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Petite, sponge–like cakes baked in ribbed, scallop–shaped cake moulds. They vary in size and are usually flavoured with lemon or vanilla. The madeleine was immortalized by the French novelist Marcel Proust for whom the taste of one dunked in tea unlocked the flood of memories that led to his three–volume work of genius, Remembrance of Things Past. It is thought that they may have been named after Madeleine Palmier, a French pastry cook in Commercy during the nineteenth century, a place with which they are still associated.