Friday, 15 August 2008

CANNELÉS

I made cannelés.

I am a bit perplexed because I've never tasted an authentic one before.

Did I get it right? Did I screw up? I dunno.



This is somewhat like my macaron experiment in that I've heard such good things about these treats that I had to try duplicating them at home as travelling to Bordeaux, France for the real thing is cost-prohibitive. By the way, did you know that the spelling of "cannelés" with two "n's" indicates that it is not an authentic recipe based on the original cake that is the official goodie of Bourdeaux? The original recipe is spelled with only one "n". You have to follow the original recipe (a closely guarded recipe I'm sure) to the letter in order for it to be a canelé. Hm. Well, I wasn't going to be buying beeswax and I didn't have copper molds, so let's use two "n's".
it looks burnt, but in reality, i need to bake it longer and make it more dark brown all over

First of all, I consulted 5 different recipes and settled on Helen's from Tartelette. Seeing as she's French and she knows her macarons, I figured she probably knows a thing or two about how to make cannelés too. I used her recipe and noticed that it conveniently called for 3 whole eggs and 3 egg yolks. This would be a perfect recipe to make in tandem with macarons because I do need 3 egg whites for my favourite macaron recipe too! Wow. Such baking karma.

Those red silicone cannelé molds I purchased recently work perfectly. My little canneles popped out of their ridged cups so easily! Mind you, being the worry-wart, I sprayed my molds with some baker's spray just to be on the safe side. I didn't want to be fishing out any remnants of cake from the ridges because it's such a pain. wanna bite? before you know it, you're taking 3 or 4 bites and you think you have to try another one just to make sure they were good.

With my first batch, baked for 45 minutes at 375°F, I thought that the cakes looked way too pale. A few of them had puffed up over the rim of the molds while they were baking, but a few didn't. So I kept adding time and looking through the window of the oven to check until finally, at 1 hour and 15 minutes, I decided to take them out. The golden brown cannelés looked picture perfect coming out of the oven. However, I discovered in a few seconds that they react just like popovers when taken out of the oven. They all kind of fell and lost a bit of height. Some buckled in at the middle area, creating hour-glass figures. They tasted pretty good though. The insides tasted somewhat like a crepe and the rum flavour was delicate and delicious. They looked a lot smaller than I thought they would.

For my second batch, I decided to really go dark brown, as I've noticed most pictures of cannelés depict them as dark brown in colour (verging on burnt!) and they all seemed to have straight sides. I figured I had jumped the gun and brought them out too soon and that's why my sides were all wonky. Baking them longer would help them stay straight, right?

My second batch I baked using my convection feature and I cranked it up to 375°F (which ends up kind of like 400°F in a regular oven). I ended up baking them for 1 1/2 hours total in order to get the dark brown crust. The sides were a tad wonky but they were more even than the initial batch. The insides were more firm but they were still moist and the flavour was the same. The crust though was better with this dark brown colour. It was crunchier and contrasted nicely with the smooth, custardy interior.

Yum. Though I had consulted Martha Stewart's cookbook, I didn't use her recipe. In the end, I realized that I ended up baking my cannelés as long as she called for in her recipe: 1 1/2 to 2 hours! It didn't look right at first, but I guess it is. It does take that long for these little cakes to get that dark. Her picture was inspirational because the cannelés were a uniform darkness all around and they were really uniform in shape. Mine were not. Perhaps this was due to the fact that I used silicone instead of copper. Ah well, they're pretty tasty. I'll have to try MS's recipe next and see how it turns out. Her recipe calls for salt too and perhaps the added salt will help browning.

30 comments:

Manggy said...

I've been waiting for these! Wow, that is a VERY long time to bake something so tiny! I'm glad they weren't completely desiccated in the middle, haha :) They look great! (I wonder if I will ever get to taste one?)

Tartelette said...

I have been reading you I promise I just suck at commenting these days but I am keeping touch. Yes, burnt exterior is the key, and yes it helps the edges not cave in. I ove those red silicone molds. The whole line is so much cheaper and perfectly fine for baking then the Flexipan one! Well done!! You make me want to bake some more, and I have been given 2 copper molds and a little beeswax cake...hmmmm

cakebrain said...

Mark,
Yes, it seems a pretty long time to bake something so small. Now that I think of it, macarons make you wait too--for them to dry out! Geez, I guess that's part of why they taste so good?
You ought to make these! I don't think the molds are so necessary. You can use those mini bundt pans molds...Or you can come to Vancouver and I'll make you a batch.
Helen,
Thank you for the recipe. It was so easy to follow and I inhaled 3 canneles in one sitting! The rum really makes it sing! Thanks for the tips! I'm envious of your copper molds and beeswax stash!

Zoe Francois said...

This reminds me that I need to get my canneles mold out of the drawer and make a batch. I love them! These are gorgeous.

cakebrain said...

zoë,
I look forward to seeing the batch you're going to make because I'm looking for ways to improve mine!

cakebrain said...

zoë,
I look forward to seeing the batch you're going to make because I'm looking for ways to improve mine!

Clumbsy Cookie said...

Great! Yea I want a bite!!! I would love to make them as soon as I find some molds. They're special little things, aren't they?

cakebrain said...

C.Cookie,
I KNOW that you're going to find the much-coveted copper molds, aren't you? You've got a knack for acquiring the best pans! I love your collection! and I look forward to seeing a post from you about canneles! You'll love them!

cakewardrobe said...

The texture looks so beautiful inside and out! If I read the bake time, I would have imagined them to come out like a baseball - but it looks so perfect and fluffy on the inside!

Kevin said...

I have never had a cannelé but they look really good!

Brilynn said...

I've never made or tasted those before but everytime I see them I'm intrigued they always look so good!

Chez US said...

I have never made them and have wanted to for so long. I LOVE them, and eat them on a daily basis when we are in France. Really fantastic!. Yours look fantastic! I will have to scour the stores for those molds, I have looked for the traditional ones when in France but have not come across them as of yet. Thanks for the tip!

SteamyKitchen said...

I will eat ALL OF THEM!!!

Sally said...

Never made them, never tried them, BUT yours look sooooooooooo good.
As does your whole blog. Wish I had more time to browse, but not today as I am off to Sydney for a few days.Will do when I get back.
Love S.

Kate / Kajal said...

i'm a Cannele virgin too. Havent tasted these before and yeah no tins/silicon molds too ! so i guess i'll just look at these n drool for a bit, and then maybe someday when i get the things i need i'll try 'em out :)

Ingrid said...

Hey, love the new look! Sugar Plum has a new one too. Everyone's getting a makeover.

I've never had a canneles. Sounds yummy. I really like desserts that are carmelized on the outside and soft on the inside!
~ingrid

Angela said...

It took me two years to finally come up with a recipe and method for making these Bordeaux treats that I liked. Yours look fantastic! Great job!

My Sweet & Saucy said...

These are ADORABLE looking! I wish I could bite into one right now!

Y said...

I love canneles, but haven't made them before. One day, with the proper tools and a lump of beeswax, I shall! Kudos to you for giving it a go!

Megan said...

I won some of these Canneles from Tartlette. They were so good and I have been looking for the little molds ever since. I finally found the red mold and cant wait to make them. But today its 106 degrees and tomorrows forcast is 110, so it will be awhile. :(
Thanks for the tips. I didn't relize how long they took to bake. And I didnt know about the "n" thing!

Psychgrad said...

Oh cool! I had caneles in France this summer. I bought a couple of molds and plan to try making them myself. Yours look similar to the ones I ate.

I also gave a mold to Giz, so I might try to get a bit of a competition going with her. Who makes the best caneles?

giz said...

I'm pumped now - Psychgrad brought me back a red silicone mold when she was in France. I hadn't a clue what to do with them. Thanks for posting this.

Cakebrain said...

Psychgrad & Giz: I look forward to the cannele showdown!

Ting-Jen said...

Canelés are my absolute favourite pastry/cake! Your creations look SO yummy... And I must let you know how much I enjoy reading your beautiful and delicious blog! :D

Cakebrain said...

ting-jen,
aw shucks! you don't realize how flattering it is for me to hear that! i always wonder what the hundreds of lurkers out there are thinking about my posts. thanks for commenting and visiting my site!

Bret's Table said...

Zoe introduced me to your link. I was scrolling down today and stopped in my tracks, seeing your cannelé photos. I picked up two dozen copper cannelé moulds while in Paris recently and now have beeswax from our local farmer's market.

I think now is the time for another recipe test. Thanks for the inspiration.

hpoco said...

Hey, I am an American who lives in France, married a French guy from Bordeaux. I just tried making canelés for the first time this week, and I love them. One thing I was told to do in French recipes that you might want to try is this:

When cooking them, first heat the oven super hot (we do 270 celsius, which is around 500 farenheit, don't know how high your oven goes but you get the idea). Then put them in at that temperature for 6 minutes. Then lower the temperature to 180 celsius (like, 350 Farenheit) and cook for an additional hour. This helps the shape and makes the outsides more brown.

Thanks for sharing this!

Cakebrain said...

hpoco,
thank you so much for the tips! they make sense. I haven't baked in ages (kitchen reno right now), but these pastries are top of the list as soon as the reno's done! I have almost forgotten how yummy they are. I may even try making them gluten free!

Ozan Tan said...

Hi there,I was just wondering,you said you used the silicone moulds for this...Did you also use beeswax for the making of these canneles? I'm a baking student and have an upcoming menu design assignment and would love to try making canneles...thank you for sharing your experience and those beautiful photos...have a good day.

Cakebrain said...

Ozan,
No, I did not use beeswax for the making of the canneles. The beeswax as I understand it is important for the crunchy crust (and ease of removing the canneles from their molds) when you use the authentic French molds which are not silicone. However, silicone can be sprayed with Pam so you can pop them out easier...though it's not necessary really. The real metal canneles molds are expensive and hard to come by in North America. I haven't found any in Vancouver. Maybe in the U.S. in specialty stores you may find them.

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