Canelés de Bordeaux

20150627-223352-81232785.jpgWhen I first made a batch of this sweet french delicacy, I didn’t like it. I had never ate it before but i saw the recipe a couple of times and I’m intrigued. And so I decided to make it, and as i said. I didn’t like it. It wasn’t custardy nor crunchy. It is rubbery and plainly sweet. Maybe because at that time I didn’t use any flavourings other than vanilla extract.

But I tried it again the second time, this time I use vanilla bean and rhum.. And I was sold. I LOVE IT. And I started to get addicted to it. As everyone describes it. It was custardy in the inside and crunchy on the outside.

I could eat 4 canelés in one sitting (actually more.. But I still got a wee bit of self control).

This awesome little french delicacy originated from Bordeaux, a region in France. I had never been to Bordeaux, but as a wanderlust I am, I’ve seen pictures of rows and rows of canelé on the window shop of pâtisseries at Bordeaux.

*starts daydreaming*

20150627-224333-81813766.jpgMy first batch of canelé

The first time I made canelé it was rather blonde. A bit golden brown-ish.

It was okay, but not my favourite french pastries.

20150627-225159-82319446.jpgI made my second batch, I pour the batter into the mold then bake it…

And as a clumsy baker that I am, I forgot about it. When I realise that I was baking, i ran to my kitchen and saw that my canelés are dark brown and looks like it has burnt.

I was like “noooooooooooooooooooooooo”

I let it cool, unmold it, and even that it’s burnt, I still took a bite of it.

Little did I know… I discover that I was wrong!
Turns out, it was AMAZING. The crust goes caramelized and the inside taste more custardy when this happens.

So my verdict in making canelé is that; the darker the better.

But you know.. Don’t get too overboard..
I won’t lie that I’ve burnt a batch of canelé because not only I forgot to lower the temperature but I thought that I don’t need to worry about getting it over bake too much because the darker the better.

Of course it is a preference. But seriously though, you should try baking it until you thought that you’ve messed up the whole batch by burning it.

Let’s get to the baking part!
The ingredients are:

20150627-230307-82987271.jpgEgg yolks, cake flour, sugar, vanilla pod, rhum, butter and milk.

I would definitely suggest on using vanilla bean rather that extract or any other liquid flavourings.

It made a whole lot differences.

It isn’t easy for me to get my hands on vanilla pod either, even if i found a place selling vanilla pod, it isn’t cheap. That’s why I only used ⅓ of the vanilla pod.

Or you can use vanilla bean paste.
But yeah, if you absolutely can’t find any vanilla pod, you can use good quality vanilla extract. Just bear in mind it won’t be as good.

20150627-231621-83781371.jpgNow let’s talk about the molds that are going to give this signature canelé shape.

Traditionally, canelé is made in copper molds. Mine is made of aluminum. It works great and I’m quite happy with it.

The canelé mold that is easier to find is the silicone one. It is not an individual mold like the copper or aluminum, it is cheaper and it doesn’t requires to be coated with anything to makes it easier to unmold.
But this type of mold does not gives you a very defined shape of canelé and often times that it doesn’t gives you an even color, that means it’s going to be harder to achieve the dark caramelized crust that i bragged about.

If you don’t really care about the shapes, you can always use a muffin tin. But just like other french pastries such as madelines, the shape is the main identification of the pastry.

20150627-234954-85794242.jpgSplit the vanilla pod and scrape the seeds out

Look at those vanilla caviar..
Whenever I saw these black speckles in desserts, it is food porn for me

20150628-003850-2330561.jpgHeat the milk and butter with the vanilla seeds and pod.

In french pastry, always go with FULL FAT.

Full fat milk NOT skimmed milk
Full fat cream NOT half and half
Real butter NOT any butter subtitutes

Hey, french pastries are not meant for a diet.

20150628-005041-3041482.jpgMeanwhile the milk, butter, vanilla is heating, whisk the yolks in a heatproof bowl

20150628-005302-3182981.jpgStream the hot milk slowly while constantly whisking so that no scrambled yolks are form

Combine the cake flour and sugar in a bowl then whisk together to incorporate

Pour the wet batter into the dry then whisk until no more lumps of flour visible

Add in the rhum

20150628-005656-3416406.jpgNow that the batter is done, it needs to rest 24 hours or at least overnight to let the flavours develop and become more amazing.

You can put the batter in the fridge up to a week and bake it anytime you’re feeling for some canelé.

20150628-110058-39658669.jpgStrain the mixture before pouring it into the molds.

Don’t throw away the vanilla pod! Wash them and put them into sugar to make vanilla sugar.

20150630-223340-81220569.jpgButter the molds generously.

Traditionally, the copper canelé molds are coated in beeswax.
You could use beeswax too if you can get a hold of it.

Beeswax does give the best result when baking canelé.
Canelé that is baked with the beeswax coating stays crisp the longest and gives a honey taste to it.

20150630-224946-82186814.jpgPour the strained canelé batter into each molds.

Then time to bake it!

Canelé is baked in 2 temperature in the oven.
The first temperature is really high to give the canelé the caramelized crust and then the second temperature is slightly lower to cook the canelé throughly.

20150630-225336-82416291.jpgA little bit history on canelé copied from Paula-wolfert’s blog post on canelé de Bordeaux.

Many recipes don’t carry a tale; the canelé carries many. One of the oldest refers to a convent in Bordeaux, where, before the French Revolution, the nuns prepared cakes called canalize made with donated egg yolks from local winemakers, who used only the whites to clarify their wines. Any records that might verify this were lost in the turbulent revolution, thus relegating the convent story to legend.

But the alternative tale may be even better: residents of Bordeaux, who lived along the docks, gleaned spilled low-protein flour from the loading areas, then used it to make sweets for poor children. The small canelé molds, fluted and made of copper or brass, were nestled in embers to be baked.

20150630-231401-83641054.jpgLook at the custardy inside of the canelé!
And those vanilla bean specks..

By the way I am well aware that canelé is from Bordeaux, not from Paris as seen on the picture that I put a miniature of Eiffel tower.

But I’ve been wanting to use that miniature Eiffle tower for a photo for so long and I thought well yeah, heck it. Paris and Bordeaux are both from France and Eiffle tower is the icon of France.

So.. Why not?

Have a good one everyone!

Canelés de Bordeaux recipe
Make 6 medium (normal) size of canelés. About 6cm in height.

• 250ml whole milk
• 23g unsalted butter
• ½ stick vanilla/ 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
• 2 large egg yolks
• 75g cake flour (or substitute with 60g all purpose flour and 15g of cornstarch)
• 115 g sugar
• 20 ml dark rhum

How to make it:
1) Split the vanilla bean in half then scrape the beans out. In a saucepan, heat the milk, butter and the vanilla beans and pod.
2) Whisk the yolks then slowly stream in the boiling milk mixture, keep whisking so the yolks doesn’t scramble.
3) Combine the sugar and the flour then pour in the milk mixture whisk until no lumps of flour is visible.
4) Whisk in the rhum and store the mixture in the fridge for 24 hours or overnight.
5) Coat the canelé molds with butter or beeswax. Strain the batter then Pour them into the molds until about ¾ full.
6) Bake in a preheated over at 220°C or 430°F for 25 minutes to get the dark outside then lower the temperature to 190°C or 380°F.
7) Serve at room temperature.