Canneles de Bordeaux
I learned this 200 year old recipe from watching Pascal Rigo make them as a guest of Ms Gale Gand on The Food Network Channel. I was so fascinated and I thought to myself, I can do this! It takes about fourteen, yes (14) hours but the end result is just killer. It is crispy on the outside and so melt in your mouth beautiful vanilla bean custard on the inside. The one thing that I will tell you is that if you are not going to make them a lot the molds are very expensive if you buy the copper ones. Some people say they have used the little rubber ones, but I would not recommend that period. Just my advice so take it for what it is worth to you. The recipe will make a total of 18. I used the 2X2 inch and actually Mr Pascal used the smaller taller ones but I could not find the molds anywhere. The hardest thing about this recipe is the waiting for the custard to set for 12 hours. Overnight it will sleep while you do then you can make them the next day. Now I know exactly what you are thinking here because of course I have tried it already myself. Why it needs to sit overnight I don’t know but trust me on this one, leave it over night! Okay, next thing…there is a reason that this recipe has not changed in over 200 years. It works. I of course thought I would tweak it a little and ended up with all my work in the trash can. A total mess. Somethings you just have to bite the bullet and leave alone. This is the one and only recipe that I would say without a doubt comes under that rule. The recipe is as follows and is so very simple to turn out so magnificent.
- 3 c milk
- 1/2 vanilla bean
- 11 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 c sugar
- 2/3 c pastry flour
- 1 extra lg egg yolk
- 2 extra lg eggs
- 3 Tbsp dark rum
- 1/4 c beeswax finely chopped (organic edible)
In a small saucepan, bring the milk and vanilla bean scrapings to the scalding point over medium heat, DO NOT BOIL,remove from heat add 3 Tbsp butter and let cool to lukewarm temp.
In a separate bowl, I use an 8 cup measuring cup with spout, whisk together sugar & flour. Now whisk in the eggs & egg yolk with rum ( I have used rum or left it out & don’t really notice the difference, I usually leave it out. You decide for you.) Next whisk in the milk mixture, strain to remove any egg particles and place back in measuring cup. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 12 hours. I leave it overnight until I am ready to make the canneles. In the morning take the mixture out for at least one hour before ready to bake. While it is warming up get the molds ready.
In a small saucepan melt 8 Tbsp butter with 1/4 c beeswax on low just until melted. Now most people just use melted butter but since I learned this way, this is how I am telling you. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. With a small pastry brush dip into the melted butter/beeswax, brush insides of molds lightly as it will firm immediately . Dedicate a brush for this as it will have beeswax in it. If the mixture sets up just place back on heat for a few minutes. Place canneles on a baking sheet such as a jelly roll pan with shallow sides to prevent any butter/wax to drip into bottom of oven (this could actually be a fire hazard). Whisk the batter to keep the flour evenly distributed. Fill the molds about 3/4 full. Place in oven and bake for at least 50 minutes or until tops are a dark brown. DO NOT OPEN OVEN DOOR for at least 50 to 60 minutes. The canneles will be done when the tops are DARK BROWN. Remove from oven and using tongs or an old towel pick up each mold and turn out. They should come out easily but you can tap the bottoms or use a little paring knife to loosen sides. I have never had a problem. I just use tongs and turn them upside down on a rack to cool. Let cool or serve warm from the oven.
You can drizzle the plate with caramel or serve with a small scoop of ice cream. The outer shell is like breaking into the burnt sugar of the creme brulee. The custard is not overly sweet but these are a wonderful little dessert that will steal the show and your heart.
There isa wonderful passage in “THE AMERICAN BOULANGERIE” by Pascal Rigo and the Bakers of Bay Bread that reads” These extroadinary confections are a specialty of Bordeaux, where nuns were said to have created them more than 200 years ago using the flour they salvaged from the holds of sailing ships anchored in the Port de la Lune.”
I loved that book and read it from cover to cover. I would recommend it to anyone who loves to bake french pastries and breads.