. Make sure you’re handling this batter with care. It’s delicate.
Stir 1/4 cup of the batter into the melted butter. It will take a minute to fully incorporate. Then stir that into the rest of the batter. The batter will be thick, silky, and shiny.
Cover the batter and chill in the refrigerator for 30-60 minutes. Be mindful of the time as the butter in the batter will begin to solidify after 60 minutes.
During the last few minutes of chilling, preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C).
Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the pan with melted butter. I find that greasing the pan is necessary even if you’re using a nonstick pan. Avoid any chance of sticking.
The batter will be quite airy and spongy after resting. This is good! Do not try to deflate it. Spoon 1 generous tablespoon of batter into the center of each scalloped well. No need to spread it to the edges; just plop it in the center. (Cover and refrigerate remaining batter if you do not have 2 madeleine pans to bake the batter all at once.)
Bake for 10-12 minutes. The madeleines are done when the tops spring back after lightly pressed with your finger. Invert the pan onto the counter. Transfer the warm madeleines to a wire rack to cool. Melt chocolate per package directions. Dip half of each madeleine in chocolate, then sprinkle with lavender and let set.
Madeleines are best enjoyed right after baking, so I don’t have any make-ahead tips. They dry out quickly; I find baked and covered madeleines lose their texture even after one day!