Here’s the deal, I need to get a few things out of the way right off the bat: Making cannelés will require things from you. First of all, you will want to invest in a pan or molds, and depending on your choice that cost will vary. The second thing is your most precious resource of all: time. Everyone will tell you to prepare cannelé batter one to three days before you plan to bake it, and I will tell you it is worth that wait. Finally, making cannelés will require patience—of yourself and with the baking process. Now, you may not achieve cannelé perfection on your first attempt, but an imperfect, slightly pale or slightly dark cannelé is still unbelievably, mind-bogglingly good. Besides, aren’t unrealistic expectations of perfection something many of us struggle with anyway? So let’s take that out of this equation right now. Let’s just enjoy the process of learning and growing and experiencing without lamenting what should have or could have been. Oh, and another thing you’ll be needing are ingredients. Or ingredientses. And if you see what I did there, Fabellinis are on me—table-flipping is optional.
Next up on the need to know cannelé information list: If you’re on the internet and you’re looking for cannelé recipes, you may notice they are sometimes spelled as Canelés, or referred to as Canelés de Bordeaux, or as Cannelés de Bordeaux, and maybe your head will start to spin. Canelés or Canelés de Bordeaux, as I understand it, are the defining iteration of the recipe and were deemed so by a guild of French bakers to distinguish them from all the adulterated versions that exist solely to glean from the greatness of the one true Canelés from, or de, Bordeaux. That OG version calls for dark rum, a coating of beeswax and butter brushed into the molds—the copper molds—and probably to be from Bordeaux, or French at the very least. This recipe I’m putting forth, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, is dubbed Cannelés because they fall into the bastardized version category. I’ve found I prefer them with Grand Marnier instead of dark rum. And I’m okay with that.
I can’t tell you how many batches of these I’ve made since March while trying to nail down the recipe, because I’ve actually lost count. What I can tell you though, is that I’m definitely not sick of making them. Or eating them. They’ve made many a morning for me with a cup of coffee, and many an evening, as well, with a glass of wine. They are truly like a hand-held version of crème brȗlée, with their crunchy, caramelized exterior and soft, custardy interior. As I think about it now, these would be great to offer to the people who order crème brȗlée to go in restaurants (it’s a thing), with the reassuring promise that they’ll bring the dish back tomorrow—washed, even! Except that deep down I know that the people who order crème brȗlée to go in restaurants aren’t likely to be placated by anything other than what they want, when they want it. But what can one do? It puts the lotion in the basket. It serves the crème brȗlée to go. It makes cannelés over and over again until they’re just right enough to share in hopes that other people will experience the joy they provide. Or I do, at least.
I call for vanilla sugar in this recipe, although regular granulated will work fine. I know vanilla beans are super expensive right now. If you’d like to read a bit about why, here’s a jumping off point. I’ve noticed they’re now being kept behind the counter at one store where I buy them, instead of where they used to live with the other baking items in order to prevent their theft, I presume. That said, I keep two vanilla bean pods whose seeds I've long since used in a container with organic cane sugar to make the vanilla sugar I use in this recipe. When the container gets low, I top it off with more sugar leaving the same vanilla pods in. It is a gift that keeps on giving, and it's great in baked goods. It also doubles as aromatherapy for those times when you're feeling stressed. No joke. Take a deep breathe and release all the tension. Then eat a cannelé.
Well hello! I'm Kat, and
I'm always either cooking or thinking about what I want to cook next. For me, food is always about so much more than just my next meal. This is a place for sharing stories and recipes from a life lived through the lens of food...