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Aug 15, 2002 06:44 PM

Canelé Bordelais? Canelé de Bordeaux? Anyone got a recipe?

  • k

I fell in love with a canelé mold. It happened to me before with the madeleine (it's been a steady relationship for a few years now), and I just can't be happy until I've tried to make one (or six). But I don't have a recipe. Supposedly there's one in the July/August edition of Food Arts, but I don't know where to get a hold of that. Library?

For those of you who don't know what a canelé is, it's an incredibly cute, medieval looking little sponge cake/cookie that looks like a steep-sided charlotte with fluted sides, or (to me at least) like those plastic molds we used to make "cakes" in the sand pit when I was very, very young. The cookie is quite small and usually brown, with a crunch to the exterior; the flavor is vanilla-y. It seems related to the madeleine, and it's a specialty of the Bordeaux region. I never ate one; this is just what I've read.

I found some French sites with recipes but they were too vague and also, the Google translator just didn't do such a great job this time.

Any help will be appreciated.

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  1. katerina:

    are you in nyc? if so, go to Payard and sample their canelles... delicious.

    as for recipes: you can find them in Nancy Silverton's pastry book as well as Gale Gand's latest (I don't have it but believe it to be all on bite-sized sweets). I also have a Lenotre book but it is in French and my translation skills are rusty. I think I recall hearing someone say that one of the Roux brothers included a canelle recipe in one of his books.

    The amazing thing about this delicacy is that the batter is baked at high temperature (approx 400F) for an amazingly long period of time: Nancy Silverton calls for 2 hours! I use the silicon molds and they have worked beautifully. Do you have the copper molds? They certainly are beautiful!

    Good luck and let me know how you get on or if you need further assistance -- are we allowed to reprint recipes from other people's books? if so, let me know and i'll type it out for you.


    9 Replies
    1. re: kit williams

      Hi Kit, We're very careful about copyright infringement so, no, we don't allow copying of recipes from cookbooks or other printed material. If you can put the recipe into your own words, that's ok. If there's a recipe on the internet that you can post a link for, that's the best. Thanks for asking.

      1. re: The Chowhound Team

        Not to be argumentative, Chowhound Team, but I believe that the generally accepted standard for recipe copyright infringement is posting more than three recipes from a single source (I've also read that a single recipe per se cannot actually be copyrighted at all, just a collection). I've been a member of the Compuserve Cooks Forum for a zillion years, and that's the standard Compuserve lawyers have adhered to, so recipes are posted there all the time, with proper citations of the source, of course.

        One can certainly argue that Compuserve isn't the brightest light in the ether, but so far as I know they've never been accused of recipe copyright infringement in all these years.

        1. re: Abra

          Abra, no one's "accusing" you of anything; please don't take it so personally! We're just enforcing our house rules, and one of them is that we don't allow reprint of any copyrighted information, including recipes. The rule's not up for debate, regardless of how others may do or view things.

          You can link to recipes (if they're elsewhere online), or you can paraphrase them (ingredient lists needn't be paraphrased, just the instructions).

          Thanks in advance for your cooperation.

          1. re: The Chowhound Team

            C-hound team, if you read Abra's post again you'll see she says nothing about you accusing her; it's actually you, not her, who bringing the personal into the debate. She only says that Compuserve has never been accused [by the cookbook authors or their publishers] of copyright infringement despite quoting recipes all the time.

            Her response merely stated what the practice was on a much larger forum and what legally constitutes copyright infringement. It was at the least interesting to learn those facts.

            Of course, you make the rules and no one disputes that.

            1. re: The Chowhound Team

              Huh? I can't imagine taking an issue like this personally, so I have no idea what you're talking about. Just thought you might be interested in knowing what someone else's no doubt highly paid lawyers had decided on the issue.

              1. re: Abra

                Hi, Abra, I'm coming late to all this...

                If my guess is correct, I think this moderator mistakenly thought you were offended that we'd described this as copyright violation, and mistook your remark about "accused of copyright violation" as your feeling personally offended by our policy. I'm glad the moderator was wrong!

                Anyway....different legal experts have different opinons on this issue. It's not a cut and dried matter, and our intellectual property lawyer is top-of-the-line, too. We're following her advice to take a cautious stance in what we're informed is an ambiguous area. We don't need lawsuits added to our load!

                I used to be a Compuserver, too! Welcome!


          2. re: The Chowhound Team

            thanks, Chowhound Team, for kindly reminding me of the rules. so here is my version of nancy silverton's canelles recipe:

            4 cups milk
            2 oz. butter
            5 extra-large egg yolks
            1 extra-large egg
            2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
            2 cups pastry flour
            2 tsp. vanilla extract
            1 tsp. dark rum

            Batter must be prepared 24 hours in advance of baking. Lightly coat molds with vegetable oil.

            Bring 2-1/2 cups of the milk and the butter to a full boil. Remove from heat and cool slightly.

            In large bowl whisk together egg, yolks and sugar. Add flour and stir to combine -- this will make a very stiff batter. Combine remaining milk, vanilla and rum. Stir (whisking is impossible) a little of this mixture at a time into the egg/sugar/flour until the batter is loose enough to easily add the rest. Gradually add the warm milk mixture, whisking constantly. Strain into a large bowl or container and refrigerate for 24 to 48 hours.

            Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place prepared molds on sheet pan. Whisk batter until smooth and fill each mold to the top. Bake for 2 hours (that is correct!) until they are very dark on the outside. You'll probably have to sacrifice one to see if they are done in the interior (I have found the prescribed 2 hours to be perfect for my oven).

            I use silicon molds and the canelles pop right out after cooling in the molds for 10 to 15 minutes.

            This recipe works well for me but I know of others who have had varied results. Hope it works for you!

              1. re: kit williams

                After having these little cakes at La Brea Bakery in LA I was determine to make them myself. Unfortunately, this recipe did not work out for me at all. Are you following the recipe was written or are you making adjustments in cooking time and temp? My canele burned to a crisp. I have a very reliable Taylor thermometer in my oven, so I know it wasn't a degree over 400. Not only did they burn, most of the cakes contracted and almost popped out of their molds. What I ended up with were flat bundt-like mounds. I do have some baking experience, I've made some complicated things out of Maida Heatter's and Marcel Desaulnier's books. Gale Gand has a recipe in her book "Just a Bite" that sounds promising. I want to try that one next.

          3. There is a recipe in Nancy Silverton's "Pastries from the La Brea Bakery". I hope you have more than one mold.

            1 Reply
            1. re: wally

              I have eaten the Silverton caneles and they are excellent.

            2. If you want to point me to a couple of the French sites I'll be happy to translate the recipe for you.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Abra

                Wow, thank you!!!

                How about this one then: (link)

                If you ever need a translation from or to Czech, let me know... :>)


                1. re: Katerina

                  Here's my translated version - good luck!

                  For 12 cannelés

                  1/2 litre (just over 2 cups) milk
                  1 pinch salt
                  2 whole eggs plus 2 egg yolks
                  1/2 vanilla bean
                  1 Tablespoon rum
                  100 grams flour
                  250 grams powdered sugar
                  50 grams butter, plus another 50 to butter te molds

                  Bring the milk, vanille, and butter to a boil. Mix togethr the flour, the powdered sugar, then the eggs all at once, then the hot milk. Mix gently until blended - this should have the consistency of a crepe batter. Let cool, add rum.

                  Chill in fridge for 1 hour. Heat the oven to 500°, as well as a cookie sheet on which you'll place the molds.

                  Place the well chilled batter into the buttered molds, not filling over half full. Quickly place these on the hot cookie sheet so as to not let the oven cool down. Bake for 5 minutes, then lower heat to (here's the problem, no temperature given here, just a dial indicator that we don't have here so I don't know the temp - it looks to be about 275°) and continue to bake for one hour.

                  The cannelé should have a crusty brown exterior and a soft interior. Remove from the molds while still warm.

              2. j
                JoAnn Coffino

                Hope this works for you! - JoAnn

                Canneles de Bordeaux
                (Recipe developed by JoAnn Coffino, owner and pastry chef of True Confections Bakery Mill Valley,CA. 1978-1999)

                Yield 4 cups liquid (approx. 16 large or 32 small)

                2 ¼ cups whole milk
                1 whole vanilla bean
                1 ¾ ounces sweet butter
                8 ounces granulated sugar
                2 large whole eggs
                2 egg yolks
                2 ½ tablespoons rum
                3 ½ ounces cake flour -sifted
                Beeswax and sweet butter for molds

                Split vanilla bean, scrape the inside with a knife tip, and put both bean and scrapings into saucepan along with the milk. Bring to a boil and then cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.

                Discard the pieces of vanilla bean pod .

                Melt the butter and set aside Combine whole eggs and yolks in a mixing bowl. While continually beating in electric mixer at medium speed, add sugar, rum, melted butter, sifted flour, and finally the cold vanilla infused milk. Put mixture through a mesh strainer, cover bowl and refrigerate for 24 hours before proceeding. (the mixture can be held for up to four days ) Be sure to whisk the mixture well before each use. The canneles should be eaten the same day as baked.

                To obtain the best exterior dark color and crisp texture it is important to use copper molds and beeswax. To prepare the copper molds, melt equal amounts of sweet butter and shaved beeswax and apply to the inside surface of molds with a pastry brush using just enough to coat surface.

                Pour the canneles filling into the molds to within a ¼” of the top. Bake in a 410 degree F. oven 1 hour for the 3.5 cm. diameter size molds, or 1 hour 10 minutes for the 5.5 cm. diameter size molds. During the last 10 minutes of baking , cover tops of molds with parchment paper or foil to prevent burning.
                Remove the canneles from the molds while still hot.


                2 Replies
                1. re: JoAnn Coffino

                  I just had a La Brea Bakery Cannelle. I almost died of bliss.

                  So now I am on a mission to make some. Anybody know where you would get beeswax that is meant for such a purpose (as opposed to making furniture wax, say)?

                  1. re: ecaitlin

                    Please post on your regional board for a local source - or the general topics board for a mail order source.


                2. I have a silicon canelé mold and haven't used it yet. Actually, I've been a little apprehensive about making these -- seems like there must be hidden variables affecting how these turn out.

                  But I will press forward. A question for you all though -- are these kind of like financiers without the nuts? (Know that's a silly question but still . . ..) Because you have a good amount of egg, the batter has to rest for a while, and you end up with kind of a different texture inside, right? Do you think canele and financers are kind of related?