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Cannelés, Take One and Two


Cannelés have long been a family favorite. Whenever we go to our favorite French bakery, the boys order these custardy treasures. 

I've long been intimidated by them because I thought I needed the copper molds (about $30 each!) and beeswax. Yada yada. It seemed so complicated...and not worth the effort when I could just spend $3 and have someone else make them for me.

But, when I was talking to R's French teacher - who is an incredible baker - about them, she offered to lend me her silicone molds while she was in Europe this summer. And she even sent me a recipe. The recipe was in French; she told me that R could translate. I assured her that though my French was extremely rusty, I could manage. I also compared a few other recipes and incorporated them into this test.

When I emailed her to ask about the difference in letting batter rest for two days (another version) versus one hour in hers, she also wondered what the difference would be. For these first two, the batter rested for between 8 and 10 hours.

Ingredients
makes 30 mini + 4 regular


  • 2 C whole milk
  • 4 T unsalted butter
  • 1 vanilla pod, split and scraped
  • 2/3 C flour
  • 1-3/4 C powdered sugar
  • 1 t fine salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/4 C rum
  • Also needed: silicone molds, baking sheet

Procedure

Batter
Place the milk, butter, vanilla seeds and pod in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove the pan from the heat and let it cool for a few minutes. Take out, but save, the vanilla pod!

Place the eggs and egg yolks into a separate bowl and beat lightly. In another mixing bowl, place the flour, powdered sugar, and salt into a large mixing bowl. Add in the beaten eggs. Pour in the milk mixture.


Whisk everything together until you have a smooth batter. You can strain the batter through a sieve to remove lumps, if you wish. I didn't do this. Stir in the rum and add the vanilla pod back to the bowl. Cover the bowl and leave in the fridge to rest.

To Bake
Remove the batter from the fridge and give a gentle whisk. Preheat oven to 475°F. Place the molds on a baking tray and place - empty - in the oven for 5 minutes to heat them. Once heated, pour the batter into the molds, leaving a 1 cm gap to the top. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 375°F and bake for another 60 minutes.


Invert the molds and remove the cakes. Leave them to cool on a wire rack...or devour immediately as my trio did!


For version one (the smaller ones), this resulted in the mini cakes being a little too over done.


Version two (the regular ones) was near perfect. But I am going to try to shorten the length of time on the higher temperature baking and see what happens. Stay tuned for v.3 on our Cannelés adventure.

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