Thursday, 5 January 2012

Canelés

And so here we are in 2012. Let me start by apologising in advance for any gaps in postings during the coming year – sadly, I may not have the opportunity to do as much cooking as I’d like. For the moment, though, there are a few recipes from last year that I want to tell you about. First of all, I must finally get around to posting my canelé recipe.

Canelés can be problematical. There’s even disagreement about how to spell the word. Should there be a double ‘n’? (I stand by the spelling used by la Confrérie du Canelé de Bordeaux who officially shunned the extra ‘n’ in the 1980s.) Then there are the purists who insist that to make canelés you should only ever use purpose-made copper moulds and line them with beeswax. 

So, if they’re problematical, why do I bother to make them? Simply because if you get them anywhere near right, then they’re fantastic. If you’ve never tried one, then imagine something like a really good crème brûlée in cake form. They’re great for breakfast, afternoon tea or dessert. The smaller ones also make excellent nibbles alongside sparkling or, best of all, sweet wines. In my opinion, they’re nicest served slightly warm.
Canelés
This simplified version of the recipe is easy enough to put together, but you do have to start the day before you want to bake the canelés, because the dough needs to rest for at least 24 hours. It’s a sort of pancake batter cooked like a cake, really.  The only tricky bit is getting the baking right. Canelés need to have a caramelised, slightly crisp exterior and a soft, creamy (but not raw) interior. I make mine in silicone moulds and, although I use the authentic shape, any suitably sized cake moulds will do at a pinch. I fill the moulds around three-quarters full and I use two sizes of mould: the small canelés use around 20ml of batter when three-quarters full and the larger use around 55ml. This amount will make about 45 small or 16 larger canelés.

500 ml full-fat milk
40 g butter
1½ tsp vanilla extract or paste or 1 – 2 vanilla pods
110 g plain flour, sieved
200 g castor sugar
2 eggs plus 2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
100 ml dark rum

Put the milk, butter and vanilla in a saucepan. If you’re using vanilla pods, then split them. Bring the mixture up to boiling point with a fair amount of stirring and immediately take off the heat. Let the milk mixture cool. (Some people say that milk should not be cooled at all; others say that it should be completely cold. I tend to use it slightly warm but mainly because I just can’t be bothered to wait any longer.) If you used vanilla pods, then scrape the seeds into the milk and discard the pods.

The next stage is easier with an electric stand mixer but it’s not essential. In the mixer bowl, combine the flour and sugar. Add the eggs and yolks and begin whisking them in. Keeping the machine running, gradually pour in the milk mixture followed by the rum. You should end up with thinnish batter without any lumps. Pour the batter into a jug, cover and put in the fridge for 24 hours.

The next day, preheat the oven to 210°C. If you’re not using silicone, then butter the moulds. Whisk the batter briefly and pour into the moulds, filling them about three-quarters full.

Bake small canelés for 35 – 40 minutes and larger canelés for 45 – 50 minutes. The canelés should be a darker brown colour than most cakes (but not black) and should feel springy to the touch. Allow them to cool in the moulds for around 10 minutes before attempting to remove – they’ll be rather fragile while hot.
Mini Canelés

20 comments:

  1. These look delicious and well worth the effort. I became hooked on caneles during my first pregnancy, I'm still trying to jog them all off but is well worth it! Thanks for sharing.

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  2. Oh my gosh....I'm a drooling. I would love to try one of those. Creme Brule is one of my favourite.

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  3. You had me at "crème brûlée in cake form". They seem labour intensive but totally worth it!

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  4. Ooohhh, they look good, very, very good.

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  5. Goodness, these look wonderful.

    I'll have to put them on my bucket list.

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  6. Sadly I find myself in the same boat as you regarding cooking this year ;0(

    Love the look of these little guys, they sound amazing, my mouth is watering!

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  7. Would you add a photo of the mold you've used. I would need to purchase one. I'm very eager to make this and give it a go.

    Thanks

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  8. I'm so impressed you made these Phil- I'd heard they were a bit tricky? But these look super! And apparently they are one of THE baking trends of 2012! Happy New Year too!

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  9. I wish you tons of inspiration, fun & good food in 2012, dear Phil!

    I also have made canelés before & your recipe is a decent & good one! Your canelés look wonderful! Yummie too! ;)

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  10. I've seen these around food blogs but, unfortunately, I've never come across any in real life! I'm desperate to try them. Perhaps I'll use your recipe and get a nice bottle of sweet wine, as you recommended!

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  11. Thanks for the nice comments - believe me, they are good and they're not difficult.
    Cakes and Teacups - Sorry, I've not had much chance to get to my kitchen recently so I don't have a photo of the mould at the moment but, if it helps, this one from Amazon looks very similar, although my moulds are from a French supermarket.
    http://www.amazon.com/World-Cuisine-Non-Stick-Silicone-Cannele/dp/B001AS03HQ/ref=sr_1_3?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1326300574&sr=1-3

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  12. Phil, they look so good. I used to live an hour from Bordeaux and always bought some when we visited this lovely city.These little custard cakes are so delicious.

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  13. Phil, they look so good. I used to live an hour from Bordeaux and always bought some when we visited this lovely city.These little custard cakes are so delicious.

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  14. Thank you Phil! You're very kind. I shall purchase one and follow your recipe : )

    ~Vanessa

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  15. Oh. Oh..... Creme brulee in cake form.... I'm going to have to do this. Where I'll find the moulds here in Malaysia, I don't know, but I'm going to have to make them. They look beyond delicious! (and as for cooking less this year, well, that was me last year - hope all is well and you can return to normal!)

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  16. I've added this to my Pinterest and people are repining it : )

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    1. Thanks for that. I hope you get a chance to make them soon and I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

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    2. I'm going to make this today. Is the rum essential? Will I sacrifice the taste without it?

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    3. Well, the rum is definitely part of the taste in the finished cake. I think it somehow balances the sweetness. But that's not to say that they won't taste good without it - I've never tried them without the rum. Maybe you could try increasing the vanilla a little?

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