½cupvery finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (about 1 oz),or another finely grated, strongly flavored cheese, such as Comté, Gruyère, or Emmental
¼cupvery finely chopped pitted black olives, such as Niçoises,or green olives (see variation ideas in the Note, below)
In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and pepper; set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs and sugar together for 3 minutes, or until the eggs are pale and fluffy. Whisk in the olive oil. Using a spatula, add the reserved dry ingredients a third at a time, folding between each addition until just incorporated. Fold in the grated cheese and chopped olives, mixing just until the flavorings are well distributed. Cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate the batter for 30 minutes to 1 hour, or up to overnight.
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly grease a madeleine pan with cooking spray; use a brush to make sure the oil gets into every nook and cranny. Sprinkle with flour then tap out the excess. Place the pan in the freezer for 10 minutes.
Take the prepared mold out of the freezer. Take the batter out of the fridge. Using a spatula, gently mix the batter to remove excess bubbles that may have formed while the batter was resting. Fill each shell-shaped cavity with about 1 heaping tablespoon of batter (the cavities should be about three-quarters full). Return the remaining batter to the fridge.
Bake until the madeleines are puffed and golden, about 12 minutes. Unmold as soon as you take the madeleines out of the oven by turning the mold upside down and banging one side on a work surface. Gently coax uncooperative madeleines out with the tip of a butter knife. Let the madeleines cool on a wire rack.
To bake the remaining madeleines, run the madeleine mold under cold running water to make it easier to handle. Clean it, lightly grease again, and return to the freezer for 10 minutes. Fill with more madeleine batter and bake as indicated.
SERVING: Serve the savory madeleines warm, or at room temperature.
STORAGE: Store baked savory madeleines in an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 1 month. To return the madeleines to their freshly baked flavor and texture, rewarm in 300°F (150°C) for 5–8 minutes.
NOTE: You can substitute a variety of ingredients for the chopped olives: prepared tapenade, pesto, finely chopped fresh herbs (basil, Italian parsley, oregano, thyme, and so on), cooked pancetta or bacon, chopped finely, or lemon zest. You can even combine flavorings. Whatever you choose, make sure to make it a total amount of 1/4 cup (60 ml) as stated in the recipe to avoid weighing down the savory madeleine batter.
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