Photography by Jacqui Turk
We get it – not everyone has the chance to don a hat (or fascinator, or crown) and head to the races for Melbourne Cup Day. But even if you’re planning a more sedate day at home, it can still be gorgeous – and delicious – as this afternoon tea spread by Williams-Sonoma and Sydney bakery Flour and Stone shows.
Gather a few friends, bake some treats inspired by Flour and Stone’s delectable offerings , open a bottle of bubbly, pop the kettle on, and pick your winner.
The simplest and fastest thing to prepare from this stunning spread are those Williams-Sonoma signatures: madeleines. We’ve featured a recipe here before for classic madeleines, but these lemon ones are tangy, spring-inspired and utterly, utterly moreish.
Have the batter ready to go in the fridge, and whip these up while your guests wait – they take less than 10 minutes to cook in their specially shaped pan. And no one will mind if your other cakes are store-bought, especially if that store is Flour and Stone!
Styling tip: For a grown-up gathering like Melbourne Cup, keep colours neutral and decorations to a minimum. Let the natural beauty of the wholesome ingredients shine through on the cakes (leave the sprinkles and colourings to the kids’ parties), and complement with natural textures like wooden boards and hessian textiles.
Cheat’s tip: for the non-bakers or time-poor still looking for a homemade option, you could always pick up a luxe cake mix from Williams-Sonoma; they’re specially designed to be work with the Nordic Ware Bundt pans, giving great pattern definition and easy release.
- ½ cup (75g) cake flour (or plain white flour)
- ½ tsp baking powder
- 2 whole eggs plus 1 egg yolk
- 1/3 cup (90g) caster sugar
- Pinch of salt
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp finely grated lemon zest
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 4 tbsp (60g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- Icing sugar for dusting (optional)
Preheat an oven to 200°C. Using a pastry brush, heavily brush melted butter over each of the 12 moulds in a madeleine pan, carefully buttering every ridge. Dust the moulds with flour, tilting the pan to coat the surfaces evenly. Turn the pan upside down and tap it gently to dislodge the excess flour.
In a small bowl, sift together the flour and baking powder twice. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat together the whole eggs and egg yolk, the caster sugar and salt on high speed until pale, thick and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium, add the vanilla, lemon zest and lemon juice and beat until combined, about 30 seconds.
Sprinkle the flour mixture over the egg mixture and, using a rubber spatula, gently fold in until just incorporated. Pour in the melted butter along the side of the bowl and gently fold in until incorporated.
Divide the batter among the prepared moulds, using a heaping 1½ tbsp batter for each mould. Bake the madeleines until the tops spring back when lightly touched, 7 to 9 minutes.
Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 2 minutes. Using a small spatula, gently release the madeleines, place on the rack and let cool for 10 minutes. Using a fine-mesh sieve, dust the tops with icing sugar and serve.
Makes 12 madeleines.