These little sweet french treats come from the Lorraine region in northeast France. They are baked in pans with shell-shaped depressions that gives them this typical look after baking. Traditional recipes include very finely ground nuts, usually almonds. A variation uses lemon zest, for a pronounced lemony taste. These cakes were either "born" in the 19th century and named after a the pastry cook Madeline Paulmier, other sources say that Madeline Paulmier was a cook in the 18th century for Stanislaw Leszczynski, whose son-in-law, Louis XV of France, named them for her. But either way they are delicious.
Here is my version of these sweet little treats.
1 tsp baking powder
50g grounded almonds
2 tsps neroli (orange flavor - Orangenblüten wasser)
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
Soften the butter then mix with the flour. Add the eggs one at a time and mix well between adding the next egg with a wooden spoon. Now addd the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
The dough needs to be cooled for at least 1 hour in the fridge before you start again.
In the meantime preheat the oven to 200°C (395°F) and prepare the cake pan. The shell-shaped depressions will then be half filled with the cooled dough. Bake for 10-15 minutes in the top of the oven.
Cool on a rack.
Note: If you would like to try the lemon variation - use instead of the orange water and vanilla extract zest of a lemon and juice.