Canneles from Bordeaux

Canneles are the new cupcakes!

One of my favorite things to do around this time of year is look at the food trends for this year and the new trends for the upcoming new year.  Here are a few – “Mini Size Me!” (yay!) , Less Salt, More Flavor, Molecular Techniques in Cooking (I hate that!), Grilled cheese is the new hamburger, Doughnuts get upgraded and Canneles are the new cupcakes.

In order to make Canneles, you are meant to have copper molds.  These little 2″ molds cost $30 each.  Well, I ain’t doin’ that.  You can buy silicone rubber molds.  I happened to have some metal molds that should work. This recipe is from Williams-Sonoma. I think they sell the silicone molds.

Canneles 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. Sort of a “portable creme brulee” because they contrast a crunchy caramelized exterior with a moist, custardy center.

You you meant to use authentic copper cannele molds and are also meant to coat them with beeswax (which you can find at some health food store and farmers’ markets). The wax makes the unmolding easier, and — most important — gives the canneles their distinctive, crunchy crust.

Make sure you let the batter rest for the full 12 hours. The best way to eat these is with a cup of strong coffee. You can also serve them as a dessert, cut in half and drizzled with caramel sauce.

Canneles from Bordeaux

Makes 54

2 cups milk
2 vanilla beans, halved lengthwise
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
3 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
1 Tbs dark rum
4 Tbs (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for brushing
1 cup sifted all-purpose flour

In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm the milk. Using the back of a knife, scrape the seeds from the vanilla beans and add the seeds and beans to the milk. Bring just to a boil, then immediately remove from the heat. Cover and let cool for 20 minutes. Strain the milk into a small bowl.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and egg yolks. Whisk in the confectioners’ sugar. Add the rum, the 4 Tbs. melted butter, the flour and the cooled milk and whisk until smooth. Cover and refrigerate for at least 24 hours or up to 4 days.

Preheat an oven to 400ºF. Generously butter an 18-well silicone cannelé mold and place on a baking sheet.

Whisk the batter until it is completely smooth. Fill each prepared well three-fourths full of batter. Bake until the cannelés are dark brown and puffed, 40 to 45 minutes.

Immediately invert the mold onto a wire rack and remove the cannelés, using a toothpick to gently loosen them, if needed. Let the mold and the baking sheet cool completely, then repeat with more melted butter and the remaining batter.  And…viola! Serve warm from the oven.

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