Friday, 9 November 2012

Chocolate Canelés

I posted my recipe for classic canelés (well, probably not that classic) a while ago but recently I saw some chocolate canelés for sale in an upmarket patisserie and I couldn't resist the challenge of trying to make some. I've stuck fairly closely to my old recipe but with the addition of chocolate, of course. I compared the originals to crème brûlée in cake form – well, the chocolate versions are more like portable chocolate fondants.

Canelés have the reputation of being difficult. They aren't difficult to put together and they certainly aren't difficult to eat. I think the only tricky bit is judging when they’re baked to perfection. The chocolate version is darker in colour and that doesn't make things any easier. In my opinion, the best way of telling when they’re ready is to press them very lightly – if they feel soft but gently springy, then they should be fine.

I generally prefer to make small versions of canelés using silicone moulds, which are certainly not traditional and won’t meet a true pâtissier’s standards but they’re really easy and quick to use. Mould sizes vary quite a bit, but, based on the most common sizes that I've come across, this will make up to 50 of the small canelés or around 18 of the larger size. Silicone canelé moulds have proved a little tricky to find at a reasonable price outside of France but, if you live in the UK, Lakeland have recently started to sell a small silicone canelé mould (I've not tried it, so I can’t be certain about its performance). They call it a ‘Pretty Pudding’ mould.

Like all canelés, these are at their best within an hour or two of coming out of the oven. Make a batch of these for chocolate-loving acquaintances, serve them up as soon as they’re cool and you’ll have friends for life.
Chocolate Canelés
500 ml full-fat milk
50 g unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla paste or extract
75 g dark chocolate, broken into small pieces
110 g plain flour, sifted
240 g caster sugar
3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 eggs plus 2 egg yolks
40 ml dark rum

Place the milk, butter and vanilla in a saucepan and put on a gentle heat. Stirring regularly, bring the mixture up to boiling point and immediately take off the heat. Add the chocolate pieces and stir to dissolve. Set aside and allow to cool a little.

Mix together the flour, sugar and cocoa powder – ideally in the bowl of a stand mixer. 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 quite a thin 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 around 35 minutes and the larger ones for around 45 minutes. Allow the canelés to cool in their moulds for at least 10 minutes before attempting to remove or they may collapse.
Chocolate Canelé Wharf

19 comments:

  1. 'Pretty Pudding' - how quaint!! But I love the look of these little ones ; )

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  2. these look absolutely beautiful not to mention delicious :)
    Mary x

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  3. So pretty indeed. I love that they look like chocolate jelly fish! Are they melty inside? I love the really rich recipe too. Great bottom photo. Fab stuff!

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    1. They should be slightly crisp on the outside, more like a cake just below the surface and melting and moussey in the centre. To get the absolutely full effect, though, they do need to be freshly baked.

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  4. They look so tasty ... and I am pretty sure there must be more than one of them with my name on them ;0)
    I've never attempted to make these before but I really like the look of them so I might need to venture out of my comfort zone sometime soon.

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  5. Anything that has chocolate in it has my vote :-)))) Have a good weekend Diane

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  6. Phil another one of your fabulous small French cakes. Or are they custards? Whatever, I am going to have to try these for sure, even if I don't have the moulds. How small were the moulds you used?

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    1. I definitely think of them as cakes, but very unusual ones. The French would simply refer to canelés as pâtisserie and there's no accurate translation for that. My smallest moulds are around 3.5 cm in diameter and depth and have a capacity of around 25 ml. I also use some that are around 5 cm in diameter and depth with a capacity of around 75 ml. You really don't have to have the special shape although it does help to increase the surface area of the cake and, in theory, the crisp, caramelised finish.

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  7. Stuuning! They look and sound heavenly - crisp on the outside, light as air, gooey and sticky on the inside (or at least that's how I imagine them) - simply perfect! I would love to try making them but imagine that getting them out of their moulds intact is difficult.

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  8. I love caneles, but have never eaten chocolate ones. I have a silicone mould so must try them.

    Trish Deseine, in her French baking book 'I love cake', says that if you're using silicone moulds, to preheat oven to 270C/gas9 then turn it down to 180C/gas4 5 minutes after the start of cooking. This gives the canneles a caramelized crust. Haven't tried it.

    Would love some copper moulds. Maybe on my next visit to Bordeaux.

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  9. A local cafe here in Shanghai sells caneles and my friend is addicted to them. As she was coming to dinnerI googled a recipe and yours was the one I chose to use. Silicone molds cheap easy to buy here in hotel supplier, probably made here. The recipe turned out well although I didn't get the carmalisation on the outside and wondered if this was because I used silicon. Any way thank you for a recipe that was easy to follow, that turned out well and wowed my friend. She now wants a refular order. It was the original recipe i used.

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    1. I find silicone really handy and easy to use, especially for the small, bite-sized cakes, but it does behave differently to copper moulds, of course. You can get a caramelised outside, but I admit that it's a little tricky to judge the temperature and cooking times.

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  10. Caneles are not something I've ever tried, but these chocolate ones look delicious.

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  11. These look quite lovely...I'm going have to look for some molds.

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  12. my goodness Phil, I am salivating again, you are one neat baker:) these look scrumptious, look forward to trying out:)

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  13. Those look like the ones I can get in my local patisserie, only with chocolate of course. I have my own recipe, and also a set of copper moulds, but I have never used silicon, soi it was interesting to see that you get on with silicon okay....I have never found them that hard to make; my French foodie friend says the secret it so leave the batter for 24 hours or more. Karen

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    1. I agree entirely about letting the batter stand for 24 hours. I don't really know why it makes a difference, but it does. I find the silicone moulds really convenient, especially for the small cakes. Of course, they do behave differently to copper moulds.

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  14. These look perfect! I've come across caneles on blogs quite a few times but I've never seen them on sale anywhere. You may have persuaded me to try making them for myself - I love the sound of "cake creme brulee" and "portable chocolate fondant"!

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  15. Oh my gosh!! As if you couldn't top your classic caneles recipe that I love now a chocolate version! I can not wait to try this. :)

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