Canele De Bordeaux is probably one of my favorite little pastries in the world.  The first time I had one was about 13 years ago when I went to San Francisco and ate at a wonderful french bakery called

La Boulange Bakery

with a good friend of my in the food business

Gena Berry of Culinary Works.

From the first bite, it is pretty hard not to fall in love.  I lived there for the next year and half and frequented this place often just to order one.  Then I traveled to France and in certain regions you can find them, Paris is among one of those areas where you can.  I have not been to Bordeaux before but I am sure you can find them everywhere.  I remember in Paris just buying one in every place I saw them.  If you have never heard, seen, or tried one of these delectable pastries, the best way I can describe them is a crunchy caramel exterior with a creme brulee (custard) interior.

If you look online there is a lot of debate and techniques about these little portable creme brulee's.  There are roughly 3 different types of molds you can buy.  Silicon non-stick molds, aluminum molds, and the copper molds.  I bought the silicon mini molds years ago and could never get the crust right on those, so personally I would not recommend the mini ones.  I know they have the large ones and some say those work fine.  I could not justify paying 20$ a piece for the copper ones because I would need to buy at least 10 to 20 so I can use them when I cater.  I went with the aluminum molds because they were 8$ a piece at

Sur La Table

.

Now there is also a lot of talk over "white oil" when coating the inside of the molds.  The white oil is beeswax and butter combination.  When I used my silicon molds a few years ago I used this more than once and it didn't turn out very well plus the wax was expensive.  I didn't have any more of the beeswax this time so I decided to try just the butter.  There is also a lot of talk over resting the batter at least 24 hours up to 48 hours.  This post is to share with you my experience and what I did and how mine turned out.  I baked two batches with the same batter.  The first one I did was only about 5 hours after I made the batter.  The second was 24 hours later.  To be honest with you the first ones came out better than the second ones that rested 24 hours.  I don't know if it was because I didn't butter or clean the molds good from the first time or if my I just got lucky on the first batch.  Now if you rest your batter over night they say to let it sit out an hour before you fill the molds and bake them.  I did that on the second  batch and they weren't the same.  I'm not saying that resting your batter is not necessary or needed, I am simply sharing with you my experience.  Okay enough talking and to the recipe.  I had a recipe from a french magazine that I had bought in France but it was very much like a few online so I did a little from both.

500 ml of Milk =  1/2 Liter

1/2 vanilla bean

250 g of granulated sugar

50 g of butter (roughly 4 tbsp) Plus 3 more tbsp melted for the molds

100g of all purpose flour

2 whole eggs

2 egg yolks

pinch of salt

1/4 cup of rum

In a small pot add milk, vanilla bean, and butter and bring to a boil.  Then turn off.  In a mixing bowl add sugar, flour, and salt together and mix well.  Make a well in the center of the bowl and add your eggs and yolks.  Mix until it just comes together.  Then slowly add the milk mixture to the egg and flour mixture.  Mix until the batter comes together smoothly but without over mixing.  You want to try and avoid incorporating a lot of air. The air in the batter will cause the caneles to puff up like a souffle and you don't want to over do that.  Some of the recipes say to strain the batter here but I did not.  A lot of times recipes say to strain your custard in case you have lumps or scramble the eggs. But if you temper them a little at a time you shouldn't scramble the eggs and it didn't look like my batter had any lumps.  Once all the milk was incorporated and I had my canele batter finished, I placed the bowl into another bowl of ice water to cool the batter down fast.  I stirred occasionally to help the cooling process.  Then once the batter was completely cooled, I placed the batter into the refrigerator for the next 3 hours.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Then take the batter out and let it start to come to room temperature for about 45 minutes.  Meanwhile take 3 tbsp of butter and melt it.  Take a brush a brush the inside of the molds with butter.  Lightly stir the batter and fill the canele molds between half way and 3/4 way full with the batter.  Tap them lightly to release any air bubbles. Then place the molds on a baking sheet and place in the oven.  Bake for roughly 50 minutes to an hour. At the half way mark rotate the pan in the oven so they cook evenly.  You want a dark chocolate looking outside to the canele, this will be a good indicator of when to take them out.  If they look yellow in the middle or around the outside, bake them for a little longer.  I baked them the whole way at 400 degrees but there is a lot of different recipes that start the oven off really hot and then reduce the heat.  Again this post is what I did and the results I got and I will say that they turned out really well.   Un-mold the caneles one minute after you take them out.  As they cool that crust will become crunchy and the middle will cool.  We have been eating these the last few days which has been nice since we are waiting for our first child to come. Once you make these and have them laying around, you will not be able to stop eating them.  This was a picture from my first batch. The second batch was from the same batter but I think my molds were not cleaned well enough from the first batch and my batter was too cold because I had lot more sticking to the molds.  I think I should have left them in a little longer in the oven too.  I will make another run soon and follow up on this post.

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