This delicate Southern twist on the traditional French sponge cake is one of our favorite hostess gifts. Light and airy, and not too sweet, they'd have Proust swooning "Lawdamercy."
The traditional shiny heavy-gauge, tinned steel madeleine pan, which makes one dozen 3- x 2-inch madeleines, yields the prettiest results. (Dark nonstick versions tend to over-brown.) Look for shiny pans in bake shops, or order online from bakeandcookco.com ($17.95) or amazon.com. To prevent over-browning if you do use a dark nonstick madeleine pan, wrap the bottom of the pan with a sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil, shiny side out.