Tuesday, July 02, 2019

Taste of Artisan: Canelés de Bordeaux

I had canelé molds on my Amazon wish list for what seemed like forever.  I mean, they're a bit expensive, what with the copper and all.  And I couldn't really justify them for something that probably wouldn't get made often.  But I finally sprang for the splurge item, which meant I had to actually use them to alleviate the guilt.  I'm certainly glad I did.  These canelés were amazingly crunchy on the outside, tender and creamy on the inside, and delicately sweet.  Highly recommended if you want to try something a little bit out of your baking comfort zone.

Canelés de Bordeaux

2 vanilla beans
500 milliliters cold whole milk
250 grams granulated sugar
100 grams all-purpose flour
50 grams unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
4 tablespoons dark rum

For the mold coating:
40 grams beeswax
60 grams unsalted butter

Pierre Hermé recommends that before you use your copper canelé molds for the first time, clean them, and then season them by coating them with butter and placing them for 20 minutes in a hot oven - 500°F or more. Remove them from the oven, clean them with a paper towel while they’re still hot, and allow them to cool before using. Never wash the molds, simply wipe with a dry cloth or a paper towel after each use.

Slit the vanilla beans lengthwise, and scrape the seeds from them with a small knife. Put the seeds, vanilla pods, and milk in a saucepan and bring them to a gentle simmer, and then turn off the heat and let sit for two minutes.

In a separate bowl, whisk sugar, eggs and egg yolks. Add melted butter and whisk more until combined.

Remove the pods from the milk. Add ¼ of the hot milk into egg mixture and mix well. Add flour and continue mixing until combined. Then slowly add the remaining milk while continuing to mix until all ingredients are mixed well. Add rum and mix. This way you will avoid lumps and will end up with the perfect consistency of the batter. (Note: This step is very important. Adding hot milk to egg mixture will temper the eggs and create custard which will ensure perfect consistency of your canelés).

Refrigerate for 24 to 48 hours. This is non-negotiable. The texture and flavor improves dramatically by the second day and third day. So, 24 hour rest is mandatory. 48 hours if you want amazing canelés. The batter may be kept in a refrigerator for up to 4 days. Each time you use the batter, stir it well and work it at least 2 minutes with a whisk.

For a smooth, shiny surface that accentuates the dark brown color of the canelés, coat the molds with a mix of beeswax and butter melted together. For this, melt the beeswax and butter together, quickly pour the mix into a mold and then back out into the original container. Turn upside down on a cooling rack with paper towel underneath to catch drippings. Once cooled down, chill in a freezer or a refrigerator until ready to bake.

Preheat oven to 550°F. Fill the molds with batter to 3/8 inch from the top. Place on a foil lined baking sheet and bake the canelés at 550°F for 10 minutes. Without opening the oven, drop the temperature to 375°F and continue baking for another 45 to 50 minutes. Every oven is different, so your baking times may need to be adjusted.

Remove canelés from the oven. Quickly remove canelés from the molds and place on a cooling rack upside down. Canelés usually slide right out of their molds, but if they don't, turn the mold upside down and knock on a hard surface, such as a cutting board.

Let cool for 2 hours at room temperature. Canelés must be eaten on the day they are baked.

Makes 16 canelés

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