Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Cannelés Bordelais

 My first ever, from Thevenin near the Jardin du Luxembourg

Maybe if you love them as much as I do, you can just call them Cannelés.  I'm not sure when or how I learned of them.  I don't recall making them in culinary school.  Maybe I saw a photo of them and something about their shapely sides, dimpled tops and buttery glow lured me in.  I do remember the first time I ate one.  It was my first visit to Paris.  I was wandering towards the Jardin du Luxembourg and dropped into a patisserie on the rue Notre Dame des Champs to get something for lunch.  I spied a tray of the little gems and ordered two along with a nice salmon tartine.  

 Normally they are much larger, but I love anything in mini

I was very excited to finally taste one!  They had a slightly crunchy, yet buttery exterior and a faint smell of Rum and maybe a little orange zest.  Their glowing sides were flecked with dark spots of vanilla bean.  I bit into the chewy exterior to find a slightly spongy custard inside that tasted of vanilla and rum.  If you are a person who has aversions to foods with specific textures, Cannelés may not be for you. However these sturdy, little chewy pastries quickly earned a place in my heart.  

Months later when I started working for Crema cafe, I was pleased to see that they offered full size Cannelés as part of their pastry offerings.  I made many large batches of the silky batter.  They baked up nice and chewy with a bit of crunchy crust at their bottoms, but the flavor never compared to the ones I had in Paris.  Crema's recipe had too much lemon zest and not enough Rum in it to please me. 

I go through kicks now and then when I crave specific pastries.  Cannelés often become my object of affection till I stop by a patisserie and buy a few minis. Recently on a stroll through Paris I found Patisserie Baillardan selling only Cannelés.  I didn't get to try any that day, but I plan to go back soon.  I've always wanted to make my own batch at home, but needed the specific molds and just never got around to it.  Well, I finally bought molds! did some research and found this recipe for them.  They are simple to mix up and then you just need to let the batter rest overnight in the fridge.  (And I added a bit more Rum.) 

I don't always prefer silicon molds, but they are easy to store!

My first batch was a little underbaked.  They were nice and golden, but not browned.  The exterior was still soft to the touch, not exactly what I was looking for.  The next batch I baked longer and they came out perfect.  I've now lost track of how many I've consumed, but I have to stop because I promised to bring some as dessert for a picnic tonight.  Sadly I don't think any will make it on the plane with me tomorrow as we leave on vacation for 10 days in Corsica.....  But I could put that mold in my suit case- its light enough. 
 Nice golden color and slightly crunchy exteriors

 Larger ones normally have more of a web-like interior

 Simple and completely crave-able!
Here is my adapted and translated version of the recipe.  This will make about 30 mini (1 inch) sized  Cannelés

Mini Cannelés Bordelais
250 mL Milk
25 g Butter
1/2 Vanilla bean
2 Lg Egg yolks
125 g Sugar
75 g Flour
2 generous TBSP Rum

Combine Milk, butter and vanilla bean in saucepan and bring to boil.  In the meantime whisk egg yolks and sugar till light yellow in color.  Temper hot milk mixture into the eggs and mix well.  Sift flour in and mix.  Add the Rum last.  Pour batter into a sealable container and put into fridge over night.  

Pre-heat oven to 425 F (220 C)  Butter your molds well.  Fill completely to the top with batter.  Place in oven and bake for 15 mins.  Then lower temperature to 375 F (180 C) and bake for 40 mins more.  Cannelés should be firm to the touch and have a deep golden brown along the sides and edges.  You may need to adjust the baking time to longer for Larger Cannelés.  Enjoy with a cup of coffee, tea, or just by themselves after lunch in a park. 

Traditional Cannelés mold can be found here.   Silicon here.

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