This humble weed has been making waves in the Kbeauty scene recently but they have been used for centuries in Korea and Japan in traditional cuisine as well as herbal preparations. Here’s a modern take on Mugwort cakes that is simple and delicious!
I absolutely love making madeleines. These little shell shaped sponge cakes are super easy to prepare and I usually make a batch ahead of time whenever I know I have guests coming over in the afternoon. They are delicious and plated nicely, make a lovely centerpiece for a quiet afternoon tea.
Now, if you are a fan of Matcha (Green Tea) then you absolutely have to try this Mugwort Madeleine recipe. Known as Suuk in Korea or Yomogi in Japan, Mugwort is a type of herb and a traditional ingredient that’s been used in cooking for centuries but it has recently made an appearance in dessert shops all over Seoul.
These Mugwort Madeleines have a slight bitter sweet flavour with slight hints of cocoa and tea. If this is your first time tasting Mugwort then you might find the flavours a little unfamiliar but I promise you that the taste of these delicious little cakes will grow on you!
Mugwort is an aromatic plant that has a sage like flavour. It grows widely in the Northern Hemisphere but here in South East Asia, it’s a lot less common. You can still easily get them dried or in powdered form from Japanese and Korean marts. Even local bake shops are starting to carry them which is where I got mine from.
Legend has it that Mugwort helps enhance the vividness of dreams and wards off fatigue and evil. While I am not sure how much truth there is in that, it is probably advisable that women who are pregnant should avoid consuming Mugwort as it stimulates blood flow around the uterus and eases menstruation.
What You'll Need
- 100g Unsalted Butter
- 80g Plain Flour
- 20g Mugwort Powder
- 3g Salt
- 3g Baking Powder
- 2 Eggs
- 80g Sugar
- 20g Honey
- 20g Milk
- 1 tab Vanilla extract
How To Make These Mugwort Madeleines
1. Melt the butter. We’ll be incorporating it into the batter later. You can either use a microwave or melt it in a small pot over medium heat. I like lightly browning the butter as it adds a wonderful nutty depth of flavour.
You can easily do this by heating and stirring the butter occasionally till it turns a light caramel colour. Once done, transfer it to a bowl and let it cool.
2. Next, you’ll want to beat the eggs and sugar together in a bowl. Add the honey, vanilla and milk and mix in all well before moving on to the next step.
3. Sift the flour, Mugwort powder, salt, and baking powder into the wet ingredients then combine them by gently folding the ingredients in. At this point, it’s important to treat your batter with care as you don’t want to pop all the tiny bubbles that will make your madeleine light and fluffy.
4. Finally, drizzle the melted butter into your batter and fold until combined well, then leave the batter to rest for at least 2 hours in the fridge and you’re done! To save you some time, you might want to melt about two tablespoons of butter to brush your Madeleine pans with later.
5. Preheat oven to 170°C (338°F). Place about one tablespoon of the chilled batter in each well oiled, shell-shaped depression then bake for around 14 minutes. The edges will get golden and slightly crisp and the centers should spring back if lightly pressed lightly.
Let the madeleines cool in the pans for a few minutes before removing them to cool completely before serving. You can bake them ahead of time but I like how the aromas fill the kitchen and living room and I like serving them slightly warm so I usually start baking only when I want to serve them.
This easy madeleine recipe is both easy and delicious and will add some variety to those lazy weekend afternoon teas. They also keep really well and I sometimes slip one into my children’s lunch boxes as an afternoon treat.
About the writer
Hong Lyeon, a native South Korean, is the founder of Asian Beauty X and our resident beauty expert. She enjoys sharing her experiences, tips and reviews, and skin-loving recipes and when she's not telling the rest of us what to do, she has been known to cook up a mean storm.