The HTC Chef

Hotel Voice, Fall 2023

HTC Pastry Chef Maria Lopez of the Sofitel comes from a family of bakers. As a teenager, she took courses on baking and opened her own bakery in Cuenca, Ecuador at just 17 years old.

Maria later continued her culinary journey in the United States, studying at the New York Restaurant School for 2 years and securing a job at the Doral Hotel. In 2001, Maria became a proud Union member at the Sofitel. “The Union has made me secure and stable at work — it’s the benefits, the healthcare and retirement, and it’s not easy for management to fire us.”

Maria’s cooking philosophy is giving 100% effort into the quality, texture, and consistency of everything she makes. She is incredibly passionate about desserts, which is why she chose to share her madeleine recipe with the Hotel Voice.

Recently, Maria has been conscientious about the sugar levels in her desserts and started crafting her own recipes using less sugar. She would make her madeleines every day if she could. It brings her joy that this dessert is loved by those she makes it for: her coworkers, her grandchildren, and herself. As for the preparation; Maria follows the classic wet and dry method.

Chocolate-covered madeleines

By Maria Lopez, Pastry Chef at the Sofitel


  • 6 eggs
  • 240 grams plain yogurt
  • 350 grams granulated sugar
  • 350 grams melted butter
  • 400 grams all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Lemon or orange zest
  • Equipment: Madeleine pan (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, yogurt, sugar, vanilla extract, and lemon zest together. Mix in the melted butter.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the flour and baking powder. Sift in 50 grams of sugar.
  4. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined.
  5. Scoop the mixture into a piping bag and squeeze the batter into the madeleine molds. If you don't have a madeleine pan, you can pipe lines of pastry dough onto a tray lined with parchment paper.
  6. Bake at 375 F for 8 minutes, then lower temperature to 350F and continue baking
    until madeleines are golden brown.
  7. Allow madeleines to cool completely.
  8. Dip madeleines into melted chocolate and sift powdered sugar on top.