June 17, 2007
I can't believe I have waited this long to make "canneles" (ka-ne-lays), just because I did not have the proper canneles molds. This specialty tea cake from the region of Bordeaux is one of my all time favorites but when I moved to the US, those little shiny molds where not part of the "must have" items I took with me. Literary folks, I moved here with 2 suitcases full but not much from the home country. My parents have been filling the gaps and fulfilled my nostalgic demands with every visit they make but very soon after my moving here the craving started to hit really bad.
To fix my sweet tooth, I started baking them in muffin tins and small ramequins but I always hesitated posting about them, fearing "canneles" traditionalists and purists woud give me the evil eye and roll their shoulder in disappointment. Well, that was until I read this post by Melissa at The Traveler's Lunchbox. It made me realize that if something is good, does it really matter if the shape of the final product is different than the traditional? Isn't respecting the ingredients and baking method the most important?
How to describe a "cannele"...hmmm...that's kind of a tough one. Dark but not burnt on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside. The batter is like a thick crepe batter turning into a cake right before your very eyes while wrapping your senses in an intoxicating aroma of vanilla and rum. Do not wait to get the right molds to try these as the one you eat quickly becomes two and three and pretty much you forget they were supposed to make it to the neighbors' house (oops!). When the time came to make these the other day, I could not find my little blue notebook with all the recipes I had gathered before I left France and after looking at many recipes and variations for canneles, I finally settled on this one which gave me the most wonderful little morsels.
Makes 12 muffin sized ones
750 milk (2 1/2 cups)
50 gr butter (1 1/2 oz)
3 eggs plus 3 egg yolks
300 gr granulated sugar (10 oz)
1 Tb vanilla extract
6 Tb rum
150 gr all purpose flour (5 1/4 oz)
In a saucepan, bring the milk to a simmer, add the butter cut into dices. Mix well and let cool to lukewarm.
In a bowl, mix the eggs, egg yolks, sugar and vanilla and whisk until foamy. Slowly add the rum and flour. Add the milk slowly and whisk until smooth. Pass it through a sieve if neessary.
Let the batter rest in the fridge for a ouple of hours or overnight. (I make mine the day before)
When the batter has rested, preheat the oven to 425F and divide it evenly among the muffin tins, generously coated with cooking spray or well buttered. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour.
If you can wait, you will find that they are better the next day.
Apologies to all "canneles" purists but what is a girl to do when the cravings strike and cannot wait?