Wednesday, November 24, 2010
A cannelé is a small French pastry with a soft and tender custard center and a dark, thick caramelized crust. The dessert, which is in the shape of small, striated cylinder approximately two inches in height, is a specialty of the Bordeaux region of France but can often be found in Parisian patisseries as well. Made from egg, sugar, milk and flour flavored with rum and vanilla, the custard batter is baked in a mold, giving the canelé a caramelized crust and custard-like inside.
A little lesson on history! Legend has it that that cannelés were started during the landing of the boats of flour on the quays of Bordeaux. But more realistically, they would have been created and invented in the 18th century by the barbarians of the convent of Annonciades, in Bordeaux, today convent of the Mercy, under the name of canelas or camelions. Those first cannelas did not still look like canelés yet: they were small cakes of very thin dough rolled around a stick and fried.
The two most difficult steps are to be patient about letting the batter rest and to bake the cannelés at the right temperature or they can deflate rapidly.
The traditional baking method requires a special fluted copper mold, greased with beeswax (for us, butter!) for a golden outer crust and easy unmolding. Use of silicone molds, which are not authentic but they give results that are just as delicious. After baking, the tiny desserts will have a thick, caramelized crust and a tender custard center. The contrast is very nice, and they're wonderful right out of the oven.
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 tablespoon rum
Bring the milk and butter to the boil together in a saucepan.
Stir the flour and sugar together in a bowl. Beat the egg and yolk together in a cup, then stir it into the flour mixture.
Next, add the hot milk mixture, whisking smooth. The batter should be thin and lump-free, like crêpe batter.
Stir in the vanilla and rum. Cover the batter and let it sit in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.
Pour the batter into a mini bundt pan.
Heat the oven to 450°F/230°C. Bake the cannelés 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F/180°C and continue baking until dark brown, 45 minutes to an hour. The cakes are meant to be quite dark on the outside. Unmould, and cool before serving.
This is my entry for Priya's AWED.