The Simple Luxury That Follows Every Meal At Daniel Boulud's Restaurant

Restauranter and chef, Daniel Boulud has become known for finishing elaborate tasting menus with servings of fresh madeleines. "The simplest thing is the thing people remember the most. The madeleine is one of the things people crave — it doesn't matter how young or old you are," Boulud writes in Mensbook. For Boulud, the madeleine is the perfect, universal cookie that delivers the right amount of sweetness after a satisfying meal.

The simple dessert has been offered at Boulud's Michelin-ranked Daniel since 1993. After feasting on exquisitely prepared meals, diners are presented the French pastries and offered additional cookies to carry home. The cookies arrive at dining tables warm as if they've just been taken out of a hot oven. "While I may not remember some of the dishes I ate at Daniel, the mini madeleines are etched in my memory," gushes blogger Michael Fei. "Even when I was full after eating all the courses, I could always still devour several mini madeleines."

Elegant desserts with lasting impressions

Fragrant and soft, with a delicate crust fashioned like a scallop shell, madeleines don't need much to stand out. While some might lay the toppings on thick with whipped cream and strawberries, Boulud's madeleines surprise diners with their simplicity — served dusted with powdered sugar, nestled inside an oragami-esque arrangement of napkins. 

Toward the tail end of pastry chef Dominique Ansel's tenure at Daniel's, at the same time Ansel was opening his own bakery, madeleines were a signature treat at these establishments and remain top sellers for both. When served warm, madeleines provide a taste of buttery comfort, transforming the environment of an award-winning restaurant into something that feels as familiar as home. Boulud encourages at-home chefs to consider contrasts when serving madeleines, suggesting pairing these deliciously sweet cookies with a bottle of bubbles or Ruinart Blanc de Blancs to emphasize the beautiful simplicity of the delicate dessert.