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Canelé Misadventures Part IV

hi p-nut,
looking back at my notes, i baked them last time at 375° instead of Paula's 400°, either to control browning, or to adjust from still-oven to convection. and strangely, baked them for less time, 1:15 instead of 2hrs.
i always turn the trays because my oven has some seriously lame hotspots.
so far, i've had better results baking one sheet at a time, not stacking two.
opening the door to rotate the pan helps to deflate them a little too. luckily they bake straight up. maybe a few bubble warts, but mostly straight and flat. it's neat.
i've never not chilled the molds. at this point i'm too afraid not too because they finally turn out so well.

for me, if nothing else, cannelés have so many great textures and flavors in one little bomb.
vanilla, egg, rum, butter, caramel, cream, honey-like beeswax (nothing beats it), cruch, chew, silky smooth.
so freaking awesome.
(and great for breakfast.)

i tried a bitter almond batter once, cuz i loves me some bitter almond, and i liked it, but not as much as the traditional flavor profile.

Dec 16, 2010
MuybridgeMoves in Home Cooking

Canelé Misadventures Part IV

greetings canelé/cannelé makers,
i slogged through most of the four consecutive cannelé threads and wanted to finally chime in.

usually starting around this time of year, especially after the first of the year when the only decent fruit i can source is citrus, i look to Paula Wolfert's cannelé recipe and method from The Cooking of Southwest France.

i had problems with blonde spots (among other things) on the finished pieces at first and thought i had to tweak the recipe.
then i started baking them in a convection oven instead of a conventional still oven. i actually went back to the original un-altered recipe.
it made all the difference.

to reiterate a few points spread throughout the four threads, based on my own tests:
incorporate as little air in the batter as possible. that's what turns them into popovers.
i made the batter like a creme by tempering the eggs with warm steeped/flavored milk. dont whisk.
it rests in the fridge for at least a day like a crepe batter.
before using, i skim any foam bubbles from the surface of the batter.

i dont wash the molds either. they’re so greasy with butter and beeswax, any crusty bits come off, more or less, with a paper towel and strong fingers. you dont want to damage the tin interior.
the mold seasoning itself is adapted slightly from Paula's recipe. instead of oil, i use clarified butter with the beeswax, cuz why not.
i make a small batch, store the excess in a mason jar and then reheat in a water bath when i need it again.
warm the molds in the oven for a minute until they’re very warm to the touch. then safely pour the hot butter-wax to nearly the top of the mold.
when all are filled, empty them out and rest/drain upside-down on a rack over some foil to catch the excess. i may help this along by warming on top of the preheated oven for several minutes.
sometimes a drop of wax remains on the inside center dimple-indentation of the mold (this will be the top of the finished piece-- gently remove this extra wax or you'll get a blonde dimple).

after all the excess has drained, and the molds are cool, they go in the freezer for at least 30 min. also, the batter must be super-chilled.
they’re filled nearly to the top and baked to within an inch of their lives. it defies normal baking intuition.

i don’t know if the forced convection air is drier or better regulated or what, but they turned out so much better than before:
even color, shiny flavorful crunchy exterior, light creamy center.

it’s funny, i've known very few people who like them. i have no idea why, they’re awesome.
next batch i make, i'll post pics.

after all that, when i don’t want to bake them myself, or if i need a benchmark to strive for, i’ll go to Mission Beach Café on Guerrero at 14th. they're the best i've found.

happy holiday cannelé baking!

Dec 07, 2010
MuybridgeMoves in Home Cooking