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My obsession with canelés started two years ago when I visited France for the first time with James. I was lucky enough to try his Mum&...


March 20, 2014

My obsession with canelés started two years ago when I visited France for the first time with James. I was lucky enough to try his Mum's unbelievably delicious ones and I fell in love. James had been raving about them for months telling me I had to try to make them myself, as if. They truly were all he cracked them up to be and more. Crispy on the outside and soft and almost custard like on the inside. The perfect companion for a cup of Earl Grey tea or espresso.

When I returned back to Toronto I was excited to try and make them myself. I love to bake and thought it would be a piece of cake (dessert pun intended!). After very carefully following the recipe and popping them into the oven, I was sad to see they came out nothing like James' Mum's. So after a few attempts and many adjustments to the time and temperature I finally made a successful batch. I was pretty proud of myself too because James loved them (not that he is the best judge, he likes everything). I then told him to savour it because I won't be making them again for a while.

Since the first time I tasted canelé in France I have only made them a handful of times, mostly because they aren't as easy as the recipe leads on and they are also time consuming. But because they are soooo good I promised James I would make them again when we settle into our new house. So today is his lucky day! I am making him his own personal batch of canelés to enjoy when he gets home from work.

I really wanted to share it with you a) because it will be one of the best things you have ever tasted. b) if I can (after many attempts) make them, then trust me you can too. c) French desserts are the best in the World and that should be reason enough.

What you will need (based off of Maman Beatrice's original recipe):
2 cups of milk (I used demi-écrémé which is like skim but you can use whole too)
2 tbls of non salted butter
3/4 cups of sugar (white will do you just fine)
3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 vanilla bean (split and scrape seeds out)
3 eggs (make sure to buy open air, free range please)
1/4 cups of dark rum (the reason I love this recipe so much!)

You will also need the canelé molds which should be easy enough to find at any kitchen or baking store. Mine is silicon which will make your life so much easier. There are typically two sizes available, small and large, I recommend the small because the large are not as classy and don't get as crispy and delicious as the small ones.

So once you have gathered all of your ingredients it's time to begin! First things first, take a medium sized saucepan and plop it on your stove top and turn that bad boy onto a medium heat. Add all the milk, butter and the seeds of the vanilla bean as well as the whole split vanilla bean. You want to bring this mixture to a boil, but be careful the heat isn't too high, you don't want to burn it. Stir a bit to make sure everything is combined nicely. Once it's boiled remove it from the heat and leave it be for ten minutes.

In the meantime you should grab a medium sized bowl and whisk together the salt, sugar and flour. Oh and while you are whisking those give the three eggs a little beating in a separate bowl.

Once the ten minutes are up, strain the milk mixture into a medium sized bowl and get rid of the vanilla bean. Now slowly whisk those beaten eggs in, once that's mixed add it gradually to the flour mixture. Mix only until it is just combined, then whisk in the delicious rum. Strain the mixture into a bowl and break apart any clumps. Now let the batter cool down. Cover it up and chill.

Now according to many recipes online they say you have to leave the batter in the fridge for 24 to 48 hours. Yes the longer it waits, the better the taste, but Beatrice told me you can let it chill for a couple hours and it is just as fine. So whenever you are ready to cook the canelés take them out of the fridge and give it a stir. The batter separates a bit so no worries, just mix it up again. Fill the canelé molds about 2/3 of the way, be sure not to fill too much, these will rise a bit when cooking. 

If you are not using the silicon molds then you will want to spread some melted butter around them to prevent sticking. I told you silicon is easier!

Now here is the tricky part for me. You really have to keep an eye on the little guys while they are cooking to make sure they browning but not too much and not too fast. I find they go from perfect golden brown to blackish brown very quickly and this is what you don't want. So stay close to your oven and keep a watchful eye on them.

Preheat your oven to 450°F or 235°C and pop them in for 20 minutes. After 20 mins reduce heat to 400°F or 205°C and cook for another 40 minutes (sometimes less depending on your oven). If they are browning a bit fast then add a little foil tent to the top, that should help. When they are done leave them to cool for about 15 minutes, then they will be ready to be devoured in seconds! They are so good, I am eagerly waiting for them to come out of the oven now. James, I am sorry, I can't promise there will be any left when you get home.

Enjoy these little treats from France, and please leave comments below about how they turned out for you.

Bon Appétit!

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  1. OMG those look amazing!!! ...and sound delicious as well.