Turning sweet into savory: basil olive oil and taleggio madeleines

Basel olive oil and cheese madeleinesEverybody is familiar with madeleines, the extraordinary, shell-shaped French small sponge cakes with crispy edges and a moist and soft interior texture to die for. They are very popular in my house and we love eating them for breakfast or for an afternoon tea.

However, who said that those beauties only belong to sweetland?

Madeleines can be turned into a wonderful, savory appetizer in a matter of just a few steps. They can be prepared ahead of time and you can be sure that they will amaze your cocktail party guests, giving your party kind of a sophisticated edge.

These madeleines can even be a great snack for kids (Her Majesty loves them! 🙂 ), one where you can “hide” some of the ingredients children are not so crazy about and still get away with it. 😉

Well, here are the steps:


2 eggs
4 Tbsp, grated parmigiano
1/3 cup, shredded taleggio cheese
A little less of 1 cup, flour (100 grams)
2 1/2 Tsp, baking powder
1/4 cup, basil olive oil
5 Tbsp, butter melted
6 Tbsp, milk
10 basil small leaves, shredded (optional)
Pepper (optional)

Basel olive oil and cheese madeleinesDirections:

Preheat oven to 325F. 

In the bowl of a stand mixer, place the eggs, the parmesan and the taleggio cheese and mix until they are blended. Add the flour, the baking powder, a pinch of salt, some pepper (to taste) and mix. Add the olive oil and beat until the oil is completely blended. Add the melted butter and, if you decide to do so, the basil leaves and mix for a few minutes. Finally, add the milk and mix until well blended. Stop and scrape the bowl.

Place the batter into the greased and floured molds of a madeleines pan. Bake the madeleines for 15 to 18 minutes or until they are golden and spring back when you touch them. With the help of a knife, remove the madeleines from the pan and place them on a rack to cool before serving them. 

Basel olive oil and cheese madeleinesJust a few more words of advice. The combination of flavors and ingredients that can go into these savory madeleines is truly endless. You can go from plain extravirgin olive oil (that’s what I use when I make these madeleines for Her Majesty) to garlic oil, truffle oil or chili pepper oil. As to the cheese, taleggio is meant to be just a suggestion. Pick the cheese you like the most. Just make sure that it melts nicely and evenly in the oven. You can also give these yummy shells a tasting boost by adding some “meat” such as bacon, pancetta, salame, speck, ham or prosciutto bits. You can even add some vegetables such as zucchini and the herbs you love the most.

Simply unleash your creativity and surprise your family and friends with these lovely madeleines.   

Talk to you soon! 🙂 


About Francesca

I am a cook and the founder and art director of Flora's Table, the fine cooking and wine blog. Check us out at www.florastable.com :-)
This entry was posted in Recipes and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

59 Responses to Turning sweet into savory: basil olive oil and taleggio madeleines

  1. How wonderful. Taleggio is one of my favourite cheeses too so I’m sure I’d love these.

  2. Darya says:

    These sound wonderful. I love taleggio, but all your other suggestions sound equally appealing!

  3. Oh Francesca, I absolutely love madeleines! They’re fairly difficult to find in bakeries here in Ann Arbor and I’ve been thinking about buying a pan to try and make some. How creative to put a savory twist on them! I’m sure the basil, cheese, and olive oil go together perfectly for a wonderful combination. Thank you for sharing 🙂

    • Francesca says:

      My pleasure, Heather! I can’t believe you don’t have a madeleine pan. If there is someone who can nail these little beauties it is you! Tomorrow is Saturday. Time for some shopping? 😉

  4. Raaaah sweet and savory… Sucré et salé en français. Tonight, I’ll go into bed a bit more intelligent ! 🙂 thanks to you 🙂

  5. I dare not bake Madeleines as they have a spell on them that makes them disappear within an hour of coming out of the oven, I fear these might have that same spell but, just to see I will be giving them a try!

  6. Looks wonderful…I’m all for hiding all sorts of lovely ingredients 😉

  7. Serena says:

    Wow! They look scrumptious! I have to make something savory for a group brunch and these may just hit the spot!

  8. Mary says:

    Sounds and looks delicious.

  9. Brilliant!! LOVE this! Now I’m heading out to buy a Madeleine pan!! Wonderful post!!

  10. Your posts are always such an inspiration! 🙂

  11. Karen says:

    What a terrific savory treat…especially prepared with taleggio.

  12. If Marcel Proust had eaten these, A La Recherche du Temps perdu would have been twice as long… They sound delicious. Save me one next time you make them!

  13. milkandbun says:

    It reminds me savoury muffins))) I didn’t know that madeleines could be savoury too; love the idea and your suggestion, Francesca.
    I wish I could have several right now with a cup of tea;)

  14. Wow, Francesca, those savory madeleines are amazing, never thought of that before. Love all the flavors. Would be so lovely with cheese and fruit!

  15. Good idea! They look yummy 🙂

  16. I absolutely love madeleines, and I’m sure I love these savory ones too! I don’t know much about cheese varieties. I have to check out taleggio. Gorgeous photos, and I love how you serve them. 😛

  17. wow Francesca! your madeleines are perfect! I’ve baked savoury madeleines with polenta, I’ll try your recipe with Taleggio, since it’s always worth!

  18. chef mimi says:

    These look absolutely beautiful and delicious! I just had Taleggio for the first time recently, which really surprised me. I’ve been all over Italy, mostly the northern parts, and had never come across it!

  19. Hello Francesca, now I have to confess I have heard of savoury madeleines so thank you for sharing this recipe and the advice about other possible combinations. I have an underused (very!) madeleine tray that I really should use more often. Have a good weekend. 😉

  20. oops the comment should read – I have never heard of savoury madeleines …

  21. This is pretty freakin’ genius….and my next party snack.

  22. Dina says:

    What a delicious, mouthwatering post, Francesca! Savoury madeleines, well I never heard about them before and the Taleggio cheese is new to me as well. I’ve made a mental note to get some and I’ll definitely try this recipe on Siri and Selma when I get to Cley in a short fortnight.
    Have a lovely weekend, all four of you! 🙂
    Dina xo

  23. Oh you are naughty, you are soooo naughty! You are going to drive I don’t know how many readers to rush for the ingredients and bake these savoury madeleines and just gobble up the lot! Don’t you know summer is not far away? We need to start shedding some pounds? Oh who cares … pass the madeleines … 🙂

    • Francesca says:

      I know, I know! Summer is just around the corner but we still have a couple of months to put our bikini on. Soooo … enjoy one or two … what damage can they do? 😉

  24. Joséphine says:

    Délicieuse cette recette !

  25. Sylvie says:

    C est vraiment une idee delicieuse!

  26. ChgoJohn says:

    Francesca, these sound absolutely fantastic! I much prefer savory over sweet and these madeleines, with a good amount of cheese, would be heaven-sent. What a great idea and recipe. Thanks for sharing.

  27. I’ve never tried savoury Madeleine’s but I really must as these look absolutely fab! 🙂

  28. laurasmess says:

    This is a fantastic idea! I have missed so much goodness on your blog Francesca, I’m enjoying this ‘backtrack’ through your delicious posts. We’re having friends over on the weekend and I definitely want to try these beauties. I have some olive oil that I’ve been infusing in the kitchen (basil and lemon) so I will try both variations of madeleines. Delicious idea!

    • Francesca says:

      Thank you, Laura! Your olive oils sound perfect. I’m intrigued by the lemon infused one. Must be divine. Hope you and your friends will like them.
      Have a great, super-fun weekend!

  29. Liz says:

    Savoury is the way to go. I enjoy savoury recipes more!

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