One of my favourite french bakery treats is a canelé de Bordeaux. These Bordelais mouthfuls are soft, chewy and custardy on the inside and crispy the outside. Seemingly people have a lot of trouble making these.  I didn’t, I think  simply because the batter was allowed to rest in the fridge for almost 3 days before baking (and I was using my mother-in-law’s fabulously reliable fancy oven in Toronto!).

Looking far more intricate then their fabrication, making them consists merely of a batter and chilling it before baking it for a long (very long…) time. Watch cooking times depending on your oven.  This is probably where the making of these could be the most problematic. The bottoms (upward facing in the moulds) should be burnt and dark looking when they are done.

The recipe here is courtesy of Clothilde at the great Chocolate and Zucchini. Whenever I’m seeking a traditional French recipe I know I’ll find a usable, reliable one on her site. I had a hankering to make them once I found a silicon mould in the right shape although seemingly a copper mould would produce even better results.  For a very elaborate recipe and a great sense of the politics and history of the cannele, try this one at  Paula Wolfert.

A sprinkling of sugar in the greased mould helps to caramelise the outside. Historically pâtissiers used beeswax to line the moulds before baking. Instead of sugar I drizzled maple syrup into the moulds before pouring the batter. (Well I had to get it in there somewhere…)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 liter milk
  • 30 g semi-salted butter, diced
  •  1 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste
  •  100 g (3/4 cup) all-purpose flour
  •  180 g sugar
  •  3 eggs
  •  80 ml (1/3 cup) good-quality rum

Making

Over a low heat bring the butter, milk and vanilla to a simmer. Set aside. In a seperate bowl whisk the eggs. In yet another bowl beat the flour and sugar. Add the egg mixture to the flour – don’t mix. Then pour the milk mixture over the flour and eggs. Whisk to a batter-like consistency and add the rum stirring gently. Let cool to room temperature and then refrigerate for 24 hours or up to 3 days.

When it comes to baking time, butter the moulds and I drizzled them with maple syrup before pouring the batter into each one almost filling to the top. (The batter will have seperated a bit in the fridge so give it a gentle whisk before using).

When the time comes to bake, heat the oven to 480 and bake the canelé for 20 minutes at 480 then 40-60 minutes at 400. Time taken will depend on your oven. The canelé are done when the bottoms are dark and almost burnt looking.

Makes 12 good-size canelé.