Canelés are great little pastries originating from Bordeaux. The legend has it that it was first made by sisters from the Annonciades covent in Bordeaux in the 16th century, and that its tubular shape gave it the name of canelé (= cane).
Canelés are experiencing a revival in France at the moment, they are all the rage! They’re even about to be sold in McDonald’s at the end of the month! (See Figaro article here). McDonalds is already surfing on the macarons’ wave and is also offering “Tartines” for breakfast in their McCafés in an effort to adapt to the French market.
I remember the first time I tasted canelés was about 3 years ago in… Sydney, of all places! An ex-colleague from Bordeaux had made some and brought them at work, and although they didn’t look like much (small, burnt, dry), I was surprised: they were in fact the most delicious things I’d had in a while! I loved the contrast between their crunchy caramelised crust and the smooth vanilla custard inside.
I found them later at Black Star Pastry, and at some stage another Frenchman was making them and selling them to Sydney cafés but not anymore unfortunately.
Canelé moulds are traditionally made out of copper and are quite expensive (you can see an example here). They look beautiful and are apparently the best to get that great caramelized crust, but they are not very convenient when it comes to removing the canelé after cooking, you need to butter them generously. Luckily thanks to work I was able to buy myself these great little silicone moulds from France. It made my task very easy indeed!
A regular canelé is about 55mm diameter and 50mm high, but I chose the mould for Mini-canelés (Diameter: 35mm), they are just too cute and you can make more of them!
After a few weeks of just admiring the mould sitting on my kitchen bench and a few cheeky remarks from my partner, I finally decided to make canelés for Fathers Day!
Gently warm the milk, butter and split vanilla bean over low heat for 10 minutes, without bringing to the boil, then let it cool down.
In the meantime whip the eggs and sugar until you obtain a pale and smooth mixture, then add the flour.
Add the milk onto the eggs flour mixture and whip it until smooth. Add a slash of rum.
Put the batter in the fridge overnight, as it is better once rested.
The following day, whip the mixture again and pour it into the mould at about 2/3 of the height, as their volume increases during baking. Even though silicone moulds are pretty hassle-free, I still buttered this one in case.
Put in a pre-heated oven at 210°C for 20 minutes, then lower the heat to 180°C for another 50 minutes.
Take them out and let them cool for 10 minutes before removing them from the mould. You can eat them warm or cold, they won’t last long anyway!