Anybody who knows me knows that I absolutely LOVE sakura season in Japan. There really is nothing else in the world like it. For a very brief period of time, the entire city of Tokyo becomes a soft pink wonderland. The “mankai” or fully bloomed period usually only lasts a couple of days, which makes the experience all the more special. If you’ve never seen sakura (cherry blossoms) in person, I highly recommend traveling to Japan in the spring. If unable to travel to Japan, there are also sakura trees in Seattle, WA and Washington DC (that I know of!).
Sakura desserts are also very popular in Japan during the spring season. Sakura desserts can be enjoyed throughout the year by preserving the sakura blossoms in salt. I had actually never used preserved sakura in my baking before, until my Aunty Wallis gave me a bag of salted sakura blossoms. I had received Organic matcha from her husband (my Uncle Dennis), and since sakura and matcha pair so well together, I decided to make Sakura Matcha Madeleines. I researched some recipes online and came across one from the Japanese recipe website cookpad. The recipe included making half the batch with sakura powder, but since I didn’t have access to any, I made all of the batter with just matcha.
The first step to making these madeleines is to soak the salted sakura in water to remove some of the salt in the blossoms.
Next, prepare the madeleine pan by brushing some melted butter into each mold and then putting the pan in the freezer.
In a large bowl, add your cake flour, baking powder, sugar, and matcha powder.
In a separate small bowl, add the egg and honey and beat with a whisk. Once mixed, add your egg mixture to the flour mixture and mix with the whisk.
Once mixed, add your melted butter to the bowl and mix until combined.
Once batter is ready, cover bowl and let the batter rest in the refrigerator for 1 – 2 hours (I did 2).
Meanwhile, remove the sakura blossoms from the water bowl, and dry with a paper towel.
Preheat oven to 356 F (180 C). Take your madeleine pan from the freezer and place 1 blossom in each cavity.
Pour a spoonful of batter into each cavity and bake for 10 minutes.
Remove madeleines and allow to cool on a baking rack. These madeleines are sweet and buttery but have a wonderful floral fragrance and just a hint of saltiness from the preserved sakura. Enjoy!
Makes 12 Madeleines
- 1 Egg
- 2 Tbsp Honey
- 6 Tbsp Cake Flour
- 3/4 tsp Baking Powder
- 3 Tbsp Granulated Sugar
- 3 Tbsp Butter melted (plus 1-2 Tbsp for madeleine pan)
- 1/2 tsp Matcha Powder
- 12 Salted Sakura blossoms
- Add sakura blossoms to a bowl of water to remove salt.
- Prepare madeleine pan by brushing each cavity with melted butter and placing pan in the freezer.
- In a large bowl, add cake flour, baking powder, sugar, and matcha powder and whisk.
- In a small bowl, add 1 egg and honey and beat with whisk.
- Add your egg and honey to the flour mixture and mix with whisk.
- Once mixed, add melted butter to the batter. Cover bowl of batter and let rest in fridge for 1 – 2 hours.
- Pre-heat oven to 356 degrees F (180 C).
- Take sakura blossoms out of the water and dry with paper towels. Once dried, add one blossom to each cavity of the madeleine pan.
- Add about a spoonful of batter to each cavity, making sure to add an even amount to each cavity.
- Bake for 10 minutes.
- Remove madeleines from pan and allow to cool on cooling rack, ridge side down.
- Enjoy! Madeleines are best enjoyed the day of.