Canelés

A canelé is a cork-shaped pastry from Bordeaux, which has a caramelised crust and soft middle. These impressive desserts are well worth the effort.

Ingredients

  • 470ml full-fat milk
  • 50g good-quality French unsalted butter
  • ½ vanilla pod, split lengthways and seeds scraped out
  • 230g granulated sugar
  • 1 medium eggand 2 medium egg yolks, beaten
  • 50ml dark rum
  • 120g plain flour
  • beeswax (available from amazon.co.uk), melted, to grease the moulds (if they are copper)

Baking

  1. Make the batter a day in advance. Put 160ml milk, the butter, the vanilla pod and seeds, and 20g sugar in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over a medium heat. Remove from the heat and let cool to about 38C or until lukewarm to the touch – too cool and the butter will congeal, too hot and the eggs will start to cook.
  2. Whisk in the egg mixture until incorporated, then mix in the rum and the rest of the milk.
  3. Mix the flour, remaining sugar and 1/2 tsp salt together in a bowl. Whisk in the liquid in thirds, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl between additions. Avoid over-whisking: too many air bubbles will result in dry canelés. The batter should have the same consistency as double cream.
  4. Strain the batter through a sieve into an airtight container. Press clingfilm directly onto the surface of the batter to prevent a skin from forming. Close the lid tightly and chill in the fridge overnight to rest the batter.
  5. Heat oven to 230C/210C fan/gas 8. Warm eight (or 16 if you have them) 5cm canelé moulds on the middle shelf in the oven for 5-10 mins. This helps to give the canelés a crunchy, caramelised exterior.
  6. Brush the moulds with a thin layer of melted beeswax (too much will cause the mixture to spill out during baking). Wring the clingfilm of any mixture that sticks to it, then gently mix to recombine ingredients that may have settled overnight. Do not overmix, or you risk incorporating too much air. The more uniform the batter, the better the final product.
  7. Fill each mould with batter. Be sure to leave 0.5cm at the top – when the canelé bakes, it will rise slightly and then sink, so it is important to account for this.
  8. Put the moulds on a baking tray and bake on the middle shelf for 10-15 mins. Rotate the tray by 180 degrees, reduce oven temperature to 180C/160C fan/ gas 4 and bake for 30-35 mins. (Baking time can vary depending on your oven.) Keep an eye on the canelés’ colour during the final mins to avoid over- or under-baking. The bottom should be a deep maple syrup colour.
  9. Remove the canelés from the oven, let sit for 10 mins, then turn the moulds upside down and gently tap the base until the canelé drops out. Cool completely before serving.

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