Thursday, 2 May 2013

Canelés de Bordeaux, the beginning...

Canelés de Bordeaux or Cannelés Bordelais... are one of my favorite treats other than macarons; delicious, enclosed by a caramelized shell with a very rich, custardy, vanilla and rum interior... They may sometimes looks dark brown, mahogany or even nearly black, kind of unattractive, but they are really amazing! These little treat has a long history, most believe it was originally invented by nuns in Bordeaux making use of donated eggs yolks and rum... and the rest is history. I love them so much so I have a separate topic about Canelés here! But searching for these cuties is not an easy task, only one or two places in Toronto sell these little treats. And after I've tried them they are just okay. I can't blame them because Canelés taste the best a few hours after they are baked, maybe they are not as popular as other sweeties. So another adventure for me! First thing first is to get the special mold to bake them, but of course I am not going to get that special copper mold (not yet!)... so silicone it is to try out. I got a couple molds from amazon for making mini ones, then another hurdle come up... the recipe. Recipe of Canelés is a bit different from many small cakes I've made before, it called for a very very thin batter made of milk, eggs, sugar, rum, vanilla and flour, then bake at a high temperature for a long time...easy? No, after reading and reading of books and search online like... Paula Wolfert, Chez Pim, Pierre Hermé, Ladurée...etc. And after many hours of tears and sweat, I settle with the one by Pierre Hermé, also recommended by Chez Pim but I change a little. I am quite happy with it and they taste great! However, you can still see from my photos some looks quite good with a nice caramelized shells but some are not... I think probably is due to my mini silicone molds which cause uneven baking, maybe my oven...etc?? My next challenge will be in a proper copper mold... more sweat!

for about 45 mini Canelés (using silicone mold) you need...
(recipe adapted from Pierre Hermé and Chez Pim)
  • 500 g organic whole milk
  • 50 g butter
  • 100 g cake flour
  • 250 g confectioners sugar
  • 3 g salt
  • two large eggs
  • two large egg yolks
  • 60 ml Rum
  • one vanilla pod or four teaspoons vanilla extract (extract can add at the end)
batter preparation...
  • heat milk, butter and split vanilla pod together until it boils and cool till warm to touch
  • sift cake flour, sugar and salt together in a big bowl
  • slightly beat eggs and yolks together and add into flour-sugar mixture
  • add your warm milk mixture into eggs and flour mixture (if you use vanilla pod, just take it out)
  • blend your mixture until homogeneous and strain it into another container
  • add in Rum (and vanilila extract) and mix to become a very thin liquidy batter
  • chill in your fridge at least 24 hours until baking
baking time...
  • preheat your oven to 475 F
  • slightly spray silicone molds with non-stick spray (seems work best for me)
  • transfer your chilled batter into a small pouring cup like pyrex
Pour your batter carefully into each mini mold, you may need to stir your batter form time to time since it may settle a bit. If you have some batter dripped outside your mold, just wipe it clean.  See they looks nice and neat and ready to go into oven. Each mold can make 18 mini Canelés and I bake two trays at a time, so you'll have 36 cuties very soon!

Another thing is to fill up your mold just about 5 mm from the top, because they will puff up a bit during baking and you don't want to see they climb out! It happened before and its kind of tragedy to see that happen... you can see how thin the batter and they are so small, about 30 g each, but don't worry, they'll soon come out nice and yummy!

Now, put them in your pre-heated oven, turn down to 450 F and bake for 15 minutes (turn once), then keep baking for another 35 to 40 minutes at 375 F (turn twice). When they turn to dark brown color (or even nearly dark dark brown like black if you like), then your Canelés are ready! Turn them out rightaway and let them cool for about 30 minutes, make some coffee and tea in the meantime for you treats!

Okay, tasting time now! Caramelized crispy shell, rum and vanilla flavored custard inner centre is amazing! I can eat like ten in a row... make me thinking spending lots of time and make not a lot... definitely worth my time, maybe I finished them too fast! Hmm I should try make those normal 2 inches size Canelés, of course I won't use a bigger silicone mold again but instead a proper copper mold. Just simply because I found no matter changing my recipe, playing with temperature, baking time, oven issue... not all my Canelés come out from silicone mold perfect. On a mission to make my perfect Canelés, I will try traditional copper molds, I know they are expensive, still sounds like a good investment for me, can't help it... they are coming soon!

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