Madeleine de Proust makes a splash

Madeleine de Proust makes a splash

Perfect French madeleine cookies, buttery and delicate, powdered with icing sugar. (Madeleine de Proust)

Madeleine de Proust, which sells (you guessed it!) madeleines (among other things), is bringing the taste of nostalgia back to Melbourne.

The concept for the bakery is the brainchild of HyoJu Park, a South Korean-born baker who has always had a penchant for madeleines. As a young child in South Korea, HyoJu grew up watching pastry chefs bake madeleines on TV, which was how her foray into the world of pastry began.

After working at the Langham Hotel in London, Mingles in Seoul, and taking the position of head pastry chef at Attica in Melbourne, HyoJu and her partner Rong Yao Soh are set to launch on a new venture: Madeleine de Proust.

The bakery opened for orders on Instagram at the end of January, but there are plans in the works for an eventual shopfront in Melbourne.

The name comes from a common French expression that has its roots in the writings of Marcel Proust. In his book Swann’s Way, Proust writes about the nostalgic experience of sharing madeleines with his mother, which reminded him strongly of his childhood. In France, a madeleine de Proust describes a smell, taste, sound, or sensation that evokes memories of childhood or other emotional memories from long ago.

This is what HyoJu and Rong Yao hope to create with their baked goods.

“We are creating madeleines that can make people share the joys of childhood,” Rong Yao told Broadsheet.

There will be a heavy focus on classic flavours at the bakery. However, HyoJu and Rong are keen to put their own innovative spin on them; so there will be offerings with an Asian influence, such as having yuzu or pandan fillings.

The search for a bricks-and-mortar store is underway, with the couple keen to set up shop as soon as they find something.

“When we have the shopfront in the near future, we will be offering warm vanilla and milk-chocolate madeleines, which will be baked freshly every 30 minutes,” said Rong Yao.

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