This week’s Tuesdays with Dorie recipe from Baking Chez Moi was one I made even before Baking Chez Moi came out in a teaser post for the book. At that point, I found the cannelé recipe “dead easy” although if you look at the post you’ll see I had some inconsistent results.I mean, there were these:
I put cannelés out of my mind for a few months but fast forward to the spring of 2015 when I became what can only be described as a canelé obsessed, publishing How to make cannelés in silicone molds in the spring of 2015 – to date one of my most trafficked posts on my blog (the second highest). At that point, I used a combination of Dorie’s recipe/ technique and Jill Colonna’s (author of Mad about Macarons and Teatime in Paris) after MONTHS of extensive testing of different silicone molds with melted butter, room temperature butter, beeswax and various combinations of these to coat the molds settling on a certain brand of mold (Mastrad)
If you know me, though, you know I don’t leave well enough alone and inspired by a dessert I enjoyed in a restaurant in December 2018 (with Dorie, of all people, when she was on tour here for Everyday Dorie), I started experimenting with my recipe again, further refining and tweaking it to make it the easiest possible, publishing an update to the epic post in January 2019.
Oh but wait…. this post isn’t about me and my recipe? Oh, right….
The point is, all my experimenting meant I came to this week’s recipe with a wealth of knowledge (outlined in *that* post) and, even though I messed up and forgot to add some ingredients (melted butter! Forgot about it until I was just about to pop them in the oven. Mixed it in then and they were totally fine!) until the last minute, it all worked out. The science of baking prevails!
1. Air is not your friend. Too much air in the batter will cause them to puff up too much in the oven.
2. Use the best quality silicone molds (read: thicker, not flimsy) that you can afford. The thin ones will get too hot too fast and produce inconsistent results no matter what you do and you’ll find yourself having to say “I don’t know” when people ask you if you can bring 60 of them to their party. Because you get different results every time. See below for the molds I recommend.
3. Don’t fuss too much over the batter. In fact, treat it like you couldn’t care less if it works out or not and it might just cooperate 😉 My most successful “tweak” in technique was borrowed from Jill Colonna, author of Teatime in Paris whereby you make a paste from the eggs, egg yolks, sugar and flour and them gently whisk in the hot milk/ butter mix. This seemed to help with a less airy batter – when I tried adding the dry ingredients to the hot liquid I always had to whisk much more which led to more bubbles and air (see #1).
4. Rest your batter at least 12 hours, preferably 24 hours overnight. Gently stir it (with the back of a knife – you don’t want to whisk too much now it’s all settled).
5. Use the batter straight from the fridge (many recipes call for room temperature batter).
6. As you are heating the oven, melt some butter and lightly (ever so lightly, mind) brush the molds with the butter. Make sure it doesn’t pool in the bottom of the molds by turning the molds upside down on a cooling rack set over paper towel to drain excess butter out if necessary.
7. Contrary to popular belief, I have had much more success with room temperature molds (another tip from Jill Colonna). Many recipes, including Dorie’s here, tell you to use cold molds) before you bake. Batter straight from the fridge and room temperature molds produced the best looking (and best interiors) of all the batches – and the most consistent, even shapes…
8. I’ve had a lot of success in the last 10 minutes of baking time by removing the cannelé entirely from the molds, popping them upright on the tray and baking until golden all over.
And my canelé this week?
Truth be told, these were a tiny but *too* cooked on the bottom (I left them longer than the 10 minutes I usually leave them out of the mold on the tray – was distracted!) but no matter – the crust and interior was perfect and I just shaved a little bit off the bottom to eat them 😉
Want to try these for yourself?
Get the recipe for Dorie Greenspan’s Cannelés on page 222 of Baking Chez Moi.
Tuesdays with Dorie participants don’t publish the recipes on our blogs, so you’re encouraged to purchase Baking Chez Moi for yourself which you can do on Amazon (this link should bring you to the Amazon store in your country) or for free worldwide shipping, buy from The Book Depository. Then join us, baking our way through the book!
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