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My Canelé Misadventures, Thus Far

pilinut Jul 26, 2010 07:07 PM

Nine years ago, I started out with two sets of silicone canelé molds and an uncomplicated recipe that I had pulled off the internet (http://antioche.lip6.fr/portier/0507.html). No beeswax, no greasing, no freezing--just mix the batter, chill a day, and bake in silicone. Simple. The results were pale in spots, crunchy in some places (though only for a couple of minutes out of the oven), but with delicious custardy-cakey interiors. As the canelés cooled, they started bending out of shape and developing a rather plasticine exterior. Since the results did not seem to hold sufficient promise, I put the molds and the recipe aside, assuming that to bake proper canelés I'd have to go the copper molds-and-beeswax route--and I wasn't masochist enough to fall for that one!

But there's no fool like an old fool, and I recently found myself forking over 60 Euro for a lovely box of 10 copper molds.

Which led to my wasting way too much time on the internet, looking up recipes, techniques, every what-not, and why-not about making canelés I could find. Having thoroughly addled the old gray matter, I then spent hours fiddling with beeswax and canola oil--beeswax in the microwave, beeswax in the oven, beeswax melted by kitchen-torch-- in an effort to lightly and evenly line the interior of the precious bleeping copper molds. (Did I mention that the resulting "white oil" had a tendency to suddenly coagulate on my silicone brush, so I ended up pouring and swirling the quick-drying beeswax in the molds?) When the coating got too thick on a mold, which was in 9 out of 10 of them, I'd put the mold in a warm toaster oven, which invariably resulted in an oily puddle at the bottom of the mold, necessitating another attempt at coating the interior before the oil turned to wax, which it would do quickly and abruptly. Eventually, I settled for far-from-perfect linings, put the molds in the fridge, and went to sleep.

Thanks to threads on this Board, and to links found on them, particularly http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/340907 and the e-gullet thread to which it led, I found a recipe attributed to Pierre Hermé (which turns out to be virtually identical to the one I used 9 years ago.) I also studied the Chow video, "The Perfect Canele": http://www.chow.com/stories/12156. Had Cynsa not told me a few days ago, I would never have known that souschef had been working on canelés at virtually the same time, with much more success (Hats off to souschef!), and posting on it on this thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/719393.

So what did I do? A lot wrong, I think--and here I'd welcome comments and suggestions from the many hounds who are more accomplished bakers than I can ever hope to be. First, as in the video, I scalded 500 ml. of milk with a vanilla bean, which I immediately poured over 50 g. of cold butter in my blender. Finding that the milk was now just warm, I blended in, first, the 2 eggs + 2 yolks, then the 100 g. flour and 250 g. sugar mixture, and finally, the 15 g. rum. The mixture was a thoroughly combined, but frothier than I had expected--the blender container was very full. (I had theorized that a blender would eliminate any need to strain the mixture--yes, I am that lazy--and I hoped that the refrigerated rest period would get rid of any unwanted air bubbles.)

A day and a half later, after the molds had chilled for a couple of hours and the convection oven was preheated to a good 190C/375F, I placed the molds on a baking sheet, filled them, and popped them in the oven. I still had enough batter left over to fill around 15 of my old thimble-sized silicone canelé molds, which went into the oven around 15 minutes after the copper ones.

Since the baking time would be over an hour, off I went to the farmers market nearby, returning just before an hour was up to find--POPOVERS!!! Holy cow! My canelés had BALLOONED! A giggle escaped me just before the gasp of dismay. I reached for my kitchen fork and tried to poke the air out the soufflés, but it was too late. . . I let the disasters bake through the rest of the time, and removed them, a dark, glossy mahogany, from the oven. When I tipped them out of the molds, I found that the bottoms of the cakes were not only blonde, but seriously abbreviated! They had climbed halfway up the molds: it seemed like the batter had tried to heave itself out of its container. That night, I had a nightmare about canelés escaping their molds and running out of the oven to dominate the world :-

)

Proof of the pudding being in the eating, I'd have to say that the beeswax and the copper molds certainly gave me the shiny, crunchy exterior I had hoped for--just not in the right shape! And the recipe ingredients yielded a wonderful rummy, custardy deliciousness that can hold its own anywhere. Now if only I can get the next batches in the right shape, I shall be one happy chowhound!

Help, please, anyone?

  1. p
    Pistou Jan 6, 2011 07:58 AM

    Holy cow, I had no idea caneles had become such a hot topic! I don't have time to read through all of this, but after 4 Christmases of making them, I feel like I've finally nailed it so I'll share my tips/experiences fwiw.

    I am using Paula Wolfert's recipe and technique: http://www.paula-wolfert.com/recipes/...

    About coating, I use half beeswax and half canola oil. If I have a microwave available I melt them in a 1 c. pyrex measuring cup. Otherwise in a double boiler (I have a small bowl and a pyrex that are dedicated--I never even try to clean them). I pour a lot of the mix into one mold, pick it up and turn it, allowing the excess to drip into a second mold. I end up with very thickly coated molds, which I then turn upside down on a foil-lined cookie sheet. This goes into a warm oven for ~3-4 minutes. When it comes out, I quickly turn the molds over, tapping out excess drops (a pair of kitchen tongs comes in handy if you don't have asbestos fingers). This seems to leave the perfect veil of white oil.

    Into the freezer with them for at least 20 minutes.

    The batter I will have made 1-2 days ahead, frozen and defrosted. This was the first year I tried freezing and it really makes a difference in consistency.

    I use the Kitchen Aide with the paddle attachment to make the batter, starting with butter, flour and salt, then adding sugar, then egg yolks, then slowly pouring in the warmed milk (with vanilla if using a bean) and beating til smooth. Add vanilla (if using extract) and rum.

    Blasphemy, I know, but I do not bother with straining.

    When I fill the molds I leave ~1/8 inch of space at the top. When I've tried to fill them fuller, when they puff (and they do), the bit that rises over the rim catches and I have the problem you spoke of, Pilinut--abbreviated caneles that are very blonde and shrunken on the end. With the extra headspace, they puff but then subside back into the mold.

    I am baking at 400 for about an hour and 10 minutes. 3 batches this year, and all have come out perfectly, and even kept their crunch into the next day.

    Hope that helps!

     
    6 Replies
    1. re: Pistou
      pilinut Feb 6, 2011 11:56 PM

      Wow! Where have you been all this time my mother and husband have been suffering my experiments?

      Thank you very much for sharing your expertise. I'm (almost) ready for another go at the little monsters, and your tips will come in handy.

      1. re: Pistou
        t
        The Yummer Feb 23, 2011 09:28 AM

        Thank you "Pistou" have been thinking about this for over a year, purchased the molds from Sur la Table, metal not copper @ $8 per,only bought 4 - am going to attempt - I am still a wee bit intimidated - but your posts have made me feel better! thanks and wish me luck :)

        1. re: The Yummer
          p
          Pistou Feb 23, 2011 11:47 AM

          You are most welcome! Let us know how they come out!

          The bummer is that the setup is very time consuming, as is the baking, so 4 at a time it will take you all day and then some to bake up a whole recipe's worth of batter. The Paula Wolfert recipe makes 17-18 of what I think of as "regular" size cannele (about 3" high by 1.5" wide at the base).

          1. re: Pistou
            t
            The Yummer Feb 23, 2011 12:10 PM

            Thank you again, since I did note that you could freeze the batter - it is all good - anyway it seems I have an amazing amount of time on my hands this week, got my beeswax from a local beekeeper and am stoked! - using canola instead of butter, seasoning the 4 little guys as I write! so by Saturday - who knows?? next on my list is - culinary molecular gastronomy - fun with chemical reactions:) regards

            1. re: The Yummer
              Cynsa Feb 23, 2011 02:14 PM

              Four at a time seems perfect to me; especially now that we have learned from Pistou that batter can be frozen... otherwise, who can devour all of those canelés at once? 3 days and counting?

              1. re: Cynsa
                souschef Feb 23, 2011 06:31 PM

                "who can devour all of those canelés at once?"

                I can ! I make only 6 at a time. Of course I do inflict some of them on my long-suffering wife and my neighbours.

                I don't remember if I mentioned this before, but my favourite chocolatier told me that they should be spaced well apart in the oven, so you should not bake too many at a time.

      2. souschef Aug 30, 2010 09:06 PM

        Please join us on Part II of the thread, here:

        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/731123

        1. souschef Aug 30, 2010 07:14 AM

          Pilinut, Trewq, and any other potential canelé bakers, just a quick tip: I recently bought a tall plastic jug with a pouring spout and a lid, for the batter. The jug makes a great holder for the conical sieve, the batter is stored in the jug, and the pouring spout makes it easy to fill the molds.

          2 Replies
          1. re: souschef
            pilinut Aug 30, 2010 01:15 PM

            Thanks, souschef! I've been thinking of getting an alternative to my 1-liter Pyrex measuring cup, and the one you suggested sounds ideal. Is it glass? Who makes it?

            1. re: pilinut
              souschef Aug 30, 2010 01:18 PM

              It is plastic, and is made by Rubbermaid.

          2. pilinut Aug 29, 2010 11:31 AM

            Yesterday, I baked the second set from my most recent--and very mortifying--batter. Of the 9 far-from-perfect canelés, I have 6 below (having eaten 3 representative samples while still warm). Several of them rose up and did not want to come back down: they are the ones with the pale crowns and burnt bottoms--one of them I manhandled back into the mold around midway through the cooking, and it's the twisted one on the right front. The best shaped ones were rather overdone around the crowns as they pretty much stayed in place throughout the baking. The texture, at least, was better--I did not leave the batter to sit in the molds this time!

            I tried souschef's temperatures, but I think I'm going to have to call the GE service people to recalibrate the convection oven, which I used this time around: I have to turn it to "convection roast" rather than "convection bake" to get the temperature above 400F, and when I try to go 450F, it climbs further to 475F. When I turned down the heat to 375F, without convection, it plummeted to 325F in a few minutes, and I had to turn it up to convection again to heat it up fast. This yo-yo of temperatures probably didn't help.

            I took the tray out several times to turn the canelés in the course of baking and I did resort to Cynsa's wet towel on the three worst climbers after they refused to go back down after around 30 minutes of baking. (Sorry, Cynsa, no cigar--but I'll save the twisted, manhandled one for you!) Given the varied results, I remain a bit puzzled as to how to proceed from here. The only other pointer I gleaned is it is better to slightly underfill the molds.

            And, since I haven't gotten it right yet, and since at least one person (many thanks, souschef!) hasn't tired of the tribulations of this obsessive quest, I'll start another thread with my next batch of batter. Or, better still, if someone else makes another batch of canelés before I do (souschef? buttertart? trewq? Caroline1? anyone?), please start up the next canelé thread and I'll be right in there!

            Many thanks to everyone who has patiently soldiered along thus far! The company has been far more fun and rewarding than my canelés, and is a huge factor in my not nailing those copper molds to an oak board for kitchen decor.

             
             
            4 Replies
            1. re: pilinut
              Cynsa Aug 29, 2010 12:30 PM

              I am sitting here waiting patiently for my twisted sister - manhandled or not, to devour in one pop. Lovely little soldiers in a row... like a chorus line. If they fall by the wayside, I am here to catch them.

              1. re: Cynsa
                souschef Aug 29, 2010 07:22 PM

                Cynsa, if you are going to devour an entire canelé in one pop, can I watch ? Ever seen a kid eat a whole banana in one pop ?

                Pilinut, from her post I sense that Cynsa has her eye on more than the twisted sister.

              2. re: pilinut
                souschef Aug 29, 2010 07:17 PM

                Pilinut, your oven really did toast those poor little devils; they lost their shine. The fault lies squarely with your oven. The twisted one on the right looks like it was trying to do the limbo, got caught on the pole, and forgot to straighten out ! Sorry, but I had to have some fun. So you're saving the twisted sister for Cynsa ?

                I sure am not tired of hearing about the tribulations of this obsessive quest; I feel your pain. I look forward to your posts and pictures as they teach me a lot. I have too been thinking of putting a little less batter in the molds (maybe 1/8 inch instead of the 1/12 inch I use at present).

                I am not going to be doing any baking of canelés till next Friday, when I bake the batch to take to my SIL. I will also bake her some chestnut scones as she loves the scones I make. Hey, maybe we can make chestnut canelés next?

                You did such a good job of introducing the subject in the opening post that I could not touch it if I tried. I toyed with the idea of starting a new thread along a Star Trek theme where we are in the USS Canelé, to boldly go where no Bordelais has gone before. But I have been told that I have a dry sense of humour, so I decided against it. I will leave it in your capable hands, Captain Pilinut !

                1. re: souschef
                  pilinut Aug 30, 2010 01:24 PM

                  Thanks for the kind words, souschef! But I do think you should start the next thread, and I did love Star Trek--yes, I watched the original series--so I'd love to see how you work that with canelés. I'm sure your obvious baking expertise and many friends on this board will attract far more positive attention than a "The Further (400 posts further) Misadventures of a Canelé." It makes the venture--and the adventurer--seem quite hopeless!

              3. souschef Aug 27, 2010 09:06 PM

                Here are picture of my latest batch using batter that rested for over 48 hours (the batter was out for 30 minutes before baking). They are not all perfect, but I am happy with the results. I baked them (the same as the last batch) for 15 minutes at 450, then at 375 for 1hr 45 minutes.

                This time they slid out of the molds easily; I did not have to coax them out with a toothpick. I guess it''s because I heated the molds and then waxed them while hot. I find that you have no trouble with wax while they are hot, whereas you see that they are unevenly waxed if you do them cold. I did not freeze the molds.

                One thing I find curious is that a number of them have horizontal cracks around the middle; I cannot speculate why.

                The crust today was crunchy as opposed to the chewy/crunchy combination I reported yesterday. The inside was the usual custardy; I seem to have that down pat.

                My guests loved them, and did not decline my offer to them to take the leftovers home for breakfast.

                 
                 
                5 Replies
                1. re: souschef
                  pilinut Aug 27, 2010 10:47 PM

                  By Jove, I think you've nailed it! Had we been in my first grade class in long-ago Manila, the teacher would have taken the biggest, brightest star-shaped sticker in her rewards box, given it a good lick, and stuck it on your forehead for you to wear the rest of the day.

                  Do you mean cracks as in open cracks (of which I see none in your picture), or do you mean more of a flaw like a light fault line or faint indentation? Since, as I have said, I have made more boo-boos in this project than I can count, I did notice that the fluting of my canelés is sometimes marred when the soft canelé pops out on the cooling rack and the (sharp?) edge of the mold hits the middle, or when the still tender exterior of the very hot cake buckles slightly from its own weight.

                  1. re: pilinut
                    souschef Aug 27, 2010 10:57 PM

                    If you look at the one on the extreme right in the picture, there is a distinct crack about 1/3rd of the way up from the bottom. It's cracked but not open. Maybe it's the cake buckling under its own weight, as you have suggested.

                  2. re: souschef
                    buttertart Aug 29, 2010 08:08 AM

                    My friend will be here for dinner today and I'll ask her to take a look at your pics.

                    1. re: souschef
                      buttertart Aug 30, 2010 06:02 AM

                      sc: Friend said the ones from the 26th and 28th looked good and that the crust should be crunchy and as dark golden brown as it can be without being burnt in the least. Friend also brought my husband a bottle of 12-yr-old bas Armagnac (which I may be able to commandeer for the occasional Tb here and there) and me Le Guide Culinaire d'Escoffier (I have it in English somewhere, this is a really nice hardbound version). Nice friend, eh?

                      1. re: buttertart
                        souschef Aug 30, 2010 06:28 AM

                        Good to know I'm getting close. Wish I could ship some to you and your friend for same day delivery, for critical evaluation.

                        Definitely a nice friend. I recently had a very old friend visit who is now working in Chantilly, France, and was telling him how totally useless he is as he never brings me anything, even stuff that I ask him to get and am willing to pay for.

                        I see in another area of CH that there is a charity drive in SFO that includes fresh chestnuts from the 2009 harvest. That means that the Italian marroni are just round the corner. I can hardly wait.

                    2. souschef Aug 26, 2010 11:33 AM

                      Lookit here, Pilinut !! 6 canelés, and not a climber among them. Yaaayyy !!! Picture attached, together with a dissection.

                      Looking back at the baking that gave me the most success, I decided to do the same again, and noted then that they needed more time in the oven. So, this is what I did: Forgot to heat up the molds, so I waxed them when they were at room temperature. Did not freeze them after. The batter was in the fridge for a little less than 24 hours. Left the batter out for maybe 15 minutes. Baked them at 450 for 15 minutes, then turned down the temperature to 375, and turned the tray. Turned the tray every 15 minutes after. Total baking time was 2 hours. I had to use a toothpick to coax them out of the molds - wonder if that was because they were waxed cold. I find them easier to wax when hot.

                      I had company for lunch, and did not have time to make a dessert, so popped the canelés into the oven. Served them 30 minutes out of the oven. My two guests loved them. Said that they were really delicious, and did not taste burned at all, even though in the picture they do look burned.

                      Critical evaluation: I thought that the interior was nice and custardy and had a great mouthfeel. I would have liked a thiinner crust. It was like there were two layers of crust - a caramel one and a chewey one. I tend to think that the lower temperature (375) was responsible for the chewey part. One complaint: I used 1/4 cup rum but could not taste it. When I used cognac I could taste it okay.

                      My quest is far from over, but I am making progress.

                      It will be interesting to see how the rest of the batter sitting in the fridge turns out after another 24 hours.

                      BTW I find it really easy waxing the molds when they are hot, using a sillicone brush.

                       
                       
                      16 Replies
                      1. re: souschef
                        buttertart Aug 26, 2010 11:47 AM

                        I like the looks of the texture, does look aérée. Hit the other aspects too? I'll have my friend look at these pics when she's at the house.

                        1. re: buttertart
                          souschef Aug 26, 2010 11:55 AM

                          "Moelleuse" was the lovely mouthfeel I was talking about. I know exactly what that word is trying to convey in French, but have never been able to find an English equivalent. The closest I have come to voluptuous mouthfeel......seriously !

                          1. re: souschef
                            buttertart Aug 26, 2010 12:03 PM

                            It even sounds voluptuous when you say it.
                            BTW totally OT but with the bubble theme I just remembered an absolutely stunning puff pastry dessert I had at l'Arpège in 1993 - the puff pastry was darkish in colour and essentially like an Aero chocolate bar in pastry form, finely honeycombed/bubbled rather than layered. That I would love to know hte secret of.

                            1. re: buttertart
                              souschef Aug 26, 2010 12:13 PM

                              No, don't push me buttertart ! That sounds like it may be the Pierre Hermé chocolate puff pastry I have been eyeing (in his "Chocolate Desserts" book), but have been putting off doing. Of course, if you had the book you would perhaps be able to say if it looks like the same thing ! God, I need the devil emoticon !

                              In any case, puff pastry is a cold weather project.

                              1. re: souschef
                                buttertart Aug 26, 2010 12:16 PM

                                I have it on hold at my library, she says primly. If I can get there one of these days to pick it up.
                                It wasn't chocolate flavored I don't think.

                        2. re: souschef
                          t
                          trewq Aug 26, 2010 12:13 PM

                          OMG, You are now the cannele god!! :))) And yesterday you said we had to go back to square one.

                          Is this the batter with 5 yolks?

                          And why are your molds so clean?

                          1. re: trewq
                            souschef Aug 26, 2010 05:03 PM

                            Me the canelé god? Look back at your picture of a DOZEN perfect gems, taken when I was still a canelé virgin. I was deflowered but You have not been dethroned.

                            I had to go back to square one while you were flying high thinking about abandoning us and going nuts...er, sorry, going to natas. In order to bring you back I had to ask whether you had to go back to square one.

                            The batter was a bit of a kludge. I increased quantities by 40% so I could make 2 batches, which meant 7 egg yolks instead of 5, but I used 7 extra-large egg yolks since you use jumbo.

                            Only part of one mold is clean. I had to rub off the baked on stuff with a paper towel, from all but one of the molds. I definitely think that the molds should be waxed while hot. I will do that the next time.

                            BTW gaetano must be saying I told you so. The oven temperatures that worked for me are close to what he suggested.

                            1. re: souschef
                              t
                              trewq Aug 26, 2010 05:22 PM

                              I maybe cannele queen, with rocks in my crown, but you are a cannele god. Pilinut is also royalty, empress maybe. :)
                              Have you thought of maybe measuring all the ingredients by weigh since all yolks are not the same. When you wax hot molds doesn't the oil settle to the bottom?
                              Four, I count four beautiful shinny molds. I'm off to the kitchen to rub some molds, if I rub them long enough maybe a genie will pop out. ;)

                              1. re: trewq
                                souschef Aug 26, 2010 05:51 PM

                                "Have you thought of maybe measuring all the ingredients by weigh since all yolks are not the same."

                                Measuring stuff ? I never measure stuff. I just bung it all together. Unfortunately this time I did not weigh the yolks.

                                When I wax hot molds the oil does settle at the bottom, but I turn them over while still warm.

                                Oh, you mean the outside of the molds. Remember that mine are newer than yours.

                                You think, maybe, there is a canelé genie ? Make her one of your subjects.

                          2. re: souschef
                            pilinut Aug 26, 2010 10:25 PM

                            HIP, HIP. . .HOOOOOORAAAAAY!!! BRAVO!!! Well done, indeed! I think you may finally have gotten the alchemy right. The interiors and exteriors are stunning, and my mouth was watering like nobody's business while I imagined the crunch of the glossy exterior giving way to the rummy custard-sponge interior. WOW!!!

                            I am sooooo very happy for you, souschef! Intelligent persistence has finally paid off. You have the grail in your hand and I bow deeply in reverence, knowing how richly you deserve this reward . . .

                            I shall bake my first set from this batch of 48-hour-old batter when I get home after collecting DH at the airport. (BTW, there was a very thick skin on the batter, and it took a few minutes of stirring to get everything homogenized again. Is this a bad sign?) Since I will only do 4 (2 starting at room temp, 2 chilled), I shall use the toaster oven, and though I was planning to experiment with Cynsa's damp towel, I am excited to try your temperatures and timing. I can hardly wait! (Of course I know that ovens vary, so I will have to watch carefully to see if I can avoid having to "manhandle" the canelés.)

                            Again, my sincerest congratulations! CHAPEAU, mon ami!!!

                            1. re: pilinut
                              souschef Aug 27, 2010 05:32 AM

                              Thanks Pilinut. But this is only the beginning. Now that I have the timing figured out I have to play with the recipe, but this a definite step forward. At one point I thought I was going to have climbers, but they souffleed insteading of popping over, so they were okay. My experience is that if they souffle there's a good chance they will settle down, whereas if they popover, forming a mushroom cloud, there is no recovery.

                              With the next batch I plan to turn out one after 90 minutes to see what it's like, and the next 15 minutes later. One thing I like about this stuff is that if it's not done to my liking I can always put it back into the oven. I'm having company for dinner this evening, so will get a few independent opinions.

                              A thick skin is not a problem; I have had that lots of times. After stirring, though, you may want to consider straining the batter.

                              I don't know if it's wise to go back and forth between your toaster oven and regular oven.

                              Looking forward to the results of your latest batch. Also looking forward to Buttertart's friends assessment of the pictures of the ones I made.

                              1. re: souschef
                                pilinut Aug 27, 2010 10:28 PM

                                The Evil Canelé Demon has taken up residence in my kitchen! I baked 5 canelés: 2 with batter that had been sitting at room temp for over a couple of hours, 2 that had cold batter poured into chilled molds, and one that had chilled batter poured into a room temp mold.

                                Good news: no popovers! (Possibly because I kept taking the molds out of the over every 15 minutes. The cakes would deflate and then puff up again, and a couple of them were popover candidates, but a little prod before they were set in their wicked ways took care of that.) Bad news: PLENTY! First, because I used the toaster oven (even if it is a rather large one with good temperature control) the tops started to burn after only 10 minutes. That meant I had to cover the tops with a piece of foil, and it took over 90 minutes to get the cakes a nice brown. At 60 minutes I took one out, and since it stuck to the mold, I rapped it against the cake rack: the very soft, custardy innards popped out! I promptly returned the remaining four to the oven for another 40 minutes. Be the end of this time the canelés had sunk down a good half-inch from where they started out, and two of the molds had a sticky molasses colored mess on the outsides, as well as batter seriously stuck to the insides. (These were the two molds left to sit with the batter at room temperature.) I ended up pouring boiling water on one of them to get it clean, and I will have to re-season it.

                                The canelés themselves were nicely shaped, but the interiors were too much like flan: dense and creamy. I suspect that the cake flour was too weak to hold up the mixture. Today, I stirred in a teaspoon of AP flour combined with a scant teaspoon of gluten flour and strained the mixture. I am presently to annoyed with myself to attempt another bout of beeswax and baking, but I shall get back in the saddle tomorrow to resume tilting at windmills.

                                Interesting note: one of the canelés that came out of the blackened, sticky mold developed the most beautiful glossy crunchy crust, even though the interior was extremely disappointing: rubbery layer at the crown and a center like a soft flan. (This one was allowed to sit in the mold for a couple of hours at room temperature before baking.) After I had washed the offending mold with boiling water, I suddenly recalled the photo of trewq's mold and the gorgeous canelés in trewq's pictures. Now I'm wondering if I had compounded my mistakes by not leaving the sticky, black mold as it was! 'Tis a puzzlement.

                                Okay, maybe it's not the canelé demon--just my stupidity. Here's a list of what I think I did wrong:

                                1. Do not use more than 50% cake flour. Maybe 25%?

                                2. Do not let batter sit in the molds for any appreciable length of time before baking--the batter splits, and a heavy layer forms at the crown.

                                3. Just when you think you've made almost every possible mistake in the book, a whole new chapter of possible disasters opens up.

                                1. re: pilinut
                                  souschef Aug 27, 2010 10:42 PM

                                  "2. Do not let batter sit in the molds for any appreciable length of time before baking--the batter splits, and a heavy layer forms at the crown."

                                  Interesting that you say this as I had the batter sitting in the molds for 30 minutes before I baked them - my oven was being used for supper, at 450, and I wanted to pop them in as soon as the oven was free. I wonder if this is the reason for the horizontal cracks, but I can't see how.

                                  1. re: pilinut
                                    souschef Aug 28, 2010 08:21 AM

                                    "Here's a list of what I think I did wrong:

                                    1. Do not use more than 50% cake flour. Maybe 25%?"

                                    I am using 100% cake flour, as dictated by Paula Wolfert's recipe. My understanding of cake flour is that it makes for a softer cake.

                                    BTW I was wondering if you should start a new (Part II) thread as this one has grown to over 400 posts and takes long to load ! When you started it did you expect that it would grow so much ?

                                    1. re: souschef
                                      pilinut Aug 28, 2010 03:09 PM

                                      Hmmm, I didn't remember Wolfert's recipe--though I remembered one that specified 50% AP / 50% cake flour. Since I've used the same recipe all throughout, and never had this particular problem, what could it be?

                                      No, I never thought this thread would get this long! But the thread has been at least as much fun (more, actually) than baking those ungrateful little beasts. A happy case of unintended consequences.

                                      You're right. It's time to start a new thread (sigh), even though it will expose to the whole world what a hopeless canelé baker I am. I wonder if this is the sort of mortification that the nuns said was good for the soul?

                                      1. re: pilinut
                                        souschef Aug 28, 2010 03:39 PM

                                        Here is the Permalink to the Wolfert ingredients I worked out in metric:
                                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7233...

                                        As for why you had this problem, it may be the toaster oven. I tried it once and gave up as everything seemed to get baked too fast, which is what you found out too.

                                        I wouldn't say you are a hopeless canelé baker; you have turned out some great ones. If anyone makes fun of you, just give them ten lashes with your silicone brush. The brush may come in useful after all. BTW I find it a breeze waxing hot molds using the silicone brush.

                                        Fortunately I didn't tangle with nuns, or brothers for that matter, so mortification is something of which I am happily unaware. Just think, if they had turned out fine the first time we would not have had such a great discussion here. We also made a number of new friends along the way - Cynsa (who I threw off the boat), Trewq (nursing sore hands), Buttertart (who is actually an old friend), and the always-charming Caroline1. There are a few who seemed to have dropped off the boat on their own accord - Chef Chicklet, who was last seen heading for Carmel, and Bushwickgirl who seems to have got bushwhacked.

                                        Count me in on the new thread.

                            2. l
                              lamaranthe Aug 26, 2010 07:38 AM

                              Lovely sense of humour... Further to Chocolate & Zucchini, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canel%C3%A9 - I suggest not to run errands while baking these things. Good luck next time!

                              1. souschef Aug 25, 2010 11:05 AM

                                Looking back on this long (very long) thread, I am having second thoughts about going back to the Roux recipe - I already know that I do not like the insides, and I have made a whole bunch where I do like the insides. So I am going back to Wolfert using what I have incorrectly been calling the custard technique; it is really the pastry cream technique. The best results so far (albeit with the aluminium molds) have been obtained by baking them at 450 for 15 minutes, then reducing the heat to 375, and not freezing the molds, so that is what I am going to do. Wish I did not have to wait 24 hours.

                                I have some extra-large egges in the fridge, and since trewq uses jumbo, I think I'll use 5 eggs (yolks, that is). I think I'll also pray to trewq's god !

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: souschef
                                  pilinut Aug 25, 2010 04:37 PM

                                  I have batter sitting in the fridge from last night. Same ingredients as before, but with 57g cake flour (used up the dregs of a box). This time, I melted the butter and beat in the eggs with a flat whisk, then stirred in the sifted dry ingredients. I microwaved a quarter of the milk with 2 inches of vanilla bean and added cold milk to get to 500ml, which I then combined with the rest of the batter and the rum. Didn't strain anything. I figure that if the batter has not responded properly to all my fussing about, I may as well give it the tough love treatment.

                                  I am trying to decide whether or not to bake late tonight, a scant 24 hours after putting the batter in the fridge. And I'm wondering what if they really will popover if I start at a low temperature and finish high. Maybe the other baking will see me start out high and put the molds on a cool, damp towel after 15 minutes, as Cynsa suggested. Fingers crossed.

                                2. buttertart Aug 25, 2010 09:46 AM

                                  My friend arrived from Paris and had very sweetly brought me 2 canelés, photos of 1 attached.
                                  They came from a "patisserie" at CDG on Monday, she had looked all over to try to get them near her in the 12th befroe leaving but no one had them for whatever reason.
                                  She spied these at the airport at the very last minute, I got them last evening. She said of course she didn't think they'd be all that great given they were not totally fresh and of somewhat dubious provenance.
                                  So...my verdict? If this is how they are supposed to be (big IF), I wouldn't kill myself trying to make them - were rather like sweetened rummy solid Yorkshire puddings.
                                  I heated the halved one for 10 sec in the mw and it was "interesting" at best.
                                  My husband (M the popover fancier) said it had a "disconcertingly gumdroppy" texture (it did cold, too).
                                  The crust is softened and has a sort of waxy feel to it (may be a silicone mold effect, they put odd crusts on things).
                                  So, for what it's worth, pics for your consideration and comment. Colours are a bit off, the overall colour is a slightly darkish golden brown with the bottom somewhat darker and blackened at the bumps. The board is 1960's vintage maple for those of you who know your woods.
                                  Damn the inside view pic won't load...it's quite solid for the bottom third or so, a few air bubbles in the rest of it.

                                   
                                   
                                   
                                  20 Replies
                                  1. re: buttertart
                                    souschef Aug 25, 2010 10:27 AM

                                    Thanks for posting, buttertart. Of particular interest is the picture of the bottom, i.e. that it looks burnt, and does seem to indicate that it went up and then came down, hence the bumps.

                                    1. re: buttertart
                                      t
                                      trewq Aug 25, 2010 10:42 AM

                                      Yes, thanks for the pictures. Do you happen to have a picture of the insides?

                                      1. re: trewq
                                        buttertart Aug 25, 2010 10:45 AM

                                        I do but despite having been taken at the same time as these with my BlackBerry it won't load. If you'd like to see it feel free to email me (address in my profile).

                                        1. re: trewq
                                          souschef Aug 25, 2010 10:53 AM

                                          Here's the picture buttertart emailed me, so we can ALL see the insides. It does look very dense.

                                           
                                          1. re: souschef
                                            t
                                            trewq Aug 25, 2010 12:10 PM

                                            They do look very dense. I can see what he means by "disconcertingly gumdroppy" texture.

                                            From what i see in the pictures and from Buttertarts comments I can finally stop making them. I have reached my goal. Ours definitely looks better on the inside. :-)

                                            1. re: trewq
                                              souschef Aug 25, 2010 12:25 PM

                                              Hang on a second. You have reached your goal so you are going to STOP making them? I thought that after you reached your goal you would make them on a regular basis.

                                              1. re: souschef
                                                t
                                                trewq Aug 25, 2010 12:56 PM

                                                But i must. Back on the 13th I said my quest would be over when i can say ours are better. And today i did, ;)

                                                1. re: trewq
                                                  souschef Aug 25, 2010 01:24 PM

                                                  OK, so you did it purely for the challenge, not for the pleasure of eating them.

                                                  1. re: souschef
                                                    t
                                                    trewq Aug 25, 2010 01:36 PM

                                                    So, you do know me! I really don't eat much of what I bake. But I will probably continue, the Mr. likes them.

                                              2. re: trewq
                                                pilinut Aug 25, 2010 05:06 PM

                                                Oh, no, trewq, you can't leave us now! Our work isn't finished yet! We have to get our recipes to the point that we can walk into Baillardin, Lemoine, Fauchon and hold our heads up high--possibly even sniff, harrumph, that we don't need to buy those any more because ours are as good!

                                                The world cries out for a crunchy, custardy, salted-butter-caramel-filled canelé. . . Only you can do it. Your work is not yet done!

                                                1. re: pilinut
                                                  t
                                                  trewq Aug 25, 2010 05:33 PM

                                                  How can I leave? I'm having way too much fun. I was just saying quest is over. Now instead of baking cannele's three times a week I can start something new, Macau egg tarts perhaps similar to Pastéis de Nata, another custard pastry.

                                                  Caramel filled canneles? oh, you do know how to tempt. I do after all have a few magic caramel elves in my pantry. ;-)

                                                  1. re: trewq
                                                    souschef Aug 25, 2010 07:13 PM

                                                    Hey trewq, while you're trolling through Montreal you should be able to find some Nata tarts. Just check the Quebec board. Now you got me curious about them; I should check them out the next time I am in Montreal. That and Kouign Aman (Cynsa's favourite).

                                                    Glad you're not leaving.

                                                    1. re: souschef
                                                      t
                                                      trewq Aug 25, 2010 08:03 PM

                                                      There's a portuguese coffee shop up the street from Ferreira Cafe on Rue Peel st. that I go to for dessert. But last time I was there I thought they were a little too sweet. It's also a good place for lunch.

                                                      1. re: souschef
                                                        buttertart Aug 26, 2010 06:44 AM

                                                        Newark, NJ's Portuguese bakeries are awash with custard tarts. A woman I used to work with would bring 2 dozen in straight from the bakery some mornings. Very nice mornings those were.

                                            2. re: buttertart
                                              pilinut Aug 25, 2010 04:27 PM

                                              Your friend was a real darling to have gone to all that trouble! Such a pity the canelé were unworthy of the giver and the recipient.

                                              I'm almost certain the boulangerie in CDG she got them from is Paul. They make some good bread, but their pastry is bleh. I've had their canelé, and it is exactly as you describe. Worse than bleh. If it had been the only one I had ever tried, I wouldn't be on this thread at all! I KNOW souschef, trewq, and I can make better--our flops are better than the stuff Paul has the temerity to foist on an unsuspecting public. And, yes, I believe they bake those things in silicone.

                                              Please don't take offense, it's just that your description and the pictures brought back deeply buried memories of how disappointing and unpleasant a bad canelé can be.

                                              1. re: pilinut
                                                buttertart Aug 26, 2010 06:50 AM

                                                Good to know and I won't take this as the gold standard. One would certainly wonder what the fuss was all about.
                                                My friend is a sweetie indeed. Since her father and sister live in Bordeaux she knows a thing or two about the beast. I was quizzing her on them last night and (get ready for this) she said the perfect texture was "aérée, moite et moelleuse". Moite et moelleuse I get together, but aérée in combination seems virtually impossible except in something like a baba that's baked and then soaked in syrup.

                                                1. re: buttertart
                                                  souschef Aug 26, 2010 07:16 AM

                                                  Does this mean that trewq is back to square one ? :)))

                                                  1. re: souschef
                                                    buttertart Aug 26, 2010 07:39 AM

                                                    Il se peut, mon vieux.

                                                  2. re: buttertart
                                                    t
                                                    trewq Aug 26, 2010 07:48 AM

                                                    Souschef, The hunt is on. :0

                                                    Thanks Buttertart for the description. I think that was how the canneles were when I decreased the milk. They were airy. So my next attempt would to be increase the flour instead. Do you think it matters what kind of flour you use, AP vs. cake?

                                                    1. re: buttertart
                                                      pilinut Aug 26, 2010 11:39 AM

                                                      Yes, buttertart! Thanks for the description. The closest I've gotten to Bordeaux is Sarlat. After this experience I think a pilgrimage to the canelé bakers of Bordeaux is in order!

                                                2. t
                                                  trewq Aug 25, 2010 07:11 AM

                                                  I'm thinking of adding some raspberry jam to the batter. Not all the batter just the last two. Any thoughts?

                                                  7 Replies
                                                  1. re: trewq
                                                    souschef Aug 25, 2010 07:22 AM

                                                    The sugar in the jam may help the caramelization process, but I don't know about the taste of caramelized raspberries. You may want to use seedless jam as the seeds could stick on the sides and it would be a hazard trying to get them off, considering those sharp sides. Seriously !

                                                    Perhaps you should drop in some batter, then a spoonful of jam, then more batter, so the jam is only in the middle. But then if you are adding raspberry jam you should also add chocolate. I love the combination of raspberries and chocolate.

                                                    1. re: souschef
                                                      t
                                                      trewq Aug 25, 2010 07:27 AM

                                                      ok i will make three. One with it mixed in, one layered and the last one mixed with chocolate chips for you. :)

                                                      1. re: souschef
                                                        t
                                                        trewq Aug 25, 2010 08:00 AM

                                                        The jam sank like a rock.

                                                        1. re: trewq
                                                          souschef Aug 25, 2010 08:25 AM

                                                          So you will have a rock in the crown. Don't a lot of crowns have rocks in them ? :)

                                                          Maybe you should try again, mixing the jam with some batter, so the jam is closer in texture to the batter, ergo, will not sink.

                                                          BTW you are too kind, making one with chocolate chips just for me.

                                                          1. re: souschef
                                                            t
                                                            trewq Aug 25, 2010 10:46 AM

                                                            It is a wise man who said "If it ain't broke, don't fix it".

                                                            The raspberry ones came out very dark and had a thicker crust. They needed extra coaxing to come out.

                                                            Sorry, Souschef, the chocolate sank to the bottom also and burned. :( Maybe nutella next?

                                                      2. re: trewq
                                                        Caroline1 Aug 25, 2010 11:39 AM

                                                        trewq, I wouldn't add raspberry jam to the batter. It will make it a really ugly color! But if raspberries with the caneles interests you, I would pipe it into the interior AFTER baking and almost completely cool with a Bismark icing tip. A Bismark tip looks like an ordinary cake frosting tip with a loooong snout attached. Most places that carry cake decorating supplies should have them. You use them like a hypodermic needle. Insert the tip into the middle of whatever you want to fill and squeeze the pastry bag! It's the easiest way to fill cream puffs and jelly donuts.... And to put raspberry jam inside a canele! Have fun!

                                                        1. re: Caroline1
                                                          t
                                                          trewq Aug 25, 2010 11:44 AM

                                                          Thank you for the advice. And yes, it was a very ugly color inside. Maybe i should have used Chambord instead of rum.

                                                      3. blue room Aug 24, 2010 01:39 PM

                                                        Have to laugh--I posted my not authentic, maybe French, not-trying-very-hard canele experience at the beginning of this thread. And I then thought the thread would fade out quickly because of the--
                                                        well the copper and the expense and the beeswax and the texture and the temperature --etc etc.
                                                        So I have to laugh--*every single time* I visit this site, there are bunches of new canele posts right at the top! I admire your patient baking.

                                                        5 Replies
                                                        1. re: blue room
                                                          pilinut Aug 24, 2010 03:15 PM

                                                          Well, blue room, I didn't think this would go on this long, either. I thought someone out there would have a sure-fire fix--I mean this is THE place to go, and if it isn't here, well, we might as well go find Amelia Earhart. But it has become a quest (when we think we're making progress) or a grudge match (against the vagaries of beeswax, copper, custard, oven temperatures. . . any and all of them). But we're in great company, laughing (when we're not weeping into the batter), and our canelés are always delicious, even when they're not pretty.

                                                          1. re: pilinut
                                                            souschef Aug 24, 2010 07:59 PM

                                                            We definitely get to eat our delicious mistakes. Pilinut did you give any to Cynsa? Or is she a purist, refusing to eat anything less than perfect?

                                                            1. re: souschef
                                                              Cynsa Aug 25, 2010 08:09 AM

                                                              I am greedy for delicious mistakes - 'Please, Sir, may I have another?'
                                                              'Let no mistake go uneaten' is my motto.

                                                          2. re: blue room
                                                            souschef Aug 24, 2010 07:56 PM

                                                            You did not contend with the likes of Pilinut, Trewq and yours truly. It's an interesting challenge. I'm waiting for trewq to next figure out how they get the caramel in the Caramilk bar :)

                                                            1. re: souschef
                                                              t
                                                              trewq Aug 25, 2010 06:53 AM

                                                              I believe that mystery has been revealed. MAGIC CARAMEL ELFS!! There are a few of them in my pantry drinking rum. ;)

                                                          3. souschef Aug 24, 2010 11:40 AM

                                                            With each new attempt comes a new crease, wrinkle, twist. call it what you want, but this is infuriating.

                                                            I used batter I had "resting" in the fridge for 3 days. It was a bastardization of the Wolfert recipe as I had one less yolk than necessary, so I made it up with a white. Yeah, I know, should not be done, but I did.

                                                            I bowed to the north, and to the east, and used the baking technique of the redoubtable trewq. 400 sizzling degrees, no freezing of the molds.

                                                            Looked in at 15 minutes. Slightly elevated, nothing to worry about. Turned them at 30 minutes. Popovers ! Swore and continured to bake. took them out after 90 minutes as they were almost black. They slid out of the molds easily, but then did what Pilinut calls the Leaning Tower Of Pisa. They are weak at the junction of the popover. They did not climb, but baked unevenly. The crowns were brown for a large part, but pale for the rest, and the sides were not as brown as when I made them in aluminium. And I thought that the Mauviels would be the solution !

                                                            Time to restart this insanity. I am going to go back to the ones that worked, but were cakey insteady of custardy inside - the Michel Roux recipe. If they work with the Mauviels I will stick to tweaking only that recipe.

                                                            17 Replies
                                                            1. re: souschef
                                                              buttertart Aug 24, 2010 11:44 AM

                                                              Did you manhandle them?

                                                              1. re: buttertart
                                                                souschef Aug 24, 2010 11:54 AM

                                                                No, they should not need to be manhandled, in my opinion. Whoever heard of messing around with the stuff after you put it into the oven. The Roux bunch did not need it and they turned out fine, except for the insides. That is why I want to go back to Roux and work from there.

                                                                1. re: souschef
                                                                  buttertart Aug 24, 2010 12:22 PM

                                                                  Lead the way, o Don Q.

                                                                  1. re: buttertart
                                                                    t
                                                                    trewq Aug 24, 2010 12:32 PM

                                                                    What if you added a little extra milk to the Roux batch, or less flour? Last time when I decreased the milk they were more cakey then custardy.

                                                                    1. re: trewq
                                                                      souschef Aug 24, 2010 01:06 PM

                                                                      I plan to do the Roux (sounds like a two-step. Gather round everyone and do the Roux !) per the recipe the first time, except that I will use whole milk instead of milk powder and water.

                                                                      I need a new baseline because of the Mauviels. All the stuff I so carefully documented in this thread is out the window because of the change of molds. It almost seems like the stuff is not baking as fast in the copper. Giving it more time is not a problem but then the top burns. And if the popover forms a beret, the beret burns while protecting the rest of the cake. Hey, maybe that's it ! The beret acts as a sun shield. ha ! Sorry for the "humour".

                                                                      I wonder why your canelés look so good and mine refuse to work.

                                                                      1. re: souschef
                                                                        buttertart Aug 24, 2010 01:26 PM

                                                                        It must be like tatting. I can do any other kind of needlework but tatting. Never got the "truc".

                                                                        1. re: buttertart
                                                                          souschef Aug 25, 2010 06:59 AM

                                                                          I haven't a clue as to what tatting is, though I have heard of it. Needlework and gardening are things I do not do.

                                                                          1. re: souschef
                                                                            roxlet Aug 26, 2010 07:52 AM

                                                                            Tatting=lacemaking

                                                                            1. re: roxlet
                                                                              buttertart Aug 26, 2010 07:57 AM

                                                                              Of a "simple" but annoyingly difficult to master sort. I gave up.

                                                                              1. re: buttertart
                                                                                roxlet Aug 26, 2010 03:15 PM

                                                                                Yes, I am surprised that I never tried it. As I have said before, I am the queen of boring, repetitive activities. It's probably right up my alley!

                                                                                1. re: roxlet
                                                                                  buttertart Aug 27, 2010 05:41 AM

                                                                                  We are alike in more ways than one then!

                                                                        2. re: souschef
                                                                          t
                                                                          trewq Aug 24, 2010 01:33 PM

                                                                          I don't know. It could be because I use jumbo eggs and I add more rum. Other then that I don't think there are any other differences.

                                                                          Or it could be the sharp edges on the molds. ;)

                                                                          What if you covered the tops when you think they are brown enough. Some people like the burnt tops, they say it taste like toasted marshmallows.

                                                                          1. re: trewq
                                                                            souschef Aug 24, 2010 07:44 PM

                                                                            Jumbo egg yolks would make for a firmer structure, I think; maybe I should try them. An unknown factor - do you drink any rum while you're making the batter? Oh sorry, you have to have your faculties to avoid those sharp edges :)

                                                                            I could try covering the tops.

                                                                            Of course a big factor here is the different ovens.

                                                                      2. re: buttertart
                                                                        souschef Aug 24, 2010 12:55 PM

                                                                        Tilt !

                                                                        1. re: souschef
                                                                          buttertart Aug 24, 2010 01:05 PM

                                                                          Prop up one of those windmill cookies in your next shot.

                                                                  2. re: souschef
                                                                    pilinut Aug 24, 2010 03:41 PM

                                                                    Oh, dear, oh, dear <sympathetic clucking noises>. . . Take a deep breath, souschef. Do not despair! Think of how hard it must have been to sequence the human genome. This is obviously in the same league.

                                                                    Your last batch sounds very mysterious: mostly brown crowns, pale sides. . . How now? Do you have pictures?

                                                                    What if one did the opposite: relatively low temp to start, say 325F, for enough minutes to shape the batter in the mold, then turned up the heat to 400F to brown the crust?

                                                                    Maybe we should make some kind of matrix for testing our recipes and procedures so we can pinpoint what works and what doesn't.

                                                                    1. re: pilinut
                                                                      souschef Aug 24, 2010 07:51 PM

                                                                      I toyed with the idea of taking pictures, but they looked pathetic, with uneven tans and leaning over- somewhat like drunken sailors who staggered into a tanning salon.

                                                                      I definitely have to can this recipe as it seems to weaken the structure. I'll leave the rubbing of the butter for the scones.

                                                                      There are so many variables here that we would need an n-dimensional matrix, where n could be anything.

                                                                      Starting at a low temperature could cause the things to puff; we would have to try it.

                                                                  3. souschef Aug 23, 2010 06:34 PM

                                                                    I went out today and bought a silicone pastry brush, as recommended by trewq. I get the impression that working with it will be somewhat like trying to dance with a jellyfish.

                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                    1. re: souschef
                                                                      pilinut Aug 23, 2010 09:27 PM

                                                                      You expressed it well, souschef. My first attempt at brushing the molds with beeswax was with a silicone brush. Since there are fewer bristles than a regular brush, it was a bit easier to clean off the beeswax when it coagulated--which was immediately. After heating the molds, the wax, the brush, and making a big mess of the counter, I gave up and decided to melt a heap of beeswax (best done with a kitchen torch or the microwave), mix it with some warm oil, and pour it into, and out of, each mold successively while the wax and molds were warm enough, topping up the liquid wax as needed. Much easier and faster than brushing, I think.

                                                                      1. re: pilinut
                                                                        t
                                                                        trewq Aug 24, 2010 04:29 AM

                                                                        You heat up the brush?

                                                                        1. re: trewq
                                                                          pilinut Aug 24, 2010 09:54 AM

                                                                          I have one of those removable head ones (metal handle), so I left the brush part in the wax while I rewarmed the wax in the microwave. I'm sure the brush can be used more effectively than I did, but I'd rather not revisit that messy episode.

                                                                    2. Caroline1 Aug 22, 2010 06:00 PM

                                                                      I'm fascinated by the dedication all of you have to making the perfect little canele. Only problem is I can't find a definition anywhere -- here or on the web -- about just what the perfect canele is. So I puzzle on. But I've done some web reading today to see what I could find out. Here are some findings:

                                                                      Most surprising to me is that it doesn't seem to matter whether you use the copper molds with beeswax or the silicone molds with a spritz of Pam, the writers write of the same crispy exterior no matter which molds are used. Since my office was once in the basement of a huge Catholic hospital where an order of nuns played and prayed with beeswax all hours of the day (and I presume night), I have little tolerance for the aroma of hot beeswax, so my personal choice, in view of what I've read, would be to go for the silicone. But I ask... Can anyone tell me whether the beeswax adds anything to the flavor of the finished canele?

                                                                      I've also learned that similar to the batter for Yorkshire pudding, the batter for canele must rest. Except MUCH longer! One chef writer insists on 48 hours. Sheesh. And I get ticked at the overnight folderol when I make brioche! Two days before you can even start baking the little darlings? The bakery is only twenty minutes away.

                                                                      I'm also wondering how much texture difference there is between an all yolk canele and a whole eggs plus two yolks canele? I've seen recipes both ways. Well, one thing is for sure. An all yolk canele won't exactly be "low fat!" These guys aren't diet food, are they!

                                                                      Oh, for anyone interested, here's the URL for the guy who says you have to let the batter rest for two days and who uses yolks only.
                                                                      http://www.allbusiness.com/food-bever...

                                                                      Meanwhile, I think I'll go make some babas au rhum. MUCH easier!

                                                                      32 Replies
                                                                      1. re: Caroline1
                                                                        t
                                                                        trewq Aug 22, 2010 06:19 PM

                                                                        Caroline1, you must join the fun. It's one of those things that make you think.

                                                                        I use a all yolk batter and the longest I've let it rest is 4 days. Sometimes things get in the way of baking.

                                                                        Have you had a cannele? Babas au rhum, yum.

                                                                        1. re: trewq
                                                                          Caroline1 Aug 22, 2010 07:41 PM

                                                                          Yup. I've had canele, but not recently. I even made them once, then the molds got mashed in moving and never felt compelled to buy more. LOLl... I have NO shortage of things that make me think! Or if I need to do that, I can always bake a square pie... '-)

                                                                        2. re: Caroline1
                                                                          souschef Aug 22, 2010 07:18 PM

                                                                          Caroline, there seem to be differing opinions on whether silicone molds will give you a crisp crust. I guess even crisp is relative. With aluminium and copper molds you get a crunchy crust; you could cut your lip eating one of them; and if you are as delicate as trewq who knows what could happen !

                                                                          Then again, it seems that in Bordeaux they like them almost burnt (very crunchy) whereas in the US they do not make them so dark, again leading to the definition of crisp/crunchy.

                                                                          This beeswax in not scented, so would not remind you of the church. BTW how do you feel about Gregorian Chant? I love it when it is done by nuns (I prefer the female voice).

                                                                          As for all-yolk my thoughts are that since you want the insides custardy you start with a custard recipe - all yolks.

                                                                          You should look at the comments on the link you added. The guy is a fake - he has tripled the quantities of Paula Wolfert's recipe and is trying to pass off the recipe as his own.

                                                                          The batter does seem to change in texture from 24 to 48 hours.

                                                                          1. re: souschef
                                                                            Caroline1 Aug 22, 2010 07:52 PM

                                                                            Now you have me wondering about the acuity of your olfactories! Beeswax smells like beeswax. Even when my grandfather used a "hot knife" to peel the hives when I was a kid, I wasn't all that thrilled with the odor. LOVE Gregorian chants, but are they true Gregorian chants when sung by women? I don't think so! Singing nuns aren't my thing. Or flying nuns, for that matter.

                                                                            But you didn't answer my question. Is there a difference in flavor when a canele is baked in a copper/aluminum mold with beeswax than there is when one is baked in a silicone mold with Pam? I could see where the beeswax might give a little "buzz" to the crust, but no one has mentioned it. I've never had one baked in silicone. At least not that I'm aware of.

                                                                            His recipe may be a repeat of Paula Wolfert's, but is hers original with her? I mean, we're talking about a two or three hundred year old dish! '-)

                                                                            1. re: Caroline1
                                                                              t
                                                                              trewq Aug 22, 2010 07:57 PM

                                                                              I think the beeswax gives it it's shine and crunch. I did buy my beeswax at the farmer's market and it does smell like honey.

                                                                              1. re: trewq
                                                                                Caroline1 Aug 23, 2010 03:07 AM

                                                                                And like honey, some beswax can be very strong and others not so much. Commercially raised honey today is probably all going to be fairly mild. With the mysterious decline of the bee population today, I cannot remember the last time I saw a wild hive. And if I found one, I wouldn't disturb it. Let them multiply!

                                                                                Commercially raised honey, as everyone here probably knows very well, uses hives in which the honey "flats" already have the cells for honey storage and the bee nurseries already made. All the colony has to do is make their own wax to seal off the cells. And that's the part -- the fresh from the bees wax -- that is peeled away with a hot knife to release the honey from the comb when it is harvested. It's the smell that assaulted my nose when my grandfather was harvesting. There has to be some sort of wild beeswax flavor loss in there somewhere as far as the comb itself is concerned! I think.

                                                                              2. re: Caroline1
                                                                                souschef Aug 22, 2010 08:16 PM

                                                                                Maybe I'm not so offended by the smell of beeswax, so don't notice it. I do use it in small quantities.

                                                                                I have never had a canelé made in a silicone mold, so can't answer your question.

                                                                                Paula Wolfert's recipe may not be original (we don't know. There are a bazillion variations floating around, and she may well have tweaked one), but the guy says "This is my gift to you", claiming it as his own.

                                                                                You should listen to Gregorian Chant sung by nuns. how do you define TRUE Gregorian Chant? How do you define a TRUE canelé?

                                                                                1. re: souschef
                                                                                  Caroline1 Aug 23, 2010 03:32 AM

                                                                                  hmmmm.... How would I define a true canele? I guess the most succinct description would be "encased custard." Though it's not a true custard. I don't put flour in my custards.

                                                                                  And a true Gregorian chant is obviously sung by Gregorians! But seriously, Gregorian chants were sung in the churches and cathedrals at the time of their evolution from plain chant up to modern times exclusively by men. Nuns sang them ONLY in cloister. The Holy Roman Catholic church is VERY male-centric. I will expect pubic performance of Gregorian chants by women to be accepted about the time the first woman pope ascends the throne of St. Peter. (Well, excluding Pope Joan, of course.)

                                                                                  1. re: Caroline1
                                                                                    souschef Aug 23, 2010 05:27 AM

                                                                                    I think of custard as being the same as pastry cream, and I use flour in my pastry cream. How do YOU make custard? BTW I was just eating one of my failed attempts for breakfast; it was really delicious and wonderfully smooth.My dilemma is now do I eat another one?

                                                                                    I would like to think that the Roman Catholic Church has progressed to the point where it would allow nuns to sing Gregorian Chant in public. In any case, with or without the Pope's blessing, I have a wonderful recording of men and women singing together, in the Abbey of Bec-Hellouin.

                                                                                    1. re: Caroline1
                                                                                      souschef Aug 24, 2010 07:28 AM

                                                                                      "I will expect pubic performance of Gregorian chants by women to be accepted about the time the first woman pope ascends the throne of St. Peter."

                                                                                      Caroline, a keener-eyed Chowhounder than I alerted me to a possible Freudien slip on your part in your post, which I have quoted.....or was it deliberate? ROFL :))

                                                                                      BTW you never did tell me how you make custard. Guess I have been wrong all along, calling pastry cream custard.

                                                                                      1. re: souschef
                                                                                        Caroline1 Aug 24, 2010 10:08 AM

                                                                                        Ahhhh... My Freudian petticoats are showing. yeah... Pubic works as well as public! '-)

                                                                                        For me, custard is custard as in custard pie, in which case all of the flour is in the crust, or flan, or any dish made up of eggs, milk and flavorings, then baked until set. I call what you're talking about a creme patisserie, but it is also called pastry cream. And then there is butter cream (or buttercreme) which in its more mundane form is made with powdered sugar, fat and cream, but in its more elegant robes takes on a guise such as Esterhazy buttercreme, in which eggs are added, along with calories, a fat boost, and a lovely mouth feel that warms the cockles of your heart. And expands your hips! There are so many lovely ways to fly. '-)

                                                                                        Life is good.

                                                                                  2. re: Caroline1
                                                                                    pilinut Aug 22, 2010 08:58 PM

                                                                                    My first attempt at canelés was baked in silicone, and I can say that while the interiors were very similar to the ones I later baked in copper/tin, the exteriors were markedly different. The silicone-baked ones were crisp for a couple of minutes, but with a strangely plastic-y exterior. I guess I might have been okay with those results if I had never had a really good canelé. I've also seen blogs and videos proudly displaying the results of silicone molds, but I wouldn't DARE serve one of those canelés to souschef, Cynsa, buttertart, or anyone else on this thread!

                                                                                    1. re: pilinut
                                                                                      Caroline1 Aug 23, 2010 03:47 AM

                                                                                      Do you think the difference in the texture of the interiors with the silicone mold was entirely due to the mold, or could it have been something with the batter? Probably impossible to know at this point.

                                                                                      I've been thinking about that crunchy exterior that seems to be elusive for some on occasion. I'm not interested in trying this myself. I'm too old and all of the sweets I eat immediately attach themselves to my hips (and other places). Very difficult to dislodge them. But... I have been wondering what the result would be if immediately after unmolding them, they were dipped (or coated) with a thin shell of caramel? The very brittle kind that is used to glue a croquembouche together. If you get the sugar shell thin enough and crunchy enough, I would imagine it would be terrific! You could call it "canele en robe." Culinary fame can be yours! '-)

                                                                                      I think sugar is a greatly under utilized asset in today's cooking. All sorts of fantastic things you can do with it, especially when it comes to desserts and the garnishment thereof. I don't entertain that much any more, but in my day, I had a BLAST with sugar! Individual sugar cages garnished with candied violets to top off individual desserts. Spun sugar threads to wrap around or over a cake or to form into a nest under a custard or whatever. And of course, fondant flowers. Orchids, roses, daffodils, pansies, lily of the valley. So much fun!

                                                                                      1. re: Caroline1
                                                                                        souschef Aug 23, 2010 06:43 AM

                                                                                        "Canelé en robe" would be interesting, but I find "Canelé nu" more enticing :)

                                                                                        You are right about sugar being under-utilized, and I look with wonder at some of the pictures in a Michel Roux book, where he does wonders with poured and pulled sugar. But doing that all requires an artistic bent, which I do not have. Give me a T-square and a pencial and I can draw wonderful regular shapes, but draw free-form ? Forget it. The closest I have come to working with sugar is making a croquembouche, which did turn out very well. I even bought the funny "hat" to make it.

                                                                                        Someone once said, "You don't stop playing because you get old; you get old because you stop playing". I think you still have a lot of play left in you, so stop talking about getting old !

                                                                                        1. re: souschef
                                                                                          Caroline1 Aug 23, 2010 12:46 PM

                                                                                          Canele nu? You are SOooOOoOOoooOoo lascivious!

                                                                                          I'm not familiar with Michel Roux. I'll have to Google. Okay. Are you familiar with Ron Ben-Israel? He does gum paste flowers and pastillage that is pretty damned good! You can see some of his work here: http://www.weddingcakes.com
                                                                                          If you want one of his wedding cakes, it might be cheaper to just buy the Taj Mahal. The flowers are a lot of fun to do. I suspect, having seen some of your work, you could learn to do them if you just gave yourself a chance.

                                                                                          The fun and profitable thing about it is the "loose change" you can pick up. About fifteen years ago, before the arthritis in my hands said forgedaboutdit!, I used to do those peek-inside-Easter Eggs. Made them in two sizes, 8 inch and 12 inch. Decorated them inside with a tree, which was fun to make because the leaves were an "umbrella" stuck in the top half of the egg and the trunk was a very tall stump in the bottom. Then grass and bunnies and stuff. Put them together and peek inside and it was terrific! Then I decorated the tops with very fancy gum paste flowers. Orchids, Easter lilies, daffodils, large enough that three or four flowers about covered the egg. Then I took them around town to chocolate shops and such and sold them to them for $60.00 and $125.00 each. I never bothered checking what they retailed them for. I made them for my kids too. My daughter still has one in her china cabinet. So it's a fun way to pick up some pocket money to buy chocolate bunnies with!

                                                                                          You can make a cone for a croquembouche out of aluminum foil. Or maybe I'm just cheap? But the advantage of making your own cone is you can make it any size you like. I prefer very tall thin croquembouche, and I've never seen a ready-made cone I liked. Or if you have a good hot plate to keep the caramel warm without scorching, you can build one without a form. You just have to let each layer solidify and get strong before you go up another layer. Don't tell anybody, but you can get some pretty decent mini-cream puffs from the freezer at Sam's Club. Make the croquembouche, then wrap it in spun sugar and no one is the wiser! Can you tell I love the decorating more than I love the baking?

                                                                                          Playing is good! I don't really think of myself as old until I have to fill out one of those on-line forms that has the pop-up window for the year you were born. When you have to scroll down for fifteen minutes, you're old, no matter how much you play! But thank you! '-)

                                                                                          1. re: Caroline1
                                                                                            souschef Aug 23, 2010 02:47 PM

                                                                                            No, I don't know Ron Ben-Israel.

                                                                                            Michel Roux and brother Albert have a bunch of 3-star restaurants in England; they are originally from France, and probably now retired.
                                                                                            I used to do some fancy cake decoration until I found that I could not see well enough with or without my glasses; now I keep it simple.

                                                                                            1. re: souschef
                                                                                              Caroline1 Aug 23, 2010 04:42 PM

                                                                                              hmmmm.... I suspect a slight chill here. Maybe my French is too decrepit to allow me to joke... Does or does not "canele nu" mean a bare, as in naked, canele? If my joke was off the mark, my apologies.

                                                                                              1. re: Caroline1
                                                                                                souschef Aug 23, 2010 05:46 PM

                                                                                                A chill ? Not at all. I was checking CH on my iPhone while waiting in my iDoctor's waiting room, and the IPhone was acting up, so I kept it brief. No apologies necessary at all !!

                                                                                                "Canele nu" does indeed mean naked, and I was going to respond to your comment by saying, "That's me, Marcos Lascivious". Your joke was on the mark (sic).

                                                                                                You are indeed a lady of many talents, making those chocolate peek a boo eggs. I have never attempted any fancy stuff with chocolate. I have also picked up some loose change making cakes.

                                                                                                Unlike you I prefer baking to decorating as I do not have the finesse necessary for fine decoration.

                                                                                                1. re: souschef
                                                                                                  Caroline1 Aug 24, 2010 12:54 AM

                                                                                                  Your iDoctor's waiting room? You got new glasses?

                                                                                                  The eggs were sugar, not chocolate. I use regular sugar and enough egg white to make the sugar sticky, then press into a half-egg mold, immediately unmold and allow to air dry. The sugar allows light to pass through to the interior scene. Chocolate eggs would require interior lighting, and where do you hide the batteries? I bought chocolate bunnies (and other stuff) with the proceeds!

                                                                                                  I don't believe you are finesse-less! Your pithiviers are beauty on a plate!

                                                                                                  1. re: Caroline1
                                                                                                    souschef Aug 24, 2010 05:39 AM

                                                                                                    No, I did not get new glasses. Burst a blood vessel in an eye; looks worse than it is.

                                                                                                    That's a novel way of working with sugar. I had never heard of that before.

                                                                                                    As for my pithiviers, those are geometric curves, so are easy to do. The lack of finesse came home to me several years ago when one of my sisters was finishing the decoration of a cake I had started. Her work was so much better that I felt like a klutz.

                                                                                                    1. re: souschef
                                                                                                      t
                                                                                                      trewq Aug 24, 2010 07:28 AM

                                                                                                      I hope your eye gets better soon. What do they do for that? Do you know how it happened?
                                                                                                      Yesterday was a crazy day, Rainbow cookies, sticky buns and i started a new cannele batter. I sort of mixed techniques. Boiled milk with half the sugar and vanilla. Beat egg yolks with the other half of sugar. I wanted to see if it makes any difference how you mix it. Also I'm going to try oiling only the bottom of the molds like the manhandling lady to see if you really need to do the whole thing.
                                                                                                      How did you new batter come out? The one where you rubbed the butter?

                                                                                                      1. re: trewq
                                                                                                        souschef Aug 24, 2010 07:41 AM

                                                                                                        The eyes do that for a variety of reasons: rubbing, coughing, sneezing, constipation, etc. Takes about 2 weeks to recover.

                                                                                                        I was just laughing at our vocabulary: irritating guy and manhandling lady !

                                                                                                        The new batter was what I used in the last batch, but I mucked around with the temperature, reducing it after 15 minutes. Today I plan to use the rest of the batter, without chilling the molds, baking at 400F, the tried and trew(q) method.

                                                                                                        I just waxed the molds using the new silicon brush, and thought it worked really well. I bought a round brush, and it seemed to do a better job of waxing the molds, which I heated. The brush went well into the crooks and grannies, sorry, nooks and crannies. Cleanup was a snap too - very hot water and I was done. I wonder why Pilinut thought it was a pain.

                                                                                                        1. re: souschef
                                                                                                          t
                                                                                                          trewq Aug 24, 2010 07:58 AM

                                                                                                          Hahaha just as long as we don't call each other names. ;)

                                                                                                          I'm very impressed!!! Who knew when I picked random letter it could turn into trew(q).

                                                                                                          Glad to hear the new brush worked well. You too heat up the brush? Do you microwave it?

                                                                                                          1. re: trewq
                                                                                                            buttertart Aug 24, 2010 08:03 AM

                                                                                                            For a while there I was speculating that you were an alternate version of the blogger and poster here "cookingforassholes" and that the crassness was just a front for an impassioned fancy baker. ;-)

                                                                                                            1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                              souschef Aug 24, 2010 08:19 AM

                                                                                                              Yeah, I was thinking in French, along the same lines, as trewdq is the same as what buttertart is stating so boldly.

                                                                                                              1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                buttertart Aug 24, 2010 08:22 AM

                                                                                                                Boldness is my middle name.

                                                                                                              2. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                t
                                                                                                                trewq Aug 24, 2010 08:50 AM

                                                                                                                You must understand, I have never participated in any forums before so this is all new to me. The crassness comes with age. ;)

                                                                                                                1. re: trewq
                                                                                                                  buttertart Aug 24, 2010 08:58 AM

                                                                                                                  Don't it tho. Glad ss and I are vindicated in our analysis of your 'handle'.

                                                                                                              3. re: trewq
                                                                                                                souschef Aug 24, 2010 08:15 AM

                                                                                                                The brush is warmed up lovingly in hot wax.

                                                                                                          2. re: souschef
                                                                                                            Caroline1 Aug 24, 2010 10:27 AM

                                                                                                            "No, I did not get new glasses. Burst a blood vessel in an eye; looks worse than it is." souschef

                                                                                                            ewwww... Poor baby! i did that a couple of weeks ago simply by rubbing the corner of my eye. <<<WHAM>>> Looked like I was bleeding to death through my eyeball! It's almost all gone now. My ophthalmologist laughed and told me to stop rubbing my eye. Easier said than done!

                                                                                                            If you've ever seen one of those white sugar Easter eggs with the hole in the end that you peek inside through, you've seen the egg white and sugar work. It's standard for that sort of thing. You can make your own sugar cubes if want to. Mold all sorts of things, then just let them air dry.

                                                                                                            You know, as far as your sister's work on the cake looking better than yours, I suspect it's more a case of the grass always being greener on the other side. I've made things, thought they were ugly as sin but took a picture of them anyway, then later I look at them and think, "Idiot! What were you belly-aching about? That's not half bad!" It's all in the perspective.

                                                                                                2. re: souschef
                                                                                                  Cynsa Aug 23, 2010 01:44 PM

                                                                                                  - after pouring out the excess beeswax, add raw sugar crystals - shake out excess that doesn't stick to beeswax... pour in batter...for Sugar Crust? or would it just melt at the high temperature?

                                                                                                  1. re: Cynsa
                                                                                                    souschef Aug 23, 2010 02:40 PM

                                                                                                    Sounds like a good project for Cynsa!

                                                                                      2. t
                                                                                        trewq Aug 22, 2010 12:32 PM

                                                                                        YAY!!! Caroline1 has joined the fun.

                                                                                        WOW, you have been busy, Souschef, I hope you didn't pull out any of your hair. While driving through Montreal I searched for canneles without success. It's a good thing DH is patient.

                                                                                        I use a mix of beeswax and grape seed oil since it has a higher smoking point. Maybe instead of using inexpensive brushes and throwing them away why not get a good brush and make it your cannele brush? When I clean my brush I rub dishsoap into it and rinse with hot hot water.

                                                                                        i agree with Caroline1 about the convection. Why do you lower the temperature? I start at 400f and bake it at the same temp for 1 1/2 hours.
                                                                                        How are you cleaning your molds after baking? I usually just wipe the outside and never touch the inside. Once i used one mold without oiling it and the cannele came out without any problems.
                                                                                        Yes, I have tried placing the cannele on a hot cookie sheet. I've started with 3 in a cold oven and after the oven was hot I placed 3 more in the oven, it made my pan warp, the ones the went onto the hot pan rose a lot more then the cold oven ones.
                                                                                        I was wondering if letting the batter sit in the molds for a few minutes makes any difference then putting them in right away.

                                                                                        6 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: trewq
                                                                                          souschef Aug 22, 2010 01:57 PM

                                                                                          Trewq my hair is intact, I am pleased to say. I have only ever found canelés in Montreal (120 miles away from me) once, and they were rubbery.

                                                                                          Tomorrow I will buy grapeseed oil and a decent brush.

                                                                                          I lower the temperature in the hope that the difference will take the air out of the sails of the blessed canelés and they will flop, but it seems like after they are in full flight there is nothing to stop them.

                                                                                          I just baked the latest batch, after looking at the link Caroline provided, where a lot of people started very high (the oven temp, not the people) and then dropped the temperature. So I started at 475 and dropped the temperature to 350 after 10 minutes. I had one desperately try to climb out, another made a half-hearted attempt, while the others got nicely browned but did not get rid of the junk in the trunk (the puffy bottoms stayed as such). The good news is that with the exception of one, they all slid outof the molds easily. I think I can now seriously experiment. Pilinut, I think seasoning IS a factor here.

                                                                                          My next attempt will be at 400 for 90 minutes.....tomorrow....or maybe this evening. Well maybe not this evening - I need to eat the evidence, and can only manage so much.

                                                                                          After baking I clean the inside of the molds by scrubbing them with paper towels to get rid of the baked-on debris. I tend to be a clean freak.

                                                                                          I can't remember - do you freeze your molds? I want to duplicate your conditions.

                                                                                          1. re: souschef
                                                                                            t
                                                                                            trewq Aug 22, 2010 02:25 PM

                                                                                            Glad to hair you're not bald! :) Maybe I will try Quebec next. Do you think they would have canneles?

                                                                                            No i do not freeze the molds. I am what you might call a lazy baker.

                                                                                            I am also a clean nut but i leave the insides alone. I have read that the only time that you wash them is once a year or if they start to smell rancid. Then you have to boil them in water and season them again. I have attached a picture so you can see the inside of mine.

                                                                                            I've been thinking of trying the recipe from the manhandler video. What do you think? i also notice she doesn't use any butter and she just oils the bottom of the molds.

                                                                                             
                                                                                            1. re: trewq
                                                                                              souschef Aug 22, 2010 05:33 PM

                                                                                              I blew up the picture of the inside of your mold and had to close it quickly. My wife came rushing into the room at hearing my "EWWWWW !!!", wondering if I was okay. I just told her that I saw a scary sight.

                                                                                              Just kidding. I guess I will not clean them from now until they need it.

                                                                                              The recipe from the manhandler video? I guess you mean the technique as she does not give quantities. Her method is similar to the Baillardran one, I think. You could give it a whirl. I think she makes creme anglaise before the mix.

                                                                                              The latest method I tried was gleaned in part from Paula Wolfert's site, where she says she figured out the secret way to combine the butter and flour. This is what I did:

                                                                                              I wanted enough batter to make a double batch, so increased quantities by 40%, which meant 7 yolks. I had only 6 eggs in my fridge, so used 6 yoiks and 1 white; always wanted to try a white again. Beat them with sugar, then poured in boiling milk and beat together till smooth. Allowed it to cool. When it was almost cold I rubbed the butter into the flour, then added the liquid to the flour and strained it. Got a bit more stuff left in the sieve than usual. Looking forward to seeing what happens tomorrow.

                                                                                              You're going chasing to Quebec City for canelés? Are you making stealthy forays across the border ? Perhaps you should post on the Quebec board to ask about them first. Tell them souschef sent you :)

                                                                                              i imagine that to get a canelé at its peak you have to camp out at the bakery so you know when they are being put for sale. As I said before, the one I bought in Montreal was a sorry sight.

                                                                                              1. re: souschef
                                                                                                t
                                                                                                trewq Aug 22, 2010 06:10 PM

                                                                                                Hahahaha I'm surprised you have not commented on my gloves. I once saw on foodtv a burger place somewhere where they deep fry their burgers in oil that has been in use for something like 50 years, they just filter and add oil to replenish, and people rave about the burgers.

                                                                                                She has posted the ingredients under the video.
                                                                                                1L of milk
                                                                                                450g of sugar
                                                                                                300g of white flour
                                                                                                3 egg yolk
                                                                                                1 whole egg
                                                                                                vanilla extract
                                                                                                rhum
                                                                                                Her recipe makes 25 canneles according to her.

                                                                                                I am sure there are cannele bakers closer then Quebec perhaps Boston or NYC. Do you remember where in montreal you encountered these rubbery things? Maybe they were rubbery because they didn't come out of filthy molds like mine.

                                                                                                1. re: trewq
                                                                                                  souschef Aug 22, 2010 06:58 PM

                                                                                                  Haha! i did not comment on your gloves just because I knew you were expecting me to !

                                                                                                  Deep fry burgers ?

                                                                                                  That is far less egg than I would have expected for all that flour and milk. But maybe that's the secret of it - minimize the ingredients that cause the puffery.

                                                                                                  Her canelés are stubby, so I expect that we would make less. Using the milk as a guide, and with not much egg, I would say 16.

                                                                                                  "I am sure there are cannele bakers closer then Quebec perhaps Boston or NYC." Closer to where ? How about Philly? Use gaetano's link to follow the yellow brick road.

                                                                                                  The ones I bought in Montreal were at a bakery in the Jean-Talon Market. I think it was next to Chez Nino.

                                                                                                  "Maybe they were rubbery because they didn't come out of filthy molds like mine." Nah, yours were so clean I would eat out of them :)

                                                                                                  1. re: souschef
                                                                                                    t
                                                                                                    trewq Aug 22, 2010 07:43 PM

                                                                                                    I would love to follow the yellow brick road. Then i can ask the Mighty Oz for the secret recipe. Closer to Vermont.

                                                                                        2. Caroline1 Aug 22, 2010 12:58 AM

                                                                                          I've been asked to comment on this thread, but let me first say that I am not only no expert on the subject, but hardly qualify as an amateur of experience. There are some things culinary that are best left to the gods. That said, here are a few thoughts.

                                                                                          First off, as far as I know, no one on the planet makes caneles that come out perfectly shaped and prim every time. Think English muffins. The only people in the world who know how to make them come out every time with big butter pooling holes after they are baked are the folks at Thomas', and it is their BIG trade secret, with a lawsuit swirling around it at the time. And so it is with caneles. Some very expert bakers write of having to "reshape" their little darlings after baking. So I urge anyone walking this egg-shell lined path not to worry. After all, the great reward is interior taste and exterior crunch/taste. If you can get that, who cares if the canele is shaped like an ugly toad? As long as it's delicious!

                                                                                          Some speak of baking theirs with convection. Caneles are an aged and honored accomplishment, and I know of no canele makers of two hundred or so years ago who baked theirs in a convection oven. There are some things that are better done the old fashioned way.

                                                                                          On the Paula Wolfert recipe, I would not worry that much about how the flour is measured. Yes, I would sift. But in my experience, almost all recipes are forgiving within certain limits. Even if you measure flour by weight, atmospherics, humidity and other factors will have their miniscule to major impact on the finished product, but it's a rare case where such conditions render anything inedible. Go with the flow.

                                                                                          About beeswax. There is beeswax and then there is beeswax, and all are not created equal. Unfortunately, I know of no place that sells a variety of graded or geographically identified beeswax. Paula Wolfert's idea of mixing the beeswax with oil (though I do despise canola oil with a passion) seems to have some merit in that it would logically make the beeswax more manageable when it comes to coating the molds. Has anyone tried melting the beeswax and applying it to the interior of the molds with a brush? I would expect it to be a somewhat tedious task as there will likely be a problem with beeswax congealing on the brush and having to allow the brush to sit in the warm beeswax to melt before making the next brush stroke. Maybe warming the molds before brushing would help? Or rolling some melted beeswax around inside a warmed mold, then inverting it on a cooling rack to drain? If you're willing to really compulse over this, it might be interesting to buy some beeswax from a local beekeeper to see if it gives better results. I'm also wondering whether mixing in a little food grade paraffin along with some oil might improve things? If you come up with a fool proof beeswax formula, patent it and your fortune will be made! Canele bakers of the world will canonize you!

                                                                                          It seems to me that one of those cute little butane/propane torches one uses for crème brulee would be a nice tool to have on hand when making caneles. It might prove useful in getting the beeswax to behave in the molds. And it could certainly be handy for touching up those pale spots that sometimes happen when the caneles are unmolded. Toast 'em up a bit!

                                                                                          And now I think I'll go back to trying to master the size of the air pockets inside my English muffins, then see if I can't find a retail outlet that stocks caneles from heaven. I wish us all luck!

                                                                                          9 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: Caroline1
                                                                                            souschef Aug 22, 2010 05:51 AM

                                                                                            Caroline, thanks for your input.

                                                                                            Your point about convection ovens is well-taken.

                                                                                            I think that between pilinut and I we have covered all of your suggestions re beeswax. I was looking at smoke points of various oils this morning, wondering if my using Crisco to season my new molds was causing a problem, but I don't think it is as the peanut oil I am using has a high enough smoke point.

                                                                                            I like your suggestion about torching those devils to take away the pale spots. There is something satisfying though about a cake that comes out of a mold perfectly.

                                                                                            This is one thing culinary I will not be leaving to the gods.

                                                                                            1. re: souschef
                                                                                              pilinut Aug 22, 2010 01:24 PM

                                                                                              I have tried turning my kitchen torch on the pale crowns, but it didn't work as well as I had hoped. Perhaps the flame was too close, but I couldn't get an even color: little specks of the pale cake would char very quickly and suddenly, making it look like I had sprinkled pepper on the cakes.

                                                                                              Maybe I should just dip the crowns in caramelized sugar or chocolate. Not kosher, but maybe I'd feel less annoyed at my failures. . .

                                                                                              1. re: pilinut
                                                                                                Caroline1 Aug 22, 2010 04:17 PM

                                                                                                hmmmm... What do you think would happen if you did a light sprinkling of sugar before torching, a la creme brulee? MIGHT work. Or you might end up with fat stubby flaming birthday candles.

                                                                                            2. re: Caroline1
                                                                                              Caroline1 Aug 22, 2010 05:53 AM

                                                                                              And for anyone willing to wrestle with French, here is a definitive website on canelé, complete with recipes. Tons of recipes! If you don't do French, I like IM Translator, free and downloadable from the web.

                                                                                              http://www.linternaute.com/femmes/cui...

                                                                                              1. re: Caroline1
                                                                                                souschef Aug 22, 2010 06:33 AM

                                                                                                Thanks for the link Caroline. I do French, so not a problem for me.

                                                                                                I took a look at several of the recipes where the pictures look like what I want the final product to be, and in general they cook the canelés for 5 or 10 minutes at VERY high heat (over 500 degrees F), then drop it to around 360. This is something I have not tried yet, and I don't think pilinut has, either. I don't know what trew'q has tried, but it seems to work.

                                                                                                I think I'll try this next, though may not go so high in temperature (don't want to set off the smoke detector).

                                                                                                1. re: souschef
                                                                                                  Caroline1 Aug 22, 2010 10:56 AM

                                                                                                  Can you turn off the smoke detector before you start? '-)

                                                                                                  For all of you canelé makers, I'll be sitting right over there (points to right) and you can pass all of your rejects over to me.

                                                                                                  1. re: souschef
                                                                                                    pilinut Aug 22, 2010 01:46 PM

                                                                                                    Yes, thanks for the link! The French is fortunately within my limited grasp. I think souschef and I should try the change in temperatures and see how that works. But since most of the bakers on the site seem to be using silicone molds, I'm curious to see how much on an adjustment we will have to make because of the copper molds. But I will keep my silicone tongs within reach, the better to discipline any strays.

                                                                                                2. re: Caroline1
                                                                                                  pilinut Aug 22, 2010 01:16 PM

                                                                                                  Yes, Caroline, thank you! A fresh perspective is very welcome: we appreciate your empathy for our plight, and wish you all the best for your English muffins. (You're right, Thomas's is best I've had.)

                                                                                                  I will try baking the canelés without convection, at least part of the time next batch. (In the meantime, we still have a dozen very good blueberry muffins and half a kouign amann to get through, although savory, butter-cupping English muffins are even bigger favorites for breakfast.)

                                                                                                  1. re: pilinut
                                                                                                    Caroline1 Aug 22, 2010 04:26 PM

                                                                                                    I feel confident that not all convection ovens perform alike, but with my own, I find that when I try to bake anything like breads or cakes, the convection will form a crust before they are finished rising, and the results aren't as satisfactory as they are when I just bake the old fashioned "thermal only" way. But if a boule or loaf that I want to be really crusty is softening up, convection is a quick way to restore that crust to crunchy!

                                                                                                3. souschef Aug 20, 2010 06:30 PM

                                                                                                  SECOND ATTEMPT WITH MAUVIELS

                                                                                                  Used leftover batter from the last attempt. Was enough for about 2-2/3 canelés. Will have to increase ingredients by 40% to make a double batch. Works out well - 7 yolks.

                                                                                                  This time I waxed the molds while they were at room temperature, so got a visible film. Did not put them into the freezer. Did not leave the batter out for an hour. Do you sense the frustration ? I put them into the oven at 400 degrees and left the temperature there as this was how I started out with this insanity.

                                                                                                  After 15 minutes the mold that was 2/3 full was just bubbling away while the other two had souffléed. At 30 minutes they had all souffléed. At 70 minutes they looked done. I took them out of the oven and flipped them over; they did not budge. I finally had to work a toothpick down the molds to release them, and they did release completely. The crowns were pale.

                                                                                                  I am now at somewhat of a loss. It seems that 400 is too high with copper, so maybe I should start at 400 for 15 minutes, then turn it down to 375. But then gaetano says they should be started higher.

                                                                                                  Time to turn to whomI consider to be the closest we have to a guru here, none other than trewq: So maestro, at what temperature do you cook those babies ? As we have the same molds I should be able to successfully make them at the same temperature.

                                                                                                  Opinions from anyone else ? Pilinut, buttertart, bushwickgirl, chef chicklet, Cynsa, Caroline .........?

                                                                                                  18 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: souschef
                                                                                                    pilinut Aug 20, 2010 09:44 PM

                                                                                                    Dang. What should we do? We are thwarted every time we think we are getting close to the finish line. There are so many possible iterations. We have to start with some assumptions.

                                                                                                    I think the recipes are pretty much okay since we like the taste and texture of the finished products. The devil seems to be in the baking. Maybe gaetano's oven is different? I wonder what would happen if one started at 400F and then moved the canelés after 15 minutes to another oven preheated to 350F? Or kept them at a steady 375F for 60-80 minutes?

                                                                                                    1. re: pilinut
                                                                                                      Cynsa Aug 21, 2010 12:46 AM

                                                                                                      ok- here's a random stab in the dark that has absolutely no reasonable bearing on anything at all... what if.. you open the oven door and spray a mist to lower the temperature and create humidity? or, place the hot molds on a folded wet towel as they continue to bake? that would certainly shock those babes into submission. late night catastrophe - now you'll ban me from the playground

                                                                                                      1. re: Cynsa
                                                                                                        souschef Aug 21, 2010 02:15 AM

                                                                                                        Cynsa, I don't know if the spray will have much impact on the temperature of the oven. Isn't that a technique that you use with bread, so the bread absorbs the moisture?
                                                                                                        The wet towel may well do the trick though; I should try it.

                                                                                                        And no, you will not get banned for joining in the fun on the playgound. Take off your shoes, sink you feet in the sand, and stay awhile. We have swings and merry-go-rounds too!

                                                                                                      2. re: pilinut
                                                                                                        souschef Aug 21, 2010 02:36 AM

                                                                                                        Pilinut, maybe my molds are not seasoned yet? Perhaps I should just try again at a steady 375°? Considering how fast they seem to cook in the copper, maybe that's what I should do. I have never baked before in copper. Or should I start them at 400 till they soufflé and then manhandle them back into the molds and continue at 350°? I think my first step is to assume that they have not been seasoned enough, and just try again. Another thought - I have been using beeswax and peanut oil, and was wondering if I should use butter instead of pilinut oil. Thoughts? I have only one oven BTW.

                                                                                                        I was looking again at Paula Wolfert's recipe, and she mentions that one of the secrets is the special way of combining flour and butter. The only way to combine such a small quantity of butter with flour is by rubbing it in (a technique I use when making scones). Is this what the Lemoine recipe really means? I think I'll try it on my next attempt, and use cold milk and eggs. Heck, I'll try it all. If this fails I can always pack it in and cosy up to Betty Crocker!

                                                                                                        1. re: souschef
                                                                                                          pilinut Aug 21, 2010 11:20 AM

                                                                                                          I don't think the problem is the seasoning of the molds. There seems to be something about the beeswax that lingers so that only a light coating is needed after the first baking. I still think it's an oven temperature problem, but since I have no idea how a professional oven differs from a home oven, I'm at a loss to see what they can do that we can't. I'm also wondering whether convection is a good thing or not, or whether it's a good thing at one point in the baking, but a bad thing at other times. . . I think Cynsa's towel may be a very good idea! Put those hotsie patootsies on a cool damp towel and shrink that hot air space between the molds and the pale crowns! Cynsa, we need you! Come join the playground/Quest/Olympic championship team for repetitive chagrin!

                                                                                                          Oh, can one think oneself into a tizzy! Must be those swings and merry-go-rounds. . . And the occasional roller coaster ride, too. But it is FUN!

                                                                                                          1. re: pilinut
                                                                                                            souschef Aug 21, 2010 12:11 PM

                                                                                                            I don't think that a professional oven really differs from a home oven; it's all just hot air :)

                                                                                                            I do agree that oven temperature is the key here, but ovens vary so much that it is hard to compare your oven with mine, or even Cynsa's. I suspect that Cynsa only has an Easy Bake oven and that is why she is reluctant to get her feet wet here.

                                                                                                            As on my last attempt the monsters got done faster than with the aluminium molds I think that the next time I will bake them at 375 using chilled molds and no hot sheet. That way I will start at one extreme and work up.

                                                                                                            Now please excuse me while I go make more batter.

                                                                                                            If Cynsa comes along please play with her.

                                                                                                            1. re: souschef
                                                                                                              buttertart Aug 21, 2010 04:34 PM

                                                                                                              I figured using a metal that conducts heat faster than aluminum was going to throw a monkey wrench into the works. Wonder why the crowns don't get darker since they're in ctc with metal and not just air like the sides? (signed, Sancho Panza)

                                                                                                              1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                pilinut Aug 21, 2010 06:38 PM

                                                                                                                I believe that when the crowns come out pale, it's because they have had contact with the mold only for the first 12-15 minutes of baking--long enough to take on the shape of the crown, but not long enough to brown. When the cakes rise up above the rim, I'm quite certain that the whole cake has levitated off the crown, leaving nothing but hot air between the the cake and the mold's crown. The big question is: how do we either keep the cake down, in continuous contact with the whole mold, or get it to slip back down after it has done levitating, but before it has had a chance to set and make backing down next to impossible? Part of the problem is knowing if, and at what point, one screams, "Enough!" at the upstarts and takes firm measures to make the runaways go all the way back home.

                                                                                                                1. re: pilinut
                                                                                                                  souschef Aug 21, 2010 08:14 PM

                                                                                                                  Pilinut, I agree with your explanation.

                                                                                                                  I tried a totally different technique of combining the ingredients today, and am looking forward to seeing if it makes a difference. If it works I'll explain it in detail. If not, well I at least tried.

                                                                                                                  Incidentally, slamming an oven door is supposed to make a soufflé fall. Should we try the same thing?........said partially in jest !

                                                                                                                  1. re: pilinut
                                                                                                                    buttertart Aug 22, 2010 06:27 AM

                                                                                                                    Then wouldn't manhandling them into the molds like the woman in that one video does get them back down on the bottoms (and sufficiently deflate the batter for them to stay there? Maybe even stick a thin knife blade into their centres all the way down to the bottom? Or slam the oven door?

                                                                                                                  2. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                    souschef Aug 21, 2010 08:04 PM

                                                                                                                    This was one hell of a monkey wrench ! It sent be back to square one !!!

                                                                                                                    I am almost tempted to start again with the Roux recipe as the canelés did turn out out, albeit with a cakey interior instead of a custardy interior, just to see if they work out again.

                                                                                                                  3. re: souschef
                                                                                                                    pilinut Aug 21, 2010 06:44 PM

                                                                                                                    I've already tried to bribe Cynsa with a slice of the caramelized, butter-saturated kouign amann from Patisserie Philippe that she missed out on yesterday, but I fear I may have to increase the baksheesh to two slices. . .

                                                                                                                    1. re: pilinut
                                                                                                                      souschef Aug 21, 2010 08:22 PM

                                                                                                                      Maybe you should sweeten the bribe with chocolates from XO? Or buy her dinner at La Folie (my favourite)?

                                                                                                                      I like the chocolates at XO, but it's been years since I was last there. However, my SIL (who lives in Carmel) was there once a couple of years ago, and thought of me, so she shipped me a bunch. Really enjoyed them !

                                                                                                                      1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                        pilinut Aug 21, 2010 11:59 PM

                                                                                                                        Don't you believe that virtue is its own reward?

                                                                                                                        I did give Cynsa one of my better canelés, and if her damp towel trick works, I'll give her another one! (Okay, two--maybe three.) And a kouign amann from PP!

                                                                                                                        Do you mean XOX truffles? Love the cognac and champagne ones! It's been years since I visited La Folie, and it's probably time to revisit. I remember the butter-poached lobster being better than the one at the French Laundry. (Hmmm. . . would butter-poached lobster be easier to make than canelés?)

                                                                                                                        1. re: pilinut
                                                                                                                          souschef Aug 22, 2010 05:40 AM

                                                                                                                          "Don't you believe that virtue is its own reward? "

                                                                                                                          WOW! A true philosopher ! I'm an engineer, not a philosopher, remember? I'm still at the playground stage, while you are smoking.......what ARE you smoking ?

                                                                                                                          I always thought the store was called "XO", guess my mind was on the bottle buttertart's hubby is hoarding (XO), not on hugs and kisses (XOX). Can't remember which ones I liked.

                                                                                                                          In theory butter-poached lobster is far easier to make than canelés as you can taste during the poaching process and stop cooking at the right point. You might end up with an unbalanced but correctly-cooked lobster. OTOH once you pop the canelés into the oven and say "salut la visite" there is nothing you can do, apart from slapping them down.

                                                                                                                          I am now running into a time crunch. In less than 2 weeks I have to deliver to my SIL a bunch of canelés as I am going to visit her in Carmel; she loves them. The ignominy of it all; I may have to bake them in aluminium. Good news is that I will get to that Monterey bakery to try a genuine one.

                                                                                                                          1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                            pilinut Aug 22, 2010 01:05 PM

                                                                                                                            I don't smoke. It ruins the palate :-) However, I will eat cognac-laced chocolate until I'm buzzed. . .

                                                                                                                            About virtue being it's own reward: I was thinking about how our patience, persistence, and intense contemplative analysis (all virtues, right?) on this quest for perfect canelés have yet to yield commensurate success. I feel like convent school was a hoax.

                                                                                                                            Don't worry, souschef! I'm sure that by the time you have to go down to Carmel, you'll have tamed those little beasties. In any case, you can come up to San Francisco and Cynsa and I can take you and Mme. souschef to Boulangerie de Polk and Patisserie Philippe to have MORE canelés!

                                                                                                                            Don't give up! I have a feeling success is just around the oven door.

                                                                                                                            1. re: pilinut
                                                                                                                              souschef Aug 22, 2010 01:40 PM

                                                                                                                              Convent school ? Huh ! Those nuns got you into the habit of thinking those were virtues? Seems like foolishness now.

                                                                                                                              I think it would be great to meet you and Cynsa over canelé and coffee. I will discuss this with Mme. Souschef, and we can arrange to meet. I will email you.

                                                                                                                              I am far from giving up.

                                                                                                                              1. re: pilinut
                                                                                                                                Cynsa Aug 22, 2010 01:47 PM

                                                                                                                                ditto - we're a hop-skip-jump from Carmel. :^)

                                                                                                            2. souschef Aug 20, 2010 03:08 PM

                                                                                                              I am pleased to report that the Mauviels are MUCH easier to clean than the aluminium molds. I took a toothpick and poked at the stuff at the bottom; it came out with some coaxing. The debris left is rubbed off quite easily using a paper towel.

                                                                                                              1. souschef Aug 20, 2010 01:21 PM

                                                                                                                FIRST ATTEMPT WITH MAUVIELS

                                                                                                                Wolfert Ingredients. Custard method.

                                                                                                                Made the batter yesterday, Took it out so it was at room temperature for over an hour. Heated the molds and got a nice thin film of wax on them. Then, after they had cooled, stuck them into the freezer. Used a heated baking sheet (threw it into the oven when I started the preheat). Started at 425 degrees, reduced to 375 after 15 minutes, at which point they were all gently bubbling and at the level of the tops of the molds.

                                                                                                                At 30 minutes they were nice soufflés; no popovers. At 60 minutes they had deflated slightly, but were still standing proud. At 80 minutes I decided that they were brown enough, so took them out to turn them out. WHAT A FRIGGIN" DISASTER !!! WIthout exception they all refused to exit the building. I had to rap the crown of each one, and then when I turned it over the crown part stayed in the mold. So I have a bunch of broken cakes. Coincidentally I was listening to "Cucurucucu Paloma", and the words struck home "No llores", i.e. don't cry !! :)

                                                                                                                From what I can see of what remained in the mold it was overbaked, so the hot sheet was probably a half-baked idea. When Trewq said that the first batch was a throwaway (s)he was not kidding ! I did not think it would be so bad though. The canelés are beautifully coloured, though. The bright side of this batch (there is ALWAYS a silver lining) is that they were all consistent :). It's almost funny !!

                                                                                                                So it's back to square one with the Mauviels. I have to throw out the door all of my results and conclusions from the last month. I have enough batter for 2 or 3 more, so may try again this evening, if I can scrape the burnt bits from the bottom of the molds.

                                                                                                                1. souschef Aug 20, 2010 12:08 PM

                                                                                                                  In a previous post I had indicated that my research showed that in the Wolfert recipe you need 84-92 gm of egg yolk (5 large yolks, whereas Wolfert uses 4 extra-large). Well, the first time I measured the egg yolks I used they weighed 84 gm, whereas the second time they weighed 92 gm. What are the chances ?

                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                  1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                    buttertart Aug 20, 2010 12:12 PM

                                                                                                                    Slim and none. What scale do you have? My Salter goes in 5-gm increments.

                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                      souschef Aug 20, 2010 12:30 PM

                                                                                                                      I have a Kilotech scale that goes in 1 gm increments.

                                                                                                                      1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                        buttertart Aug 20, 2010 01:23 PM

                                                                                                                        Wish list for when the old one croaks.

                                                                                                                  2. souschef Aug 19, 2010 10:03 AM

                                                                                                                    The Mauviels have landed. Yayyy! They are about 1/4 inch taller than the aluminium ones I have been using, and weigh 87 gm whereas the aluminium ones weigh 24 gm. I have to season them before I use them, but I should be able to make a batch before the weekend is over. I bought only 6 molds.

                                                                                                                    The first thing I did was check the rims to see how sharp they were. They did not seem to be too bad, but I guess my hands are not too delicate :)

                                                                                                                    37 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                      buttertart Aug 19, 2010 10:27 AM

                                                                                                                      That was pretty quick - glad to hear it! Maybe the thicker material will allow longer baking w/o burning. (You have a supporter at my house, I said you were baking something as I understood it somewhere between a popover, cake, and custard, and certain people's ears pricked up..."I LIKE popovers"...)

                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                        souschef Aug 19, 2010 10:41 AM

                                                                                                                        This is promising. Does he like XO in popovers ?

                                                                                                                        1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                          buttertart Aug 19, 2010 10:43 AM

                                                                                                                          Oh souschef! IF I get them right and IF he's in the right mood, maybe.

                                                                                                                      2. re: souschef
                                                                                                                        t
                                                                                                                        trewq Aug 19, 2010 10:34 AM

                                                                                                                        YAY!! They've arrived!!!!! Aren't they beautiful.
                                                                                                                        Unfortunately I have to wait till I get back from Canada to hear about your success.
                                                                                                                        Be careful of your non delicate hands. ;)

                                                                                                                        1. re: trewq
                                                                                                                          souschef Aug 19, 2010 10:40 AM

                                                                                                                          Huh ? We do have the Internet in Canada !

                                                                                                                          Yes, they ARE beautiful.

                                                                                                                        2. re: souschef
                                                                                                                          pilinut Aug 19, 2010 11:09 AM

                                                                                                                          Congratulations, souschef! Those Mauviels are impressive: I weighed my Lemoine molds and they are a mere 62-64 grams, and, if I recall the Amazon.com photo correctly, the Mauviels flare outward a little bit more, which may help the cakes descend properly after the initial soufflé phase. They may be a bargain after all! I can hardly wait for the photos of your next batch.

                                                                                                                          Oh, do post photos of the Mauviels a.s.a.p. beside the steel ones so we can see!

                                                                                                                          1. re: pilinut
                                                                                                                            souschef Aug 19, 2010 11:21 AM

                                                                                                                            Will do, pilinut. Right now the Mauviels are in the oven getting seasoned. It will be a couple of hours before I can take them out.

                                                                                                                            I hope that the flare does not make them popover more, though judging from trewq's pictures that should not happen. I'm hoping that trewq's secret is Mauviels !

                                                                                                                            BTW how tolerant of banter are the mods? I'm holding myself back from responding to trewq's Internet comments. Hate to get deleted/censored !

                                                                                                                            1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                              t
                                                                                                                              trewq Aug 19, 2010 11:38 AM

                                                                                                                              Souschef, I apologize if i have offended. I was just having a little fun.

                                                                                                                              1. re: trewq
                                                                                                                                souschef Aug 19, 2010 11:44 AM

                                                                                                                                Offended me? Not at all. No need for an apology. I dish it out, and I can take it too !

                                                                                                                                I was just concerned about the mods deleting banter.

                                                                                                                                1. re: trewq
                                                                                                                                  buttertart Aug 19, 2010 11:44 AM

                                                                                                                                  No. so were we all - I think it's that the mods want everything to be about food. Just kidding around is frowned upon.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                    t
                                                                                                                                    trewq Aug 19, 2010 11:52 AM

                                                                                                                                    ;(

                                                                                                                                    Souschef, just so you know the first batch is usually a throw away batch. Well, not really throw away but more like why is it sticking. It's part of the seasoning process.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: trewq
                                                                                                                                      buttertart Aug 19, 2010 12:00 PM

                                                                                                                                      What DO you do to season them (or was this covered, if so pls forgive me).

                                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                        souschef Aug 19, 2010 12:06 PM

                                                                                                                                        This is what I am doing, taken off Paula Wolfert's site:

                                                                                                                                        "To season new molds: heat oven to 350 degrees F; wash the molds in soapy water; rinse; dry thoroughly; heavily grease the interiors with vegetable shortening or oil; place on sheet tray; place in oven 1 hour; remove from oven; place upside down on a rack; return to oven; heat 15 minutes; turn off heat; leave in the oven until room temperature."

                                                                                                                                        1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                          buttertart Aug 19, 2010 12:10 PM

                                                                                                                                          I have friends coming from Paris next week - Bordelaise on the father's side - should I ask her to bring some cannelés for review?

                                                                                                                                          1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                            t
                                                                                                                                            trewq Aug 19, 2010 12:19 PM

                                                                                                                                            Yes!!!! And you should make some a do a comparison. What i want to know is, is it suppose to be wet inside like custard or dry like undercooked cake that is custardy like.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                              souschef Aug 19, 2010 12:19 PM

                                                                                                                                              You definitely should, but ask her to pick them up at the last minute. They can be warmed up to crisp them up.

                                                                                                                                              You may want to ask her to bring some from a couple of different shops.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                buttertart Aug 19, 2010 12:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                She's used to odd requests from me - we've been friends since 1990. Will see if she can come up with some.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                                  souschef Aug 19, 2010 12:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                  While you're at it, you may want to ask her to get you molds from Lemoine. Also, if you like dragées, Medicis makes some really nice ones, which Williams-Sonoma carries at Easter. They have stores all over France. You could also get her to bring you some foie gras and......and......

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                    buttertart Aug 19, 2010 01:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                    I was thinking of asking for another of those mindblowing Jacques Bellanger milk choc with Marcona almonds bars. Most extraordinary chocolate confection ever. There seems to be way too many nuts in it for it to hold together. And the chocolate is fascinating.

                                                                                                                                          2. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                            t
                                                                                                                                            trewq Aug 19, 2010 12:07 PM

                                                                                                                                            You wash them in hot soapy water. Oil them. Bake them at 375 for an hour. Take them out. Turn them upside down on a rack and bake for another 15 minutes. Then you never wash them again even after use. Just like a cast iron pan.

                                                                                                                                          3. re: trewq
                                                                                                                                            souschef Aug 19, 2010 12:08 PM

                                                                                                                                            Thanks for the info. Will avoid pulling of hair and rending of garments.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                              buttertart Aug 19, 2010 01:05 PM

                                                                                                                                              Turn your hair shirt inside out for a while too.

                                                                                                                                    2. re: pilinut
                                                                                                                                      souschef Aug 19, 2010 02:00 PM

                                                                                                                                      Here's a picture Piliniut; the others are aluminium, not steel. Why do I get the impression that you want to buy some Mauviels?

                                                                                                                                      http://www.jbprince.com/professional-...

                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                      1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                        buttertart Aug 19, 2010 02:20 PM

                                                                                                                                        They are lovely things, aren't they. Couldn't believe how heavy they were.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                          souschef Aug 19, 2010 02:34 PM

                                                                                                                                          Yes, they are lovely. Just over 3 ounces each. I need to make some batter so I can use them pdq.

                                                                                                                                          I think that for my first attempt at baking in them I will start at 425, and reduce the temperature to 375 after 15 minutes, using "custard" batter.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                            souschef Aug 19, 2010 03:32 PM

                                                                                                                                            The batter is in the fridge. One thing I like is that it is so easy to make, and I hardly have to strain it. But of course the frustration comes after.

                                                                                                                                            I am always reminded of paint when I work with the batter - the texture, and the smell to some extent....."but dear I painted the walls a custard colour".

                                                                                                                                        2. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                          pilinut Aug 19, 2010 05:34 PM

                                                                                                                                          The thought has crossed my mind more than once. The Mauviels are beautiful, and heavy copper kitchen gadgets have a powerful attraction. But I think my Lemoine ones are more like your aluminum ones, so I'd end up with different cooking times and shapes, given the size and metal thickness considerations. I think I'll wait until the next opportunity to get 4 more Lemoines so I can bake a batch all at once.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: pilinut
                                                                                                                                            souschef Aug 19, 2010 06:00 PM

                                                                                                                                            Go Pilinut, Go ! Buy a bunch of Mauviels !!! We all need the same frame of reference. Trewq and I have Mauviels, and I think Buttertart will buy the same.

                                                                                                                                            I think I'll have to increase the quantitiy of ingredients as in the Mauviels the batter will make only 10 canelés, and it makes sense to make batter for 12, as I have 6 molds.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                              souschef Aug 19, 2010 08:26 PM

                                                                                                                                              Please don't take me seriously pilinut !

                                                                                                                                              I'm trying to decide if the molds really need to go into the freezer. I wonder about the rationale behind it.

                                                                                                                                              Here's a picture of a "textbook example" of beeswax coating:

                                                                                                                                              http://www.flickr.com/photos/alohrenz/3267491581/in/photostream/

                                                                                                                                              Interesting reading:

                                                                                                                                              http://www.syrupandtang.com/200912/ca...

                                                                                                                                              1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                pilinut Aug 19, 2010 10:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                Thanks for the photos, I am still puzzling over the correct amount of beeswax as so much of it seems to end up in puddles around the molds after baking. On the other hand, maybe more beeswax will mean that much more space for the canelé to return home after its attempt to escape. . . What do you guys think?

                                                                                                                                                1. re: pilinut
                                                                                                                                                  souschef Aug 20, 2010 04:35 AM

                                                                                                                                                  A site I was looking at yesterday showed a picture of molds that had a very thick coating, and the comment that the canelés tasted very waxy. The person then made more, without using any wax, and the next batch was more acceptable. It may have been the same site, but they stated that you should get the molds very hot before waxing, i.e. a thin layer.

                                                                                                                                                  I think that even if you do use a lot of wax the extra space will be insignificant when it comes to space for the batter to return to.

                                                                                                                                                  Trewq I'm looking forward to your response on this,

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                    buttertart Aug 20, 2010 05:59 AM

                                                                                                                                                    Maybe you've got it all wrong and what you need is a good hit of PAM for baking (signé bt la paresseuse)
                                                                                                                                                    (kidding of course)

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                                      souschef Aug 20, 2010 08:49 AM

                                                                                                                                                      Perish the thought !

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                                        pilinut Aug 20, 2010 11:08 AM

                                                                                                                                                        The Lemoine recipe recommends--and the bakery itself uses--baking spray! But since I wasn't impressed by their nearly crunchless canelés, I wrote off the baking spray.

                                                                                                                                                        I have to admit that lazy as I am, I find using baking sprays on anything other than flat surfaces almost as much work as more traditional means of greasing, and there's a fun-in-the-lab aspect to beeswax coatings that I like, even if I may never get them quite right.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: pilinut
                                                                                                                                                          buttertart Aug 20, 2010 11:18 AM

                                                                                                                                                          I take your point. A little on the mad scientist side.

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                    buttertart Aug 20, 2010 06:03 AM

                                                                                                                                                    That syrupandtang article IS interesting reading.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                                      souschef Aug 20, 2010 08:57 AM

                                                                                                                                                      Yes, it collects together in one place all of the black art surrounding the subject. It is interesting the concept of placing freezer-cold molds on an oven-hot baking sheet. Michel Roux uses the hot baking sheet concept, but not the cold molds. I think I'm going to try it with the next batch. I hate handling cold molds, though.

                                                                                                                                        3. souschef Aug 17, 2010 03:25 PM

                                                                                                                                          WOLFERT. CUSTARD TECHNIQUE. TEST #2.

                                                                                                                                          Where did I put the "Kick Me" Sign ??? Thought I followed the same procedure as yesterday, but dang it, forgot to turn the oven down to 375. Got 2 perfect little cakes only. Can I say "Merde!" here ???

                                                                                                                                          No pictures today. Nothing to see. Move along.

                                                                                                                                          No more canelés till after the Mauviels land. My frazzled brain and overworked stomach need a rest.

                                                                                                                                          Where did pilinut go to ?

                                                                                                                                          26 Replies
                                                                                                                                          1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                            pilinut Aug 17, 2010 07:36 PM

                                                                                                                                            Hi, souschef! I've been driving family members around, shopping and foraging, and cooking, but not baking for the past few days. I've been silent, but that doesn't mean I haven't risked a couple of freeway collisions deep in thought about how best to roast those little beasties.

                                                                                                                                            It seems a given that the canelés WILL rise up above the rims of the molds. Barring excess air (or liquid?) in the batter, they should not turn into popovers or spillovers. However, there seems to be a critical point at which the cakes should settle back down--a minute or two too late and one ends up with the pale crowns that have been my most recent undoing. I think that, if one got the temperatures right, settling back down would come as a matter of course. However, threatened with imminent disaster, the solution seems to be to slip the uppity little monsters back into place by letting out the hot air trapped between the cake and the mold. I did this with the batch that turned out best (without knowing about the video you mentioned) by lightly pressing the protruding sides of the canelés with tongs and by sliding a cake tester along some of the ridges of the mold.

                                                                                                                                            What remains to be seen is if a drop in temperature (how much of a drop and at what point in the baking?) can effect the return of the prodigal canelé.

                                                                                                                                            I went back to using the full-size convection oven after it seemed inevitable that the toaster oven would char the cakes. The maximum temperature I set it for was 425F.

                                                                                                                                            I'm waiting for your Mauviels almost as anxiously as you are.

                                                                                                                                            BTW, I just bought a small bottle of Myer's rum because the wine guy at my local grocery said that it was the best one for cooking--specified by Maida Heatter and other bakers. Well, I took a sniff, and it will probably work well enough, but I I'm going to go back to Pyrat XO (I already miss that aroma!) as soon as I can justify the $30 for a third bottle of rum that no one drinks.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: pilinut
                                                                                                                                              souschef Aug 17, 2010 08:18 PM

                                                                                                                                              Hey Pilinut, I think that what causes a popover or a spillover is excess liquid; if the batter is stiff enough it should not collapse.

                                                                                                                                              I'm still mad that I forgot to turn down the temperature today because I felt that the batter was thicker (after 48 hours), and in a review of the book on canelés it was stated that a Bordelais baker mentioned to the author that the batter must rest for 48 hours before being used.

                                                                                                                                              I have found that the rising takes place within the first 15 minutes, and then it rises no more, so the temperature should be dropped at 15 minutes, to give the insides a chance to bake. At 400° they burn before they bake, so it should be 375°.

                                                                                                                                              My take on shoving (coaxing) them back in is that if they want to escape they should suffer the consequences and burn.

                                                                                                                                              As for the rum, I have not played with different brands. BTW the vanilla beans probably cost you more than the rum. I pay about $4 per bean, so I use extract instead.

                                                                                                                                              I should perhaps mix a batch of batter and let it sit while waiting for those Mauviels. They should be here any day now.

                                                                                                                                              How do you clean your molds? I use a paper towel to rub off any caked batter, but it's a pain doing it that way.

                                                                                                                                              Thinking about Boulotte's Larder (Scooter's fave canelé place in the video), their making only twelve a day makes me think about Old Mother Hubbard's cupboard. Why would any baker make only 12 of something popular?

                                                                                                                                              The failures today were dispatched post haste to meet their just desserts - an appointment with stomach acid. They were delicious. I am pretty settled on Wolfert's ingredients.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                pilinut Aug 17, 2010 10:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                You're right, my canelés were at maximum height between 12 and 15 minutes in a 400F convection oven. I did try to persuade them (the most recent and unsuccessful batch) to come down by taking them out at around 12 minutes, but they tricked me and popped back up after a couple of minutes in the 400F oven. After that, I decided to sit back and let nature take its merciless course. Next time, I'll leave them out until the oven cools down to 350F or 375F.

                                                                                                                                                Boulette's Larder is a rather special kind of place--they sell unusual specialty ingredients and prepared foods--all in small quantities, prepared by far more staff than you think a garage-sized space could possibly support--even at the stratospheric prices they charge. It's a place that straddles the various definitions of recherché. Surprised?

                                                                                                                                                Ah, vanilla bean! I have to confess I have not been using Madagascar or Tahitian for a while now. I've been using beans that a friend has been producing for the past couple of years in Bukidnon in the Philippines. Not yet as good as the best Madagascar stuff, but very promising and only a dollar per big fat bean.

                                                                                                                                                I'll give the Myers a try. If it doesn't measure up to the Pyrat, well, it'll be fine to drown a rum cake.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: pilinut
                                                                                                                                                  souschef Aug 18, 2010 05:25 AM

                                                                                                                                                  I don't think you have to leave them out till the oven cools; they will just collapse by themselves even if you just turn down the oven, leaving them inside. I wonder if a soufflé collapses if you leave it in too long.

                                                                                                                                                  Boulette's Larder does sound quirky/eccentric. Have you ever had one of their canelés? Making only 12 day they would almost need a "Soup Nazi" approach to selling them. The owner looked personable enough, though. Do you know how much they sell for?

                                                                                                                                                  Humph? I have been trying to save money by not using vanilla beans, while pilinut has her own plantation ! Life is just not fair!

                                                                                                                                                  I should try the Myers rum after I perfect the little devils. I've been using some nondescript that could well have been made in NYC instead of Jamaica! You will have another use for rum once you start making those babas, and if you decide to make salambos.

                                                                                                                                                  Making a birthday cake today. Pictures later.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                    t
                                                                                                                                                    trewq Aug 18, 2010 05:37 AM

                                                                                                                                                    Here is the video where the baker sort of gently coax then back in. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26yVwQ...

                                                                                                                                                    Yesterday I baked the batter I made with less milk, it rose a 1/2 inch and didn't settle back down. But the interior was more honeycombed.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                      buttertart Aug 18, 2010 06:04 AM

                                                                                                                                                      Incidentally the Mauviels en cuivre I saw in the flesh as it were seemed a bit taller and narrower than those in the video above. Also isn't it possible that the manhandling of the cakes back into the forms adds to their custardy character? She really pushes them around. Would think it would lead to a squidgy centre.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                                        souschef Aug 18, 2010 06:28 AM

                                                                                                                                                        The copper molds she used did seem stubbier than the pictures I have seen of the Mauviels. They do come in different sizes, but my understanding is that the 2" one is "de rigeur". There is a company in France that refuses to sell any other size because it would be wrong !

                                                                                                                                                        I shuddered when I saw her leave egg yolks sitting on top of sugar. I alway thought that it was a big no-no.

                                                                                                                                                        She essentially makes crème anglaise, cools it down, and then adds flour. I would think that the way she adds the flour would create a lot of lumps, but she does not strain the batter.

                                                                                                                                                        She certainly does manhandle the things. It was not clearly shown, but at the end it did look like the ones in the copper rose above the molds.

                                                                                                                                                        Interesting that it was shot in Canada and that she offered to find molds for the viewer.

                                                                                                                                                        I also thought it interesting that she contrasted the ones that were right for Bordeaux with the ones she sells in her shop.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                          buttertart Aug 18, 2010 06:36 AM

                                                                                                                                                          And she put the vanilla in before heating the milk??? Mom always said to put it in after heating, off the heat.

                                                                                                                                                        2. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                                          t
                                                                                                                                                          trewq Aug 18, 2010 06:38 AM

                                                                                                                                                          Everything in that video looks a little squat.
                                                                                                                                                          I don't think the manhandling affects the center since it may still be uncooked. It would be interesting to cut one open at that point to examine the insides or maybe cut one open every half hour.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: trewq
                                                                                                                                                            buttertart Aug 18, 2010 06:49 AM

                                                                                                                                                            But if they bake for only 15 mins after that there would be some structure to the inside I should think.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: trewq
                                                                                                                                                              souschef Aug 18, 2010 06:51 AM

                                                                                                                                                              The opening shot does show a lot of squat little canelés, as compared to the ones at Boulotte's.

                                                                                                                                                              I very much doubt that she gets a crisp crust on her cakes.

                                                                                                                                                              Buttertart, I'm looking forward to when YOU start baking some.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                                buttertart Aug 18, 2010 07:04 AM

                                                                                                                                                                Oh God, must I? It sounds excruciating.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                                                  pilinut Aug 18, 2010 11:36 PM

                                                                                                                                                                  Oh, please do!!! It's great fun, really!

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: pilinut
                                                                                                                                                                    buttertart Aug 19, 2010 06:18 AM

                                                                                                                                                                    They're on my list (for when you all perfect the technique and recipe). ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                                                      souschef Aug 19, 2010 07:00 AM

                                                                                                                                                                      But we could use your vast and varied expertise to guide us towards a solution. You ARE, after all, the doyenne of the baking thread. And you would get a chance to work with people with unusual names, such as pilinut ;)

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                                                        t
                                                                                                                                                                        trewq Aug 19, 2010 07:01 AM

                                                                                                                                                                        YES, you must join us. It's like a treasure hunt, you maybe the one to hit the jackpot. :)

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: trewq
                                                                                                                                                                          buttertart Aug 19, 2010 07:13 AM

                                                                                                                                                                          Twisting my arm, eh? souschef knows how far that gets you...I'll look into the mold issue.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                                                            t
                                                                                                                                                                            trewq Aug 19, 2010 08:52 AM

                                                                                                                                                                            Twist your arm? Who me? Never. :) We shall call it persuasive charm. ;)
                                                                                                                                                                            Has it worked?

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: trewq
                                                                                                                                                                              buttertart Aug 19, 2010 09:04 AM

                                                                                                                                                                              Sighs...oh I guess...

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                                                                t
                                                                                                                                                                                trewq Aug 19, 2010 09:43 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                YAY!!! And you really don't need the molds, I've made good ones using a non stick popover pan. Sometimes i think of going back to the popover pan. I think the only difference was the shape.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: trewq
                                                                                                                                                                                  souschef Aug 19, 2010 09:57 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                  "I've made good ones... "

                                                                                                                                                                                  Hey! Trewq is holding back on us. I think trewq is an accomplished canelémeister; the pictures of 12 (count 'em, 12) perfect canelés bear this out. I am still struggling to get more than two in a batch perfect.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Hooray for buttertart joining us. I think you should order the molds today, so you get them in time for your birthday tomorrow (I have been paying attention).

                                                                                                                                                                                  HAPPY BIRTHDAY BUTTERTART !!!

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                                                    t
                                                                                                                                                                                    trewq Aug 19, 2010 10:26 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                    HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BUTTERTART!!!!!
                                                                                                                                                                                    Birthday molds?

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: trewq
                                                                                                                                                                                      buttertart Aug 19, 2010 10:38 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                      PS everybody, don't hold your breaths, souschef knows how long it took me to get my first St-Honoré made (but I'm terrifically glad I did break down and do it).

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                                                      buttertart Aug 19, 2010 10:26 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                      Thank you! I think I can get them in the city, will have a look this Sat.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                                                                        pilinut Aug 19, 2010 05:20 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                        Happy Birthday, buttertart! What better way to spend it than buying yourself canelé molds and then making something new and challenging? Perhaps the Fairy Godmother of Canelés will crown your birthday efforts with crunchy, custardy perfection!

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: pilinut
                                                                                                                                                                                          buttertart Aug 20, 2010 05:54 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                          Thank you! Work and dinner plans might get in the way of this!

                                                                                                                                                    2. souschef Aug 16, 2010 07:44 PM

                                                                                                                                                      WOLFERT. CUSTARD TECHNIQUE. TEST #1.

                                                                                                                                                      I am beginning to think like Pilinut that canelés are less about the ingredients and how you combine them, and more about how you bake them.

                                                                                                                                                      As I mentioned before, on my last attempt a few rose into the air after 15 minutes, while the others merrily bubbled within the mold. I was concerned about those that bubbled, but in retrospect I thought that maybe they should all have bubbled. To do that it seemed logical that you increase the heat (or so I thunk), so I thought I would increase the heat for the first 15 minutes to 450.

                                                                                                                                                      It was a cold and rainy day here yesterday, so I took a break from making leek and potato soup (with Boursin), and mixed the batter using Paula Wolfert's ingredients, using the custard technique. Thought I knew the quantities well, but for some reason used 60gm butter instead of 30gm. It's butter, so no harm done. Also, I got tired of not tasting the rum, and what are the French doing messing around with rum anyway ? I used 1/4 cup French brandy instead. I'm hoping that when buttertart finally starts baking these things we can persuade her to pilfer some of her hubby's XO and try it.

                                                                                                                                                      I waxed the molds but did not freeze them. Pulled the batter out of the fridge and stirred it; no skin. Filled the molds and put them into the oven at 450. Looked in on them after 15 minutes. Surprise ! no bubbling ! they all just puffed up a bit, but it did not look serious. I reduced the temperature to 375 and turned them, then turned them every 15 minutes. By about 60 minutes they were settling down to the level of the tops of the molds.

                                                                                                                                                      I took them out at 90 minutes. This time they did not slide out easily, so I had to rap them on the crown to release them. Two of them were perfect colour-wise; the rest were a bit variable. I think they could have used a bit more time in the oven. The bottoms were not burnt. There was more burnt batter in the molds than during my previous attempts, as seen in the picture.

                                                                                                                                                      My wife tasted one before I did. Her comments: "Pretty special. I think you're going to like them. Nice thin crust".

                                                                                                                                                      The crust was nice and thin and crisp. and the inside seemed to be creamier than usual. I hope this is not my imagination but they seem to get better with each attempt. Oh, and I could taste the brandy. Wish I had some Armagnac ! I ate three; they were all delicious.

                                                                                                                                                      Question for my fellow canelémeister, Pilinut: I have enough batter left for another batch. Should I bake them again at 450 and leave them longer in the oven, or should I bake them at 425 since I am using a new type of batter?

                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                        buttertart Aug 17, 2010 05:48 AM

                                                                                                                                                        Re the 1949: not at USD 24.00 the ounce, he's not letting me near it for baking.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                                          souschef Aug 17, 2010 06:08 AM

                                                                                                                                                          Not even 1 tbsp? I do of course realize that that small quantity is worth $12.

                                                                                                                                                          BTW if you ever come across a Barros 1963 port, give it a try. A dinner guest of mine brought it over in 1993 at New Year's Eve. It was fabulous; the bottle was worth $600+. Subsequent to that a waiter in Boston gave me a glass of it free ($36), and asked me to not tell the chef/owner of the restaurant that his backoeffe (his pride and joy) sucked when he came round to ask how the food was.

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                            buttertart Aug 17, 2010 06:12 AM

                                                                                                                                                            I was allowed it for his birthday cake this year (and may expropriate same for mine, depending on what I make). I love Port and will keep that in mind. Backoeffe, there's a dish that's either impossible to get right or you just have to grow up eating to appreciate.

                                                                                                                                                      2. pilinut Aug 14, 2010 03:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                        I've been puzzling over this canelé baking process. I think the batter itself is not so much the issue, and that there is probably more than one way to combine the ingredients to get the desired honeycombed custard interior. Flavor seems to be the least of our problems.

                                                                                                                                                        The devil may be in the baking--timing, temperature, and type of oven--and possibly in the waxing as well. I'm glad that souschef is going to try the gaetano method so that we can see if that will work for him, too.

                                                                                                                                                        I've also been wondering about the amount of wax that ends up on the foil I place under the molds while baking. Am I correct is assuming that most of it comes from inside the molds, having been pushed out by the batter, rather than the random drippings for the last time I waxed the molds?

                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: pilinut
                                                                                                                                                          souschef Aug 14, 2010 04:45 PM

                                                                                                                                                          My last attempt was in fact the gaetano method, except that he suggested starting at 475 convection and finishing at 375. I was leery of starting at so high a temperature, so I started at 425 and finished at 375. It is definitely the way to go.

                                                                                                                                                          You are right that most of the wax comes from inside the molds. Yesterday when I used a good coat of wax I ended up with a lot more wax than usual on the foil.

                                                                                                                                                        2. souschef Aug 14, 2010 12:14 PM

                                                                                                                                                          My SIL, who lives in Carmel, told me about a bakery in Monterey that sells canelés:

                                                                                                                                                          http://www.parker-lusseaupastries.com/

                                                                                                                                                          Perhaps Chef Chicklet can check it out when she goes to buy the molds ?

                                                                                                                                                          Pilinut do you like marrons glacés? Something tells me that you do !

                                                                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                          1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                            pilinut Aug 14, 2010 03:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                            Thanks for the link to Parker-Lusseau. We go down to Carmel maybe twice a year, and it will be on the list of places to visit next trip. I just recalled a place in Palo Alto that I has them, too, Shokolaat.

                                                                                                                                                            Were you going to suggest that I add marrons glacés to the canelés? It would probably be a good use for them. I'm afraid I generally find them too sweet, except for the ones with cognac. Speaking of sweets with alcohol, I had a baba au rhum last night, and I kept thinking it needed more rum. . . The baba is on my to do list, but I'm going to wait until I've gotten the canelé sorted out because babas look like another candidate for popovers and and anemic crowns.

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: pilinut
                                                                                                                                                              souschef Aug 14, 2010 04:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                              I was just wondering if you like marrons, that's all. I was not suggesting wasting them by putting them into baking.

                                                                                                                                                              Baba au rhum is trivial compared to canelé. I have made it a few times as a savarin using the recipe in Pierre Hermé's book "Chocolate Desserts". It turned out great the first time. The book I recommended to you for soufflés has a section on babas, but I have not tried the recipe in that book. The book is very thorough, and is a great reference. I recommended the same book to buttertart, and she likes it.

                                                                                                                                                          2. souschef Aug 13, 2010 06:01 PM

                                                                                                                                                            WOLFERT. BAILLARDRAN TECHNIQUE. TEST # 2

                                                                                                                                                            I had to either throw out the rest of the batter or make another batch of those elusive cakes; I chose the latter,

                                                                                                                                                            Per my last report, I think the ballooning (no popovers, mind you) was caused by insufficient heat, so I thought I would increase the heat to 425 degrees in the hope that they would rise straight up, and then I would decrease the heat to 400.

                                                                                                                                                            I had been applying the hot wax cautiously, but this time I gave the molds a good coat, and I decided to not freeze them. Getting frustrated with details at this point. Need to see if wax is a problem.

                                                                                                                                                            I left the batter out for all of 30 minutes. No skin, just smooooth batter.

                                                                                                                                                            After 15 minutes at 425, I checked the cakes. The ones in the left side of the oven had risen, but in less of a balloon than yesterday, while the ones on the right were bubbling merrily away - obviously too much heat. So on a hunch I decided to reduce the heat right then to 375.

                                                                                                                                                            At 30 minutes they had all risen in a slight balloon - definitely not as straight as Roux.

                                                                                                                                                            At 60 minutes they started to deflate.

                                                                                                                                                            At 90 minutes most of them were level with the tops of the molds. Note: I did not poke, prod, or tease them back into the molds. The tops looked nicely browned, not burned at all.

                                                                                                                                                            Taking a deep breath I took them out and unmolded them. As you can see from the first picture, two of them looked almost perfect. The others had pale crowns, but were not climbers as such. I checked their heights, and they were the same as the ones in front.

                                                                                                                                                            The second picture shows the one in front cut open. This was closest to what I imagine a canelé to be, never having eaten one. The outside was a thin, very crunchy shell, and the inside was all custard. Definitely the best I have made.

                                                                                                                                                            While pondering the reason for the uneven baking, I realized that I had had a brain fart - I forgot to turn the tray, and as there is definitely a difference in temperature between the left and right of the oven, this accounts for the unevenness (I like to think so, anyway).

                                                                                                                                                            So, I think I am making progress. If it is repeatable, but this time no brain farts (the baking sheet gets turned), my progress will get confirmed.

                                                                                                                                                            I definitely did not like the way the batter came together in this technique, so the next attempt will be the "custard" technique.

                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                            1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                              t
                                                                                                                                                              trewq Aug 13, 2010 06:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                              They look great. I think you may have achieved perfection.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: trewq
                                                                                                                                                                souschef Aug 13, 2010 07:56 PM

                                                                                                                                                                Haha ! This coming from someone who earlier today said about his/her own stuff:

                                                                                                                                                                ""looks perfect" HA. Are we ever satisfied? The quest must go on. "

                                                                                                                                                              2. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                                pilinut Aug 14, 2010 03:05 AM

                                                                                                                                                                BRAVO, souschef! The curse of the Evil Canelé Demon seems to be waning and you are getting closer and closer to perfection! The sheen on those canelés is lovely, and the custardy interior is mouthwatering. Please remind me: what is the "custard" technique?

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: pilinut
                                                                                                                                                                  souschef Aug 14, 2010 04:03 AM

                                                                                                                                                                  Thanks Pilinut. I hope that I can keep that demon at bay, and hopefully she will not stay in the San Francisco Bay area!

                                                                                                                                                                  The "custard" technique is how I make pastry cream. This is how I will use it to make canelés:

                                                                                                                                                                  Sift flour and salt together; sift sugar separately. Heat milk to 183°. Put yolks into mixing bowl. Break up yolks with wooden spoon. Beat sugar gradually into yolks until thick and light yellow. Add flour and stir to combine. Add 1/4 cup milk. Stir till uniform. Repeat with another 1/4 cup milk. Add rest of milk and stir to combine. Add butter and stir till incorporated. Add vanilla and rum. Strain using a very fine conical sieve. Cover and chill (the batter). Pour glass of preferred libation and chill.

                                                                                                                                                              3. pilinut Aug 12, 2010 11:43 PM

                                                                                                                                                                The wicked canelé demon must have had a very busy day between souschef's kitchen and mine. This afternoon, I baked the last of the batter, and the little bleepers made sure that any residual smugness I may have harbored from yesterday's brush with success was firmly obliterated.

                                                                                                                                                                First picture at around 15 minutes, after I had taken the baking sheet out, rapped it on the counter (hoping the souffléed tops would subside) and returned it to the oven. After that, I decided to have faith and hope that things would work out. Misplaced optimism resulted in picture 2, after 1 hour in the oven. I am surprised at how much difference in color there is between these and the charred (but nicely shaped) ones yesterday, given the mere 8 minutes baking time. I think the oven temp was steadier today, but I really don't know where I went wrong. Anyone out there with any ideas?

                                                                                                                                                                So I didn't burn them. And DH ate 4 of the 6, declaring he liked these better than yesterday's rather charred ones. Small consolation, but I'll take it.

                                                                                                                                                                This adventure is an exercise in repetitive chagrin. Souschef, if "repetitive chagrin" were an Olympic sport along the lines of "synchronized swimming" Souschef, I think our team would be in the running for gold. Like any self-respecting O-C masochist, I re-waxed by molds while they were still warm from today's failure.

                                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                                                10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: pilinut
                                                                                                                                                                  t
                                                                                                                                                                  trewq Aug 13, 2010 05:35 AM

                                                                                                                                                                  Pilinut, I seem to remember a video i had watched where cannele looked like your first picture. She took them out of the oven after 30 mins and sort of squish the sides with tongs until they when back down.
                                                                                                                                                                  I've been also thinking about the liquid to dry ratio. Where Roux has the most liquid and Paula has the least. Which made me think of the time where i accidentally doubled the milk. The custard was more or less solid with a large air bubble.
                                                                                                                                                                  So i'm thinking of starting a new batter today with less milk. But the question is how much less. What do you think?

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: trewq
                                                                                                                                                                    souschef Aug 13, 2010 06:03 AM

                                                                                                                                                                    Hey trewq, I was wondering why you want to play with the ratios as yours look perfect. What are you not satisified with and are trying to change?

                                                                                                                                                                    You are already using Wolfert's, which uses the least milk, so why do you want to reduce the milk ?

                                                                                                                                                                    Would you please outline what you are doing based upon the Hacker video. There may be something there that I missed when I did it, or you may be doing something slightly different, but it seems to work well. Thanks.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                                      t
                                                                                                                                                                      trewq Aug 13, 2010 07:13 AM

                                                                                                                                                                      "looks perfect" HA. Are we ever satisfied? The quest must go on. One day I when I taste the real thing I want to say Souschef and Pilinuts are much better. Then maybe I would be satisfied. ;)

                                                                                                                                                                      I've been looking at pictures online and i've noticed that they look more airy, almost sponge like from top to bottom. And I add more rum the the recipe requires since more people on different forums say MORE RUM. I use about 3 tbs. Now i'm sort of thinking hmmm maybe i should make vanilla rum.

                                                                                                                                                                      Ok this is how i make my batter
                                                                                                                                                                      heat 2 cups of milk and vanilla until there are tiny bubbles on the side of the pot
                                                                                                                                                                      remove from heat
                                                                                                                                                                      put 2tbs butter in bowl
                                                                                                                                                                      pour hot vanilla milk over butter, let cool
                                                                                                                                                                      add beaten eggs
                                                                                                                                                                      sift flour, sugar and salt
                                                                                                                                                                      add to milk, egg mix
                                                                                                                                                                      add rum
                                                                                                                                                                      cover and let chill

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: trewq
                                                                                                                                                                        souschef Aug 13, 2010 06:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        When you combine the flour/sugar mixture with the egg/milk mixture do you add the dry ingredients to the wet? My inclination would be to add the wet gradually to the dry to avoid the formation of lumps.

                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: trewq
                                                                                                                                                                      pilinut Aug 14, 2010 03:28 AM

                                                                                                                                                                      Sorry for the late response, trewq! I can only guess what the optimal amount to liquid is. And thanks for the pointers on the videos. Even though I did have to push, prod, and rap those uppity canelés to get the best batch I ever made, I must admit that I love the canelé interiors as they are and wouldn't want to adjust the recipe without good cause.

                                                                                                                                                                      In the meantime, I look forward to hearing about your next batch!

                                                                                                                                                                    3. re: pilinut
                                                                                                                                                                      souschef Aug 13, 2010 05:57 AM

                                                                                                                                                                      Pilinut, I think that our experiences are living proof of the old saying "misery loves company".

                                                                                                                                                                      I mentioned our problems to a baker who is familiar with canelés, and she indicated that the uneven baking within a batch may be due to the oven. She also said that they should be baked in the centre of the oven. I notice that you seem to bake them towards the bottom. So you may want to try the centre today.

                                                                                                                                                                      From what I saw of the Roux batch, where they did go up and then down, I believe you should not have to push them down yourself. Yours look just like the ones from Lenotre, in the oven and after they have been baked. One of the batch that I made yesterday did go down by itself, and I think they should all do that.

                                                                                                                                                                      Keeping gaetano's comment in mind, I think I will bake my next batch at 425 for 15 minutes and then reduce the temperature. It seems to me that they do need a bit of extra heat. Oh, and I will also buy an oven thermometer today. Maybe I lead a charmed life, but I have never had a need for an oven thermometer before.

                                                                                                                                                                      The ones I made yesterday got charred as well. I have been using 90 minutes baking as a rule because that's how long the Roux batch took. I ate the insides of one this morning, and it had the taste and texture of cold pastry cream, as in the filling for salambos. So the custard part is well-covered, by us both. We just need to break their legs so that they don't climb !

                                                                                                                                                                      I never did understand how synchronized swimming could be a sport, but yes, we are in the running for the lead in repetitive chagrin.

                                                                                                                                                                      NEVER GIVE UP !!

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                                        pilinut Aug 14, 2010 03:21 AM

                                                                                                                                                                        I, too, think that proper canelés should know their place and not have to be pummeled into submission with tongs or sharp raps to the crown. I have to admit to a certain amount of just such coaxing with my previous, more successful batch, but I had hoped that the most recent lamentable specimens would have had the maturity to settle down on their own. Perhaps I should try the gaetano method, too, and see if that works with these rebellious little cakes.

                                                                                                                                                                        No, I won't give up, but I'll wait a few days before the next batch--I've eaten too many as it is. Who eats all the canelés you bake?

                                                                                                                                                                        Now to go and have more nightmares about canelés.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: pilinut
                                                                                                                                                                          souschef Aug 14, 2010 06:16 AM

                                                                                                                                                                          I definitely think now that they do need a burst of heat at the start, and need to finish cooking cooler. I`m not sure now that you need to chill the molds or leave the batter out for a while.

                                                                                                                                                                          I too have eaten too many of these things of late. My wife and I eat them, with me doing most of the eating; I HAVE to eat them in order to critique them. Fortunately I do not have a weight problem.

                                                                                                                                                                          No nightmares about canelés here......yet!

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                                            t
                                                                                                                                                                            trewq Aug 14, 2010 07:19 AM

                                                                                                                                                                            In the Fannie Farmer cookbook Marion Cunningham recommends putting popovers in a cold oven, i think because when the oven heats up it starts at a higher temperature to heat up faster. Maybe it would work for canneles.
                                                                                                                                                                            I actually like eating them cold so i eat them the next day.
                                                                                                                                                                            I think my biggest problem is what to do with all the egg whites.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: trewq
                                                                                                                                                                              souschef Aug 14, 2010 08:02 AM

                                                                                                                                                                              I like to eat them the same day as I like the crunch, but they are still good the next day.

                                                                                                                                                                              I no longer keep the whites as I could never use that many. They don't keep in the freezer indefinitely; they just go bad slower.

                                                                                                                                                                    4. souschef Aug 12, 2010 06:31 PM

                                                                                                                                                                      WOLFERT. BAILLARDRAN TECHNIQUE. TEST #1

                                                                                                                                                                      This is the batter where the egg yolks got "cooked" by the sugar. This batter did not have a thick skin, but it was a thicker batter than some of the others. It almost did not have to be stirred.

                                                                                                                                                                      The first picture was taken after 30 minutes. I was elated as it looked very much like the Roux version, though the Roux ones were more straight (not as "bouffant"), and since the Roux ones collapsed nicely into themselves, this was promising.

                                                                                                                                                                      The second picture was taken at 60 minutes. No sign of collapse here. The friggin' things looked like they were set in stone.

                                                                                                                                                                      At 90 minutes only the one at the back right had done a shrinking violet act. The rest were mocking me. In disgust I decided that they did not deserve to have their picture taken.

                                                                                                                                                                      The one at the back right was crunchy and custardy but a bit burnt. The rest of the miserable things were climbers.

                                                                                                                                                                      I still have some batter in the fridge, so will try this once more.

                                                                                                                                                                      As I said, the eggs were cooked by the sugar, so I was not too crazy about the batter to start with, but thought I would see anyway how they turned out. Darn, I forgot to keep the batter out for an hour as suggested by trewq. Maybe tomorrow I will keep the batter out and not chill the molds.

                                                                                                                                                                      My next step will be to try Wolfert again, but using what I call the custard method. If I bang my head against the wall there too, I will then try the technique in "annoying guy's" video. BTW he does have a name - Scott Hocker.

                                                                                                                                                                      I think we should all just forget about this and convene at trewq's house for a demonstration on how to do this right.

                                                                                                                                                                      Forgot to attach pictures. Next post.

                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                                        souschef Aug 12, 2010 06:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                        Pictures. I wonder if it is significant that the one that turned out right did not have a belly button at 30 minutes.

                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                      2. roxlet Aug 12, 2010 11:58 AM

                                                                                                                                                                        I have to confess a certain degree of ignorance about canele since I do not believe that I have ever tasted one. Nonetheless, I have followed these adventures with interest as well as admiration for your ability to keep going despite multiple disappointments. My question is whether canele are something that are only available in France, or is there somewhere in the US (preferably in the NY Metro area) where these fascinating pastries can be sampled?

                                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: roxlet
                                                                                                                                                                          buttertart Aug 12, 2010 12:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                                          The only place I've ever seen them in the NY area was at Bouley Bakery (this is going back a good while ago) -but I don't often frequent patisseries so they may well be available elsewhere.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: roxlet
                                                                                                                                                                            souschef Aug 12, 2010 02:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            Gaetano's post (first response in this thread) has a link to a place in Philly that makes them. The link is well worth reading, even if you do not make the pilgrimage.

                                                                                                                                                                          2. pilinut Aug 11, 2010 11:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                                            Since I seem to have misplaced my most recent entry to this thread, I'll start again at the bottom, which is how I feel with every batch of canelés. My most recent adventure, a continuation of the one I wrote about around 3 days ago, began with my original recipe, but using half cake flour, half AP. The procedure I borrowed from souschef: I sifted flours and sugar into a large bowl, lightly beat the eggs separately and mix them into the dry ingredients with a hand-held mixer. Slowly poured in milk that had been scalded with a vanilla bean, adding bits of butter while stirring in the warm liquid. Strained the mixture into a bowl and added rum. Let rest 2 days. (A foamy layer with butter granules developed on top of the batter, so I skimmed that layer off, gently microwaved it until liquid, and gradually stirred it back in.) Baked the canelés in a convection oven at 400F for around 68 minutes.

                                                                                                                                                                            The results are below: before baking, after 15 minutes (note the odd caramelized spot in the middle of each cake), after turning out of the molds, and cross-section.

                                                                                                                                                                            Reactions: better than before (no popovers and only one pale crown out of 7), but DH and mother ask why I keep going to so much trouble to make the darned things only to keep burning them. (Souschef, your wife is a gem!) Actually, I may be having oven trouble again--the temperature creeps up above 400F and I have to keep turning the thermostat lower and lower as the cakes bake--and the batter began browning sooner than it had ever done. On the other hand, the nicely crunchy crust was thinner than before, and the custard was, well, perfect. The only flaws were the cakes were rather charred (around 8 minutes less might be just right), and posteriors (souschef's word, not mine ;-)) were deeply dimpled. The latter I can live with, so maybe it's just a matter of timing. I'll try baking the remaining batter tomorrow--with fingers crossed.

                                                                                                                                                                            The quest continues, but I feel I should offer many and effusive thanks to souschef who has been so generous and so diligent with ingredient and procedure alternatives, and to everyone else who has contributed to this thread. I may never hold the Holy Grail of Canelé in my hands, but I think I may catch a glimpse of it.

                                                                                                                                                                            Marchons, mes amis, marchons! :-)

                                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                                            8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: pilinut
                                                                                                                                                                              souschef Aug 12, 2010 02:14 AM

                                                                                                                                                                              Hey Pilinut, it looks like success is at hand! I'm glad to hear that you got that nice thin crust and custard; I'm still in search of that crust. Doesn't your dh detect the differences among the various iterations? Time for ten lashes with a wet noodle! :)

                                                                                                                                                                              No need to thank me so much. I am learning with you.

                                                                                                                                                                              I am curious about those butter bits and foam layer. I have no butter bits, and a thick skin instead of a foam layer. Unless of course in my case the butter bits combined with the fat in the milk to form the thick skin. I wonder if the method of mixing has anything to do with it. I use a wooden spoon, not a mixer, and I only add the butter at the end, after all the milk has been added.

                                                                                                                                                                              As for the burnt section in the middle of each cake after 30 minutes, New Age people would tell you that there is a vortex in the centre ;)

                                                                                                                                                                              So it seems like cake flour may be the deciding factor. I'm looking forward to baking a batch later today (it was all cake flour) to see what transpires.

                                                                                                                                                                              I keep thinking back to the Roux recipe that souffléed instead of mushrooming into a popover, and was uniformly baked, but had cake instead of custard in the centre. I may go back to it after I have sorted out my current trials (and tribulations) with Paula Wolfert's recipe and the Mauviels.

                                                                                                                                                                              BTW I am going to abandon the method you used as it causes problems when you use egg yolk alone, per my last post. It's too much effort to frantically try (unsuccessfully) to beat the mixture so you do not get clumps. I will stick with my custard method whether or not there are egg whites.

                                                                                                                                                                              Your adding to the bottom of the thread with each new attempt is a great idea. I think I'll do the same - easier to follow.

                                                                                                                                                                              I wonder what happened to those other budding canelémeisters, including the chicklet who was going to Carmel to pick up molds, and the rum-lover - did she get bushwhacked somewhere, I wonder :)

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                                                pilinut Aug 12, 2010 11:29 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                The foamy layer was my fault. I was dithering about, trying to decide whether to add the eggs to the milk, worrying that the eggs might cook whether or not I added them to the milk or to the flour. . . So the milk wasn't as hot as it should have been, and although the butter seemed to melt and get incorporated into the rest of the batter (virtually nothing left in the strainer), I should have been braver and added the milk to the batter while it was hotter, or maybe added the butter directly to the hot milk before stirring that into the flour-egg mixture.

                                                                                                                                                                                A thought on chilling molds before baking: probably not necessary unless you are working in a very hot kitchen. One of the things I look forward to most in this adventure is coming up with the simplest, most efficient way to make these little--well, noun choice varies.

                                                                                                                                                                                As to your suggestion to whip DH with a wet noodle, he'd probably ask for pesto to go with that, and extra noodles, too. Or maybe I just should pull the cakes out when they look done on top, before the edges are totally charred. Mom had taken to eating the custardy centers and leaving the burnt posteriors.

                                                                                                                                                                                I think chef chicklet may have decided to extend the visit to Carmel--such a lovely place!--and postpone the tribulations of canelémeistering. Face it, there is a grudge-match aspect to this. ("You bleeping little cake, you think I'm going to let you get away with this?! I'm going to whip that ballooning posterior of yours into shape!)

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: pilinut
                                                                                                                                                                                  souschef Aug 12, 2010 02:32 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                  ``A thought on chilling molds before baking: probably not necessary unless you are working in a very hot kitchen.``

                                                                                                                                                                                  This may well be, but one thing I have found is that soufflés rise much better if you chill the dishes first. My theory is that the butter takes longer to melt when chilled and so the batter has a better chance to slide upwards. The same may hold for canelés. Then again my theory may make no sense at all.

                                                                                                                                                                                  With all your talk about whips and posteriors I think we are teetering on the edge of deletion. Maybe we`ll even get banned !

                                                                                                                                                                                  I think that if you had added the eggs to the milk you would have got poached eggs.

                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: pilinut
                                                                                                                                                                                souschef Aug 12, 2010 06:58 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                Pilinut, I just took another look at the cut open canelé, on my laptop this time instead of my iPhone. OMG it is gorgeous !! I can easily see that it is very custardy. I think you can easily say now that you are within reach of that Holy Grail. It's now just a question of playing with timing.

                                                                                                                                                                                Félicitations, mon ami !

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                                                  pilinut Aug 12, 2010 11:35 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                  Merci beaucoup! But we know how fickle these things can be, and it maybe the decades of flan-making, but custards have usually been kind to me. It's everthing else about canelés that have been a problem. We shall see if the next batch from the same batter produces the same results.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Good luck with your ongoing batch: I look forward to reading all about it!

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: pilinut
                                                                                                                                                                                    souschef Aug 12, 2010 02:21 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                    If you like flans you should try the recipe for the one I posted in one of buttertart's baking threads (number IV or V). It's super-smooth, with a voluptuous texture.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                                                      pilinut Aug 12, 2010 11:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                      Is there some easy way of finding a topic on a long, long thread like the baking ones?

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: pilinut
                                                                                                                                                                                        souschef Aug 13, 2010 06:13 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                        Sorry, it was not the baking thread after all, but I did manage to find it. Here is the permalink:

                                                                                                                                                                                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7203...

                                                                                                                                                                                        Note: this recipe will leave you with even more egg whites in your freezer !! BTW I have stopped keeping egg whites as nothing lasts for ever in the freezer; it just goes bad slower. I would never be able to use all those whites if I kept them. There are only so many tuiles I can make and stocks I can clarify. And angel food cake? That is diet food, and I don't eat diet food.

                                                                                                                                                                              3. souschef Aug 8, 2010 12:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                Here is a book on canelé for anyone interested, and who can read French. Note the prohibitive price, though: $48 !

                                                                                                                                                                                http://www.amazon.ca/gp/aw/d.html/ref...

                                                                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                                                  t
                                                                                                                                                                                  toveggiegirl Aug 10, 2010 01:31 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                  That is for dedicated canele lovers!

                                                                                                                                                                                2. t
                                                                                                                                                                                  trewq Aug 7, 2010 06:44 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                  ok, you got me.
                                                                                                                                                                                  i've been playing with canneles for the last year. (i'm actually baking some now as i write.) I use to baking them in a non-stick popover pan. Finally last month i took the plunge and bought some copper molds from JB Prince. They were so pretty i didn't want to use them, but they are extremely sharp on the edges and i've cut my hand many times on them so i now wear gloves.

                                                                                                                                                                                  18 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: trewq
                                                                                                                                                                                    souschef Aug 7, 2010 07:19 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                    Glad to have somebody really experienced on board. I am really looking forward to your comments on our efforts, as well as any advice you have for us. Your recipe would be great too.

                                                                                                                                                                                    We love food porn, so would like to see pictures of your canelés.

                                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks for the words of warning on the Mauviel molds. I'll be careful when I get mine.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                                                      t
                                                                                                                                                                                      trewq Aug 7, 2010 08:02 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                      I would never say i'm experienced. But i have experimented, cannele meets eberskiver pan. Lets just say i won't try that again. My son just picked some blackberries so i just threw some in the next batch, we'll see how that turns out.
                                                                                                                                                                                      I use the Paula Wolfert recipe. I do use beeswax that i got from the farmers market, i don't do 1 to 1 but more like 1 beeswax to 2 oil. I like the shine and crunch the wax gives. I use jumbo eggs. I now have a freezer full of whites. Other then that i'm in the same boat as you.

                                                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: trewq
                                                                                                                                                                                        souschef Aug 7, 2010 08:29 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                        "Other then that i'm in the same boat as you."

                                                                                                                                                                                        In the same boat as me? From the look of those pictures I would say that you are in a yacht while I am far behind in a dinghy. They look really great - nice and uniformly baked. Are they custardy or cakey, how long do you bake them, and at what temperature?

                                                                                                                                                                                        It's beginning to look like our quest is over.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                                                          t
                                                                                                                                                                                          trewq Aug 7, 2010 01:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                          Yacht, ha, I bet the only reason you're in the dinghy is so you can rescue Cynsa from the crocs and become the hero of the day. ;)
                                                                                                                                                                                          They are custardy, I usually bake them for 1 3/4 hours but they were a little too crunchy for me, so did these for an hour and twenty minutes. And the seem a little soft so maybe I will stick to 11/2 hours. Baked at 400.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: trewq
                                                                                                                                                                                            souschef Aug 7, 2010 01:48 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                            Why would I want to rescue Cynsa? I threw her in, remember? She has been rather quiet of late; I hope the crocs did not get her.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Come back please Cynsa. All is forgiven :)

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                                                              Cynsa Aug 7, 2010 06:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                              ok. I am back.
                                                                                                                                                                                              posting KA attempt on http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7236...
                                                                                                                                                                                              (leaving for ten days... see ya later, alligator) Wet Feet.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Cynsa
                                                                                                                                                                                                souschef Aug 7, 2010 07:55 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                Welcome back.........10 days from now :(

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: trewq
                                                                                                                                                                                      pilinut Aug 7, 2010 09:59 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                      YAAAY!!! One more on board! WELCOME!!! We look forward tremendously to your company on this quest--though from the looks of your canelé you've got your hands on, or very nearly on, the grail. I really like the way your canelé cross-section looks--somewhere between cake and custard. I can almost taste it.

                                                                                                                                                                                      Odd about the copper molds being so sharp. . . Have you contacted JB Prince about them? Have you tried sanding the edges a bit? What kind of gloves do you wear? I need to get some for handling the uncomfortably warm molds while I swirl that beeswax. Speaking of which, is it easier to handle the white oil with a higher proportion of oil? How does it affect the crustiness of the exterior, if at all?

                                                                                                                                                                                      And please don't forget to let us know how the berries work out. It sounds like a great flavor combination. Now you've got me thinking: perhaps I should hide my less successful canelés in chocolate.

                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: pilinut
                                                                                                                                                                                        t
                                                                                                                                                                                        trewq Aug 7, 2010 01:30 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                        i wear oven gloves.
                                                                                                                                                                                        i made an interesting discovery today, well not really, but after i brushed the oil i noticed it started to puddle in certain spot so i took out the creme brulee torch lightly torched the puddle and pour it back into the container. i think the higher oil makes it easier to spread.
                                                                                                                                                                                        The berries were interesting. They floated to the top so it wasn't through out.
                                                                                                                                                                                        CHOCOLATE covered cannele sound yummy. From what i've read and seen i'm sure there are no chocolate covered ones in your house but if there were i would be the first in line to eat them.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: trewq
                                                                                                                                                                                          souschef Aug 7, 2010 01:53 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                          When you do the hot wax thing how hot are the molds before you start? I do know that you wear gloves to protect your delicate hands, but would you be able to hold them in your bare hands? I noticed that if they are barely warm you can see the wax film clearly, but if they are hot you don't see any film.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                                                            t
                                                                                                                                                                                            trewq Aug 7, 2010 02:41 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                            The mold are room temperature. I use a pastry brush and the oil is warm. I do notice a light waxy film. That way i can tell where a oiled .
                                                                                                                                                                                            Another thing is that i don't wash the molds after or oil them before i put them away. I just wipe the outside with a paper towel, while wearing gloves to protect my delicate hands.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                                                              pilinut Aug 7, 2010 04:13 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                              I used to be really afraid of not seeing a waxy film in my molds after doing the hot wax, but I thought it would be better than having to eat candle with my custard. I've had one or two that stuck a little, but I'm surprised that an invisible coating has sufficed thus far. (Oh, the way I told the waxed from the unwaxed molds after pouring out the oil was a little droplet of wax on the belly button (souschef's terminology :-))

                                                                                                                                                                                              BTW, speaking of canelé anatomy, since it looks like we're in this for a long-ish run (the chocolate-covered canelés have been preying on my mind), would it not be a good thing to agree on a couple of terms? I think "bellybutton" is pretty clear, but what should we call the part of the canelé that's on top while baking, and at the bottom after it's been tipped out of the mold? Also, since the technically accepted term for the part of a canelé where wax has pooled is "white ass", should we (a) adopt this term and call that part of the cake the "ass" and risk getting spanked by the moderators, or (b) call it something else? "Crown"? "Rump"? "Fesses"? We Knights of the Canelé ( Benighted by the Canelé?) strive at all times for dignity and politesse. . . (vbg)

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: pilinut
                                                                                                                                                                                                souschef Aug 7, 2010 04:34 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                May I suggest that we call the part that is on top while baking and on the bottom after, the "bottom". It is logical and highly descriptive (I was going to suggest "foufoune", but it would not pass, I think). The top is of course the crown. As you said, we have to be polite. In that vein, the part where the wax pools could be called "a pale posterior" (Ahem, Your Majesty, I believe your canelé has developed a pale posterior). See what I mean?

                                                                                                                                                                                                While sipping a glass of St. Emilion on a terrace somewhere in Bordeaux we can throw caution to the winds and use our own terms, of course.

                                                                                                                                                                                                As for the chocolate-coated ones: thinking of that now would be trying to run before I can walk. I saw a recipe where they injected stuff into a canelé after it was baked and cooled. So imagine this: praline cream injected and then the canelé plunged quickly into a bowl of tempered chocolate. You HAVE to ensure that corresponding to the crunchy shell you get a chocolate shell with good snap.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                                                                  buttertart Aug 8, 2010 09:38 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Souschef! You ARE naughty. Foufoune indeed. How abut fanny?

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                                                                                    souschef Aug 8, 2010 10:29 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Hehe! But I discarded it, and besides it would only be understood by French speakers. Isn't fanny a bit risqué?

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                                                                      buttertart Aug 8, 2010 04:16 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      Not as risqué as foufoune, it seems to me. Fall on your fanny = fall on your bottom in English-Canadian parlance.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                                                                                        souschef Aug 8, 2010 04:35 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Well, I'm not French-Canadian, so foufounes to me is just slang. Not the first time I have had foot-in-mouth disease.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        So buttertart, you intrepid baker, when are you planning to jump onto the canelé-making bandwagon? Believe me, the frustration involved is well worth it when you taste one that turned out right. The one I had last night was a true epiphany.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Darn, this thread has become so long that it seems to take forever to load on my iPhone. I even tried shaking the phone to help the bits go down faster, but even that did not help.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                                                                          buttertart Aug 9, 2010 02:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Don't you hate it when that happens? I'm waiting for all y'all to duke it out with the recipes and come up wuth the failsafe before I lash out on the molds.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. souschef Aug 4, 2010 01:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                        I was about to throw out the last of the batter, but it looked like there was enough for 2 more gremlins, so I did the wax thing on two molds, froze them, and put in some batter. There was enough for one more beyond that, so I just bunged it into a naked, untreated mold; I thought it would be good to see the result.

                                                                                                                                                                                        It is hot today, and despite having a/c I did not want to turn on the oven, so I threw them into my convection toaster oven at 375 degrees.

                                                                                                                                                                                        The first picture was taken at 30 minutes. Note that there is no tendency to popover; they rose straight up, though not as much as the Roux ones. The one on the right is the one that did not get the hot wax treatment.

                                                                                                                                                                                        They did not shrink and go down to the level of the tops of the molds when done; they stayed pretty much high.

                                                                                                                                                                                        The second picture was taken after they were baked for 85 minutes. The first one looks like it climbed, but I don't think it did; it just looks like that as the second one was higher. Funny, but the middle one developed an outsie bellybutton. The one without the hot wax treatment (far right) had to be coaxed to come out.

                                                                                                                                                                                        They were all baked too long and tasted burnt. The one in the untreated mold looks about the sameas the others, which makes me wonder if this copper mold/beeswax thing is all just myth.

                                                                                                                                                                                        The reason I am submitting this is because they did not popover, so I was wondering if the fact that the batter was in the fridge about 3 days had anything to do with it. Perhaps pilinut should do a test, baking some after 24 hours, then after 72 hours.

                                                                                                                                                                                        Pilinut, what is a "Pili" ? To me, "pilipili" is Swahili for hot pepper; also, Pili was a character in an episode of the TV series Xena.

                                                                                                                                                                                        T

                                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                                                                                                        37 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                                                          pilinut Aug 4, 2010 07:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                          Hi, souschef, I forgot to congratulate you on the beautiful cross-section of your canelé in the picture above. That's it! No bubble between the crown and the rest of the cake. I can't tell how moist and custardy the interior is, but it looks wonderful--and better than anything I've made.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Before I forget to answer the question regarding my name, the pilinut comes from the kernel of a tree (canarium ovatum) native to the Philippines, like me. It also happens to be one of my favorite nuts with a taste and texture somewhere between pinenut and brazil nut.

                                                                                                                                                                                          Canelés are weird little beasts, aren't they? I can't imagine why one would develop an "out" belly button. . . But maybe locking up the batter in the fridge over 24 hours helps tame it? What would happen if one froze the batter and then thawed it just before using?

                                                                                                                                                                                          Here are the pictures (I hope) of my attempts:
                                                                                                                                                                                          1. one of the infamous Popovers--Batter A
                                                                                                                                                                                          2. the results of overcompensation--Batter B, batch 1
                                                                                                                                                                                          3. Batter B, batches 3 and 2, showing top and side views
                                                                                                                                                                                          4. Batter B, batch 2, cross-section
                                                                                                                                                                                          5. Batter B, batch 3, cross-section

                                                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: pilinut
                                                                                                                                                                                            souschef Aug 4, 2010 08:18 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                            Pilinut, some of yours look really good; there is one in picture 3 that looks perfect.

                                                                                                                                                                                            I have seen pictures of some, professionally made, where there IS an air space between the crown and the rest of the cake; who knows what's right! I guess that if the taste and texture are fine that is all that matters.

                                                                                                                                                                                            What we need to do is work on getting them consistent every time. I don't know if it would help to freeze the batter, but I somehow doubt it.

                                                                                                                                                                                            Last weekend at a food store in the Laurentian Mountains north of here I saw a guy in a food store who was wearing a chef's tunic from Lenôtre's school. I asked him about our favourite beasts, and his first question was about the type of mold I was using; he insisted that I need copper molds. That does not explain your problems, of course. He was working, so I did not get to talk to him very long.

                                                                                                                                                                                            I will be getting 6 Mauviel copper molds in a couple of weeks, so will chase this again then.

                                                                                                                                                                                            BTW I followed gaetano's link, which ultimately is supposed to lead you to a video about making them, done at a Store in France called Ballardran. Unfortunately I could not get the video to open.

                                                                                                                                                                                            One idea I had was the following: Roux uses condensed milk, which is thicker than milk, so how about using a bit of cream? Yes, I know, a tribute to cholesterol.

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                                                              pilinut Aug 4, 2010 09:44 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                              Wow, Mauviel molds! I've seen them and they are gorgeous! I think they will make a difference. You must post photos, especially in comparison with the ones you use now. I was toying with the idea of buying 4 more. It seems that one batch of batter makes 14 pieces.

                                                                                                                                                                                              I was wondering about cream, too, but I'm afraid it will make my canelé even heavier than it is now. I think the density of the batter may be causing the gap between the crown and the rest of the insides. I'm also wondering why my canelés sink so much in the middle, at the end opposite the crown. I know that their middles should be slightly concave, but mine were like craters.

                                                                                                                                                                                              Another thought: should we weigh the eggs? Perhaps eggs here are a bit bigger than eggs in France. Or should I cut down on the milk? Cook the eggs, sugar, and some of the milk to make a thin custard before adding the rest of the ingredients? Add a pinch of baking powder? Prostrate ourselves before the oven?

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: pilinut
                                                                                                                                                                                                souschef Aug 5, 2010 06:00 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                Do you really want to buy 4 more molds and bake 14 at a time ? Remember that they do not keep, so they have to be eaten right away.

                                                                                                                                                                                                If you do decide to buy them, the best source price-wise ($16.20) is below, but you have to pay for shipping:
                                                                                                                                                                                                http://www.jbprince.com/professional-culinary-molds/cannele-mold-20-inch-x-20-inch.asp

                                                                                                                                                                                                The next best is more expensive ($19.95), but you do not pay shipping:
                                                                                                                                                                                                http://www.cookware.com/Mauviel-4180....

                                                                                                                                                                                                This is about the same as Amazon.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Re eggs, I checked The Cake Bible, and RLB recommends weighing them as even within a grade they may vary. Good catch; I had not thought of that. Since there are so many variables I will weigh the next eggs I use and make sure I match that weight (without shells) every time. Then I can play with the other components.

                                                                                                                                                                                                I would not use baking powder as they rise enough unaided.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Prostate ourselves before the oven, and have the canelé gods laugh at us ? Not likely ! I want to master this and laugh in their faces !

                                                                                                                                                                                                The one thing I am still puzzled about is the use of cold butter. If it's going to get melted in the milk anyway, why specify that it should be cold? Is it just part of the mystique? But I'll do it anyway.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                                                                  pilinut Aug 5, 2010 10:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hi, souschef! Yes, I did think better of blowing another $80 on molds. I had thought of getting them more because I only wanted to do one round of beeswax pouring than because I wanted to bake all 14 canelés at one time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I had also one round of relatively easy beeswaxing, and I think I'll do it that way from now on: melt enough wax and oil to fill 1 1/2 molds and pour the wax from mold to mold, making sure that the molds are very warm. I think that's why in several of the videos with professional chefs, they melt so much beeswax. I keep the white oil in a dedicated jar and just re-melt in the microwave when I need it. I heat the wax on top of a baking tray covered with foil, and do my pouring over a sheet of wax paper, which I try to re-use the next time I have to line the molds.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  (There, I hope I've induced some of the fence-sitters to give it a shot!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                  This has been a real challenge, but I can't remember when I've had more fun running along the bottom of a learning curve, which is clearly because I've had such great company!

                                                                                                                                                                                                  For the next round of our exercise in masochism (oops, I meant the next round of our Noble Quest), I am thinking of using half cake flour and smaller eggs. If that doesn't get me higher up the curve, I may try slightly cooking the butter, eggs, and sugar in hot milk before mixing in the flour. . . The possibilities are endless. (Is that a good thing?)

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: pilinut
                                                                                                                                                                                                    souschef Aug 6, 2010 06:57 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                    PILINUT QUOTE: "There, I hope I've induced some of the fence-sitters to give it a shot!"

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Yeah, it's time that the armchair canelémeisters got off their, um, armchairs, and joined in, perhaps even using muffin pans to start with.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    PILINUT QUOTE: "This has been a real challenge, but I can't remember when I've had more fun running along the bottom of a learning curve, which is clearly because I've had such great company!"

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Pilinut, my dear, we are waaaaay above the bottom of the learning curve. We have custard !!! And yes, I am enjoying myself tremendously as the company has been great. I am almost begining to like Cynsa too :-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                    PILINUT QUOTE: "For the next round of our exercise in masochism (oops, I meant the next round of our Noble Quest), "

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I like to think of it as our Quest for the Holy Grail, but hopefully we are not approaching it in Monty Pythonesque fashion !

                                                                                                                                                                                                    PILINUT QUOTE: "I am thinking of using half cake flour and smaller eggs. If that doesn't get me higher up the curve, I may try slightly cooking the butter, eggs, and sugar in hot milk before mixing in the flour. . . The possibilities are endless. (Is that a good thing?)"

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Too many possibilities (variables) Cake flour usually gives you a softer cake, so I don;t know how this would tie in with your looking for a thinner crust. Smaller eggs ? you are braver than I, nursing this along while juggling so many variables.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    The Baillardran technique is for all intents and purposes the same as mine, so I am going to call it the Baillardran-Souschef technique, henceforth called the BS technique.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I am satisfied that the BS technique yields a nice custardy interior, but so far I have only tried it when using 6 egg yolks. Since I need a thinner crust I am thinking some air in the crust, and that points me to egg whites. The logical thing to do now is to return to your ingredients in the first post of this thread and use the BS technique on those ingredients.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    If it works, great. If it needs more custard I will increase the number of egg yolks. Of coures, I will carefully weigh the eggs. BTW as an aside, buttertart once thought I was a bit obsessive (not her words, but I can't remember them) when I mentioned weighing egg whites. I just remembered that I read somewhere that when separating eggs you lose a whole white in about 6 eggs or so because of the white clinging to the shell.

                                                                                                                                                                                                    I am itching to get re-started. Now where are those Mauviels ?

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                                                                      buttertart Aug 6, 2010 10:36 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                      i never said you, i said I found RLB a bit precious on the point. But have changed my opinion on the matter after doing a few more of her cakes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                                                                                        souschef Aug 6, 2010 11:05 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        OK, my apologies. I stand corrected.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        BTW you should make RLB's Golden Grand Marnier cake from TCB. It is wonderful. There is something about sour cream cakes that I really love.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                                                                          buttertart Aug 6, 2010 11:52 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I will. Must get the Grand Marnier for it - always makes me think of my dad who loved it and it was the subject of one of the few war stories he was willing to tell - holing up in a wine cellar in northern France and coming across (pilfering) Grand Marnier and Champagne, and using the Champagne as mixer for the Grand Marnier. Yes sour cream cakes are ze best.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                                                                                            souschef Aug 7, 2010 04:44 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hm! Grand Marnier and Champagne; that would make an interesting Kir Royale. I must try that.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            BTW about 10 years ago my wife gave me at Christmas a bottle of the stuff Grand Marnier made for their 150th anniversary. It was super smooth and wonderful; it made ordinary GM taste very ordinary. The bottle then was about $160. I wonder how much it is now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                                                                        pilinut Aug 6, 2010 04:29 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Speaking of cupcake molds, I was at Target yesterday, browsing around the cookware section, and what did I see? Well, there were these Nordicware non-stick brownie molds (since when did brownies have to be molded?) that looked like slightly squashed canelé molds, complete with the bellybutton! I spent the next 10 minutes turning them around, putting them in my cart, taking them out. . . I finally left them there because I was concerned about the white non-stick interior not holding up to the heat, or causing the beeswax to slide off. Now, if I can find a non-non-stick tray of such brownie molds, I think it just might set off a canelé baking relapse.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I've been trying to download that dratted Real Player so I can see the Baillardran video, but no luck.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm considering the cake flour because it's weaker than AP, and may help the soufflés come back down straight into the molds instead of puffing outward and catching on the edges. I have no idea what sort of implication it may have on the thickness or crunch of the exterior. This is beginning to feel like the Canelé Genome Project. . .

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I'm almost as anxious as you for those Mauviels to get to you: I can hardly wait to see the next set of pictures! In the meantime, I've got to buy more of that Pyrat rum (or something like it) and beeswax those molds, in preparation for the next round of our Noble Quest for the Holy Canelé!

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: pilinut
                                                                                                                                                                                                          souschef Aug 6, 2010 05:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          On the Baillardran site there is a link to a site from which you can download RealPlayer; it works!

                                                                                                                                                                                                          There is a flaw in the video. The chef dumps the milk into the egg mixture all in one go; however, it is my understanding that you should first add only a small amount of milk in order to avoid getting scrambled egg. It may not matter with all that sugar and flour in the mix, but when I do it I will not take a chance.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          It's curious, but in Paula Wolfert's recipe she tells you that when straining the batter you should push any congealed egg through the sieve. Now what would cause the egg to congeal except if it was in contact with too much heat?

                                                                                                                                                                                                          So Pilinut, should we officially call ourselves the Canelé Knights, and make our battle cry, "CUSTARD!!!!!" ???

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: pilinut
                                                                                                                                                                                                            souschef Aug 6, 2010 06:38 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Hey Pilinut, Friday night, my wife is out with a friend, and I thought it would not do any harm to try the BS technique using the ingredients you listed on your first post, and use the aluminium molds. It would serve as a "control".

                                                                                                                                                                                                            To avoid the need to scroll back by anyone interested, I am listing again the ingredients I used. This will be my reference recipe going forward.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            500 ml whole milk
                                                                                                                                                                                                            100 gm AP flour
                                                                                                                                                                                                            250 gm superfine sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 whole eggs plus 2 yolks (145 gm)
                                                                                                                                                                                                            50 gm unsalted butter, cold, cubed
                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 tsp pure vanilla extract
                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 tbsp dark rum

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Method:
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Sifted sugar and flour into a mixing bowl. Mixed with wooden spoon.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Lightly mixed together eggs + yolks and added to flour/sugar mixture.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Mixed all with wooden spoon till uniform
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Heated milk to 183 degrees and added 1/4 cup to egg mixture
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Mixed with wooden spoon till uniform
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Added another 1/4 cup and mixed again.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Added rest of milk and mixed till uniform
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Added butter and mixed with wooden spoon till dissolved
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Added vanilla and rum and mixed
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Strained through fine conical sieve into an airtight bowl.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Covered batter and refrigerated.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I was surprised at how long it took for the butter to melt. It made the batter develop a gloss the way the technique "mounting with butter" does to a sauce. Maybe there IS something to this cold butter thing after all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Note: the eggs were cold, but I don't think this is an issue as they were not being whisked to a mousse.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            It will be interesting to see how this works out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                                                                              pilinut Aug 6, 2010 11:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              That sounds very promising! (Wow, you even weighed the eggs!) How thick is the batter? Was it difficult to work the eggs into the dry ingredients before adding the milk? Didn't the mixture clump up before you stirred in the milk? Were there bits of coagulated egg left in the strainer?

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Feeling the need for something a bit more predictably successful, I spent the evening making an old favorite, Tarte Tatin, from the Official Recipe:
                                                                                                                                                                                                              http://www.750g.com/fiche_de_cuisine....
                                                                                                                                                                                                              In every respect except deliciousness, this is the exact opposite of the canelé--simple, consistent, unfailing!

                                                                                                                                                                                                              (Hmmm. . . Coincidentally, DH was uncharacteristically out tonight, too, with people from work. . . If you and I hadn't been on opposite ends of the continent, I'd suspect a rebellion was being hatched two people who feel they have been eating too much oddly-shaped custard for the past few weeks. Little do they know--the deluge is yet to begin!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: pilinut
                                                                                                                                                                                                                souschef Aug 7, 2010 03:23 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Pilinut, I did say I would weigh the eggs, and I'm glad I work in metric: 145 gm translates into 5.1 oz; imagine trying to replicate that!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                The batter was about as thick as the others I made, but perhaps a bit thinner than the Roux one. It did look the glossiest and smoothest, no doubt because of the butter at the end. I use a tall jug to strain the batter into, so I do not have to hold the conical sieve; the batter had a smaller head of foam than the last time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                It was easy to mix the egg into the sugar/flour mixture, but that was because I was careful and worked fast. Eggs dumped onto sugar will get cooked by the sugar and clump (coagulate?) if left alone. I broke the eggs into a separate bowl and whisked them lightly together. Then I dumped them all at once into the flour/sugar mix and mixed them fast with a wooden spoon; it would have been more difficult with a whisk because of batter being caught up in the tines. There was no clumping at all. Note: I sifted both the flour and sugar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Mixing in the milk was no problem at all, but again, I worked fast. There was no coagulated egg in the sieve. BTW a conical sieve is supposedly used to give a gloss to sauces.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Tarte Tatin! Yum! It's been years since I last made one. Good recipe. It does not do it the lazy way - make caramel first then add the apples. I think it's essential to have the juices of the apples caramelize. The recipe says that you should serve it on its own, but I find it essential to serve it with ice cream AND whipped cream.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Our spouses may yet stage what could be known to posterity as The Great Canelé Rebellion of 2010!

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                                                                                souschef Aug 7, 2010 06:14 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Pilinut, I just checked the batch after 30 minutes. They popped. So, I have tried this recipe with cold milk and with hot milk, and both have failed. I have to conclude that it's the proportion of ingredients.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Next step: since trewq uses the Paula Wolfert recipe that uses only yolks, I am inclined to going back to using only yolks, keeping everything else the same, except that when I did use 6 yolks I felt that I needed a thinner crust. So for my next attempt I will try 5 yolks and 1 whole egg, using of course the BS method.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  souschef Aug 7, 2010 08:25 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  This is frustrating. I baked the darn things for 90 minutes and took them out, at which time I noticed that one of the pesky popovers popped back into it's shell. When turned out it was beautifully dark brown all over. When cool it was nice and crunchy, and wonderfully custardy - definitely the best custard of all that I have made.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Had they all turned out that way I would have called it a fait accompli and stopped experimenting. But noooo, life is not that easy; the remaining four were climbers. Darn!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  So do I toss out the remaining batter? Opinions please.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  And to all a Good Night !

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    t
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    trewq Aug 8, 2010 06:04 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Keep the batter. I've used four day old batter and it was fine.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    How do you stir the batter? Do you let it warm to room temp? How high do you fill the molds? Mine also are climbers but they settle back down.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: trewq
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      souschef Aug 8, 2010 06:28 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I stir the batter gently with a spoon, till the skin that develops on top during chilling disappears and the batter is homogeneous. I have considered straining it through a coarse conical sieve, but have not done it yet. Do you think I should.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I do not let it come to room temperature. Should I ?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I fill the molds to about 1/12 inch of the top, which is what is in the Roux recipe. How high do you fill them?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        t
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        trewq Aug 8, 2010 06:57 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Do you mean straining after the chilling? Wouldn't the butter bits get strained out? I guess it depends on how coarse.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I do take the batter out gently stir and let it sit out for an hour before baking. And stir as i fill the molds.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The mold are pretty much filled to the top.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Did you keep your batter?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: trewq
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          souschef Aug 8, 2010 07:25 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Yes, I mean straining after chilling. The butter melts (slowly, but it does melt) into the hot milk mixture, so there are no butter bits.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I did keep the batter, and will keep it out before filling the molds. I'll try it later today and report back here.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          When tasting the one that worked last night I found it a bit too sweet, so once I get this sorted out I plan on reducing the amount of sugar, perhaps from 250 gm to 200 gm to start with.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            souschef Aug 8, 2010 03:02 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I baked another batch today, from the same batter as yesterday.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            As trewq does, I waxed the molds at room temperature, and left the batter out for 1 hour. I thought it was curious that yesterday there was a thick skin on the top of the batter, but today there was none. So, I did not strain it; I just stirred it gently.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I baked them for 90 minutes. At least the frustration is consistent - one turned out okay while the others were climbers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Now I am definitely going to hold off experimenting till I get those Mauviels. I'll use the time to decide which recipe I will try next, with the Mauviels. The logical thing to try is Paula Wolfert's since it works so well for trewq. After that I will maybe try my afore-proposed modifications.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              t
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              trewq Aug 8, 2010 05:36 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              When will they be arriving?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Maybe its the oven. Is the ok one in the same spot as the one from yesterday?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: trewq
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                souschef Aug 8, 2010 06:16 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I should receive them in a week or so.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I too thought about whether it was in the same spot, but could not remember what the case was yesterday. Today it was in the middle of the tray. But I don't think it was the oven as the ones I made with the Michel Roux recipe rose straight up like soufflés, without popping. That tells me it's the recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                In the Paula Wolfert recipe she tells you to process the stuff in the food processor till the mixture "tightens". What exactly does that mean?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  t
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  trewq Aug 8, 2010 07:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I don't know what that means, I never read her recipe, i just used her ingredients. I know that sounds weird, it sound weird to me as I wrote it. What I did was follow the instructions from the annoying guy's video and used her ingredients. Does that make sense to you?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: trewq
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    souschef Aug 8, 2010 08:16 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Makes perfect sense to me. When I do it I will follow the method in the Baillardran video, with the modifications I made in my last attempt, i.e. Milk not added all at once.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Our two different methods will be a great comparison.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: trewq
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      souschef Aug 9, 2010 08:08 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      In preparation for when I make the Paula Wolfert recipe in the Mauviels, I thought I would convert her recipe into metric (and it would be great for comparison). I used the weights in The Cake Bible reference section. Notes: 4 extra-large eggs translate into 5 large. I assumed that she used the dip-and-sweep method for the flour and sugar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      PAULA WOLFERT INGREDIENTS
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      500 ml milk
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      5 large egg yolks
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      100 gm cake flour
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      175 gm superfine sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      30 gm unsalted butter, chilled
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 tsp vanilla
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 tbsp dark rum
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Pinch of salt

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Comparing this with the egg-yolk-only recipe I concocted, she uses the same amount of milk and flour, one less egg yolk, substantially less sugar (175 gm vs 250 gm), and half as much butter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Looking forward to trying it!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        souschef Aug 11, 2010 01:41 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yesterday evening I casually asked my wife her thoughts about my canelé adventures. Her response: "Great! Are you going to make more soon?".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Well, that just pushed me over the edge, considering I've been itching to try the Paula Wolfert ingredients. So I just made a batch of batter, using what I called the BS technique, which I had also used in my last batter.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        By my calculations I needed 84-92 gms of egg yolk to make up 4 extra-large. The 5 large weighed 84 gms.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        As before, I sifted the flour and sugar into a bowl, then added the egg. Mixing it this time was totally different. Instead of the eggs lightening in colour they went dark, telling me that the sugar was "cooking" them. The mixture was extremely lumpy and formed into clumps that I just could not work into a smooth paste. I was concerned about not being able to work out the lumps, so I added about half the milk 1/4 cup at a time. When the batter was strained there were bits of dark egg in the sieve. It's in the fridge now; just have to wait and see what happens.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        So it seems that the Baillardran method works great if you have whole eggs and yolks, but not so well if you have yolks alone.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Time to return to the tried and true method I use when making custard, i.e. yolks in bowl, add sugar gradually to give a light-coloured mixture, then stir in the flour.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I was waiting to hear the results of Pilinut's last baking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  pilinut Aug 8, 2010 11:44 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I prepared another batch of batter today--almost the same ingredients as the recipe I've been using, but I used half cake flour. Didn't have time to weigh the eggs as the kitchen was a bit of a zoo with visiting relations.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The difference was that I tried a modification of souschef's procedure, as best I understand it: Scald milk with vanilla bean. Beat eggs. Sift flours and sugar together, and gradually but thoroughly mix into the eggs. Slowly stir the warm milk into the batter, adding bits of the butter so the pieces melt slowly into the batter. Add around 2T rum. Strain into another container.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I shall let it sit until tomorrow night or sometime Tuesday, depending on when I can get the molds waxed. Will report back.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: pilinut
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    souschef Aug 9, 2010 05:59 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Pilinut, whenever you do it would you please let me know if the batter develops a thick skin on it after 24 hours. Since you will not use it all in one go, please also let me know the batter that's left has a skin after another 24 hours.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    As I mentioned in another post, with my batter there was a thick skin after 24 hours, at which point it was stirred to re-incorporate the skin, and then some of it used. Then 24 hours later there was no skin.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Can anyone here explain the skin effect? Perhaps bushwickgirl ? On other threads I have noticed that she is extremely knowledgable.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I was also wondering about the following: if you decide to let the batter hang loose in the fridge for 48 hours before you use it, should you stir it after 24 hours?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      pilinut Aug 10, 2010 12:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Hi, souschef! It's been more like 36 hours since I placed the batter in the fridge, and it doesn't have a thick skin, but it has the same sort of foamy layer on top that was there when I first strained it in. (There are tiny butter granules that worry me a bit because I had thought that the butter had melted when I mixed the batter. I'm wondering if I should take this foamy cap off, melt it gently in the microwave, and stir it back it.) There's also a floury sludge at the bottom of the mixture, as there was in my previous batters, but that one's easy to incorporate.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: pilinut
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        souschef Aug 10, 2010 12:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hi Pilinut! So there are butter granules only in the foam and not in the batter itself, I take it. I think you should do as you are proposing. I would stir it back in only after it has cooled - just being cautious here.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        BTW when I get the Mauviels the first thing I am going to do is bake a bunch at the same time and from the same batter in the aluminium molds and the copper molds just to see if the copper requirement is all just hype.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          t
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          trewq Aug 10, 2010 07:54 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I think the butter granules are normal. I just stir them back in.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Don't forget before you use the Mauviel you need to season them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: trewq
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            souschef Aug 10, 2010 08:09 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yup, will do. Paula Wolfert covers that in her recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                                                                          pilinut Aug 4, 2010 09:50 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          BTW, did you see my Leaning Towers of Canelé behind the "nearly perfect" one? Sometimes, when the batter rises over the top, it catches on the edge of the mold and doesn't slide back down as far.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: pilinut
                                                                                                                                                                                                            souschef Aug 5, 2010 06:02 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Yes I did. Fickle these darn things are.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                                                                            souschef Aug 5, 2010 05:44 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I managed to view the Baillardran video, here:
                                                                                                                                                                                                            http://www.baillardran.com/savoir-fai...

                                                                                                                                                                                                            The procedure followed is: flour and sugar in a copper bowl, followed by eggs. All mixed up with a wooden spoon. Milk poured in; it is hot because the butter that follows melts. A touch of rum. No quantities given, of course.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            The method is similar to what I concocted last, but I will try this specific method once I get those Mauviels. I do have a copper bowl that I use for beating egg whites, so I will use that. They do mention vanilla in the intro, and a "soupcon" of rum; in my opinion the chef is stingy with the rum. Maybe I should get better rum ?

                                                                                                                                                                                                      3. souschef Aug 3, 2010 09:14 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Here is Michel Roux's recipe from his book "Finest Desserts", which has some spectacular-looking desserts (take note, buttertart ;)). I thought I would post it as it is different from all the other recipes I have seen. Perhaps other Chowhounds will try it?

                                                                                                                                                                                                        250 ml unsweetened condensed milk or 350 ml full cream sweetened condensed milk
                                                                                                                                                                                                        540 gm sugar/440 gm if using sweetened condensed milk
                                                                                                                                                                                                        240 gm flour
                                                                                                                                                                                                        3 whole eggs plus 2 yolks
                                                                                                                                                                                                        5 Tbsp rum
                                                                                                                                                                                                        600 ml water
                                                                                                                                                                                                        60 gm butter
                                                                                                                                                                                                        60 gm whole milk powder
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Equal small quantities of beeswax and peanut oil

                                                                                                                                                                                                        In a large bowl combine the condensed milk, sugar, flour, eggs and yolks, and rum and mix with a spatula.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        In a saucepan combine the water, butter and milk powder, and bring to a boil, whisking all the time. Pour it into the egg mixture, whisking continuously. Mix till smooth, then pass through a conical sieve. Let cool then refrigerate for at least 24 hours in an airtight container.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Preheat the oven to 400°F.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Greasing the molds: melt the beeswax in a saucepan over low heat, then mix in an equal quantity of peanut oil. Warm the molds in the oven, then brush them with the beeswax mixture and leave them upside down for 5 minutes. Place the molds on a chilled baking sheet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Give the batter a good mix, then fill the molds to within 1/12 in of the top. Bake for 30 minutes, then turn the tray through 180° and bake for 20-25 minutes, until the blighters are deeply coloured. Immediately unmold onto a cooling rack.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I don't know why he messes around with milk powder, as 600 ml of water combined with 60 gm of milk powder makes 600 ml of whole milk. When I make it again I will just use whole milk.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        I wonder why he uses a chilled baking sheet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Note that he is not stingy with the rum, and that he does not use vanilla.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                                                                          buttertart Aug 3, 2010 10:01 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm checking Roux out (and wishing you'd get off your canelé high horse and come back to play in my Baking VI back yard more often). ;-)
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Holy Hannah! you better treasure your copy of the Roux, look at this:
                                                                                                                                                                                                          http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/Searc...
                                                                                                                                                                                                          (not a link - how do you post a link anyway? - copy/paste)

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                                                                                            souschef Aug 3, 2010 01:27 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            That WAS a link you included. It is available on Amazon for $29.95. Funny how it is with books. I picked up two copies for maybe $5 each, new at a bookstore many years ago, and gave them as gifts to friends.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            "High horse?" I am ever so 'umble, mum.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            This canelé thing is almost an obsession, but I will be back playing in your backyard shortly as I will be making the chestnut pound cake from 'Pure Dessert'.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            I went out to my favourite cookware store today to get a price on copper canelé molds. Maudit! $28 for one friggin' mold. I need 6, so with taxes that's about $190! If JB Prince is willing to ship USPS instead of UPS I'll go that route (hate paying brokerage fees); else I have to look for other options.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                                                                              buttertart Aug 3, 2010 02:01 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              It became a link as I posted. Will look into the Amazon offering...
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Expensive obsession!

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                                                                                                souschef Aug 3, 2010 02:33 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Bloody expensive obsession! Aren't all obsessions expensive?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I found a U.S. site where I can get them for $20 each, free shipping, plus $17 international fees (brokerage, duties). Still expensive. Have to examine the finances. I don't think I will be able to get the ones pilinut got from Paris.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: buttertart
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Caitlin McGrath Aug 3, 2010 07:44 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Any URL including the www or http automatically becomes a hotlink, so cut and paste is all. When your post first shows up after you hit submit, it will show in black, but it is already a link you can click on despite not showing in blue.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    buttertart Aug 4, 2010 05:48 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Aha! Thanks, CMcG!

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. souschef Aug 2, 2010 07:36 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                            As I said, I was going to bake one more batch tonight. I baked them for 90 minutes, and here is a picture; the canelés are actually a bit darker than in the picture. Two turned out great; the other three were light on the top. Can't explain it. Have to stop baking and do some analysis

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Well, that's it for the baking until I get some copper molds.

                                                                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                                                                              pilinut Aug 2, 2010 11:37 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I have the remainder of the batter in the oven. I think the biggest problem may be overfilling. Better under than over as this last batch--half a cm from the top--rose up and developed overhangs that I have not been able to get rid off, despite lots of poking. Can't trust those little monsters!

                                                                                                                                                                                                              In fact, I just burned my left hand after accidentally hitting the 425F oven thermometer. The canelé gods are not smiling on me at the moment, and I think I'll give it a rest until my hand is better. But I'll try posting photos later--or tomorrow. Sorry for the delay.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. JeffW Aug 2, 2010 06:51 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Hello pilinut, and greetings from Sherman Oaks, California. I don't think that I have the time or the strength to share all of my own Canele misadventures to date....suffice it to say, I do believe we are cut from the same cloth :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I even joined up at the e-gullet to follow their Canele thread. I've had silicone molds, tinned copper molds, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I'm about to run out to grill some steaks, so I will cut to the quick....after years of trying most of what you've experienced, including dreadful beeswax experiences that I won't even elaborate on, here is what works for me:

                                                                                                                                                                                                              I use the Michel Roux recipe, and will no longer use my silicone molds. No beeswax AT ALL. I paint the inside of my large Canele molds with peanut oil, and then I give each one a nice spray of Pam!

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Our little family of two is very happy indeed when I prepare these treats.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Best wishes and luck on your fun obsession!

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Cheers,
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Jeff

                                                                                                                                                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: JeffW
                                                                                                                                                                                                                pilinut Aug 2, 2010 07:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Unless you have had a particularly unpleasant experience using beeswax as a depilatory, I'd love to hear what you have to say!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: pilinut
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  JeffW Aug 4, 2010 04:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Hi again pilinut,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  First off, my Michel Roux recipe is different than the one listed below. This intrigues me. Both recipes with his name....and different measurements. Anyway, here is the one I've used, for your obsessing pleasure :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I've mentally blocked out anything to do with Beeswax from my memory....but if I must go back to this period of time, I think I ended up paying a tidy sum for edible beeswax from a company that also manufactures aromatic oils....the smell was noxious for me...it was a b--ch to clean up from in the vessel that I melted it in....the molds were a double b--ch to clean thoroughly, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Cheers,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Jeff

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Michel Roux's Canneles

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 1/2 cups sweetened condensed milk (15.6 oz.)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2 1/2 cups sugar (17.5 oz.)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 2/3 cups flour (7.5 oz.)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3 whole eggs plus 2 egg yolks (5.25 oz. whole egg + 1.35 oz. yolk)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  5 tbsp rum (2.4 oz.)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2 1/2 cups water (20 oz.)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  4 tbsp unsalted butter (2 oz.)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1/2 cup whole milk powder (45 g.)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Combine condensed milk, sugar, flour, whole eggs, yolks and rum with a whisk.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Put the water, butter and powdered milk into a saucepan and bring to a boil, whisking continuously. Still whisking, pour the boiling liquid into the condensed milk mixture and mix until very smooth. Pour through a chinoise, let cool completely, transfer to an air tight container, and refrigerate for at least 24 hours.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Preheat oven to 350º pure convection. Prepare molds by brushing the insides with a combination of melted beeswax and peanut oil. Place the molds upside down on a cooling rack for 5 minutes, until the wax has set. Arrange the molds on a baking sheet.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Whisk the Cannele mixture and fill the molds almost to the top (2.75 oz.). Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes, until the Canneles are deeply colored. Immediately unmold them onto a cooling rack.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Makes 24 large (2” x 2”) Canneles

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: JeffW
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    souschef Aug 4, 2010 06:16 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The "two" Michel Roux recipes are really the same. My book has measurements in both Imperial and Metric, where the Imperial correspond to what you have listed. Roux, being French, works in Metric, and the Imperial measures are close approximations.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I prefer to work in metric as I like to work with nice round numbers and hate messing around with odd fractions of an ounce and tablespoons of butter, so I listed only the metric measurements.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: JeffW
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      pilinut Aug 4, 2010 09:57 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Thank you very much for the recipe, JeffW! I'm still trying to figure out the rationale for condensed milk and milk powder. When you made this recipe, did it have any taste of condensed milk at all? What did you think of the results?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      It seems that the beeswax made a lasting impression on you ;-) But I know what you mean about cleaning up that stuff. I went through a LOT of wax paper and aluminum foil!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Please, why don't you join us? You're already well along the learning curve, so don't let that beeswax experience go to waste!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: pilinut
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        souschef Aug 5, 2010 05:34 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Hey Pilinut, don't make such an issue of the beeswax thing. I don't want to discourage others from getting involved - thinking here of Chef Chicklet and bushwickgirl; I think we have lost buttertart. And let's not talk about Cynsa (I hope the crocs get her !)!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The first time I worked with beeswax I did curse, but quickly learned to lay down paper towels so that the drips fall on the towels instead of the counter. Also, I line my baking tray with parchment paper instead of wax paper as in the oven the wax on the paper would melt. If the wax gets onto the baking tray I just wipe it up with paper towels while it is still hot, then clean it with soapy water when cool.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        BTW if you work with parchment paper make sure it it rated to the temperature you will be baking it. When I removed the sheet I used yesterday in my convection toaster oven it just crumbled (it had turned brown).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I also do not mess with silicone brushes, but use cheap ones from the dollar store, and dispose of them after one use.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: JeffW
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    souschef Aug 3, 2010 01:15 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Are you the blogger who bakes his canelé in a large bundt pan?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. souschef Aug 2, 2010 05:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    And the saga continues......

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    After the appropriate rest in my fridge, the canelé batter (the hot pilinut version) was taken out and beaten, not because it was bad, but because a skin had developed on top. After beating it I toyed with the idea of straining it, but it seemed lump-free, so I didn't.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I followed the waxing ritual, chilled and filled the molds, and baked the pesky things. Took pictures at 30 minutes, 60 minutes, and when done. I did not want to screw things up too much when I took the pictures, so did not turn the tray at 30 minutes, which was perhaps a mistake.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Picture 1: at 30 minutes. Notice that they tended towards popping, but not quite. They were definitely not as straight up or as high as the Roux versions.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Picture 2: at 60 minutes. Notice that they seemed to settle down, to the point that one is down slighly lower than the top of the mold (I had filled them all to that level).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Picture 3: at 70 minutes. Panic time, thinking they were done too much. I took only two out of the oven. The one on the left looks not too bad. The one on the the right is trying to play Houdini.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Picture 4: at 85 minutes. A study in contrasts. The one on the left is almost perfect, I think, the one in the middle is passable if you do not know better, and the one on the right is just plain underbaked. I guess not turning the tray is what did it. Picture 5 is a top view of the same thing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Now how is that for inconclusive ??? Expletives deleted here. Some tried to climb out and some did not. Was it the difference in heat?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The proof of the pudding:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    85-minute canelés:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Left: Now I understand what the fuss is all about. The shell was nice and crunchy, but could have been a bit more crunchy. The inside was amazing - wonderfully custardy and delicious, but needed more rum! I took a picture of the inside, but it does not show the texture too well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Middle: Just as custardy, but not as crunchy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    70-minute canelés:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Left: Obviously not as crunchy as the 85-minute ones, but definitely even more custardy and delicious.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    It is darn frustrating that not all turned out the same, but the best one was amazing, and my first inclination is to bake another batch using the batter I have in the fridge, so that is what is going to happen this evening. I am going to turn the tray after 30 minutes, and let them bake for at least 90 minutes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Stay tuned for more results. I think I am getting close........famous last words? I hope not !

                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      souschef Aug 2, 2010 07:19 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I decided to attach the picture of the best canelé cut open after all; you do see the custardy softness,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        pilinut Aug 2, 2010 07:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I am thrilled that you are making so much progress, souschef! I tried baking 3 last night, and did not have any escapees--in fact, they were too short, probably because I overcompensated and left a good 1/2 inch between the batter and the top of the mold, and they shrank at the end of cooking.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        But the results, thanks in part to your suggestions, are a definite improvement, though no cigar for me yet: a bit too crunchy in the exterior, but tender, custardy interior. I used a really fragrant rum (Pyrat XO) , so 2T was just about right.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Oh, yes, oven temp! I started out at 425 for the first 15 minutes and went down to 400 for an hour in the toaster oven (not convection). Very dark and crusty--borderline burnt around the edges, but still delicious!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I took some pics. but have to find the cable and may have to persuade DH to download and upload the pics. (He's an electrical engineer.) Now I have to fix dinner but will try to get back to finish my report.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: pilinut
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          souschef Aug 2, 2010 08:11 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          "a bit too crunchy in the exterior, but tender, custardy interior. "

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Pilinut, I didn't think that a canelé could be too crunchy. I'm glad that you're making progress too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            pilinut Aug 2, 2010 11:40 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            A more accurate description would be that the crust is a bit too thick, as you'll see if I manage to get the pictures up. The top edges were also black--kind of burnt, really--so I might have cooked the canelés too long or at too high a temperature.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: pilinut
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              souschef Aug 3, 2010 01:24 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              My wife felt that the crusts of mine were too thick as well. I wonder if baking longer would result in a thinner crust, in my case anyway since you said yours were tending to the burnt side.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Oh well, we'll have to tackle each issue one thing at a time. At least so far we have the custard using two different recipes, and we have the caramelization.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Just for the record I will post the Michel Roux recipe later today. As I said before, I would like to play with it too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                pilinut Aug 3, 2010 01:38 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Well, my last batch came out of the oven just before midnight PDT--I'd say 10 minutes too soon, because 2 of the 7 were barely golden, 3 were golden-brown, and 2 were a nice mahogany. From 5 minutes overdone to 10 minutes underdone. . . I cut one of the mid-colored ones open and found the crust thinner but not as crisp, and the interior a bit too much like flan. One hour was definitely not enough in my toaster oven, though 1.5 hours was too much.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: pilinut
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  souschef Aug 3, 2010 01:55 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  PDT? I thought you lived in France?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  How were your molds lined up ? I tend to keep mine in a square formation, per my pictures, but just remembered that in the video they were all in a straight line. Something to try the next time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. souschef Aug 2, 2010 07:42 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Thought I would post this about the wax layer, from a Philly baker who makes canalés; it is on a link from gaetano's link:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        "Candles and canelés are different objects. Use just a film of wax, not enough to set a wick." This was in response to the infamous video, to which the Philly baker took exception.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        So it seems like a good idea to get the molds warm but not hot before coating them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Looking forward to pilinut's report on her latest attempt.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. souschef Aug 1, 2010 02:57 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Sitting back and considering all of the recipes I have perused, it occurred to me that they can be put into two broad categories, those that combine hot milk with eggs, and those that combine cold milk with eggs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I have done both, and the hot milk with eggs was more successful than the other, but I did not like futzing with condensed milk and milk powder. So the logical thing to do next is hot milk with eggs using the pilinut ingredients, modified a bit. I'll call this the hot pilinut variation. Hope I can start today (long weekend here).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          What I plan to do is go back to basics. The centre of the damn, pardon me, the lovely canelé should be custardy, so I should start as if making custard (crème patissière). I want a relatively thick batter and I get this by beating egg yolk alone (no white in custard) with sugar till thick and light-coloured, then adding flour, and then pouring in the milk. Not having egg whites would also resolve a problem I had the last time - the snotty texture of the whites did not get combined easily, and I had to work it a bit.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Question now is when to add the butter, and in what form. The hot milk added to the cold butter may be a bit of a red-herring; I think I will melt the butter and add it at the end, together with the rum (1/4 cup this time). Additionally, vanilla beans are expensive, so I will instead use vanilla extract (the good stuff, not the artificial), 2 teaspoons.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          So, how many egg yolks? When I use 500 ml of milk for pastry cream, I use 6 yolks, so that is what I am going to do. As Michel Roux says in his book, these are not light, but not even the most beautiful girl in the world has everything.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Considering the debacle between 25 minutes and 30 minutes the last time, this time I will take more pictures of "the little buggers".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I have a $50 gift certificate from my favourite cookware store, so on Tuesday I will see if they can get me some copper Mauviel molds. The certificate should ease the sting of the price. I plan to get 6, and hope they can match the JB Prince price ($16.20).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          7 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            pilinut Aug 1, 2010 10:01 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            An analysis worthy of any philiosopher! And you are much braver than I when it comes to tinkering with a recipe, so hats off! I will be awaiting your results with baited breath, and cheering you at (or near) the finish line. GO, SOUSCHEF, GO!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: pilinut
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              souschef Aug 1, 2010 07:22 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Where angels fear to tread (I'm an electrical engineer, not a philosopher).......

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I have a batch of hot pilinut batter resting comfortably in my fridge. I followed the process I said I would, except that instead of melting the butter and mixing it at the end, I swirled it into the hot milk.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I think that the butter is there just for taste, so if this works out it will be interesting to try out "buerre noisette" in the recipe.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Wouldn't it be interesting if we got Rose Levy Beranbaum interested in figuring this out?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Darn this cooling period!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              chef chicklet Aug 1, 2010 03:28 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Please clear this up for moi. Is the canele a batter fit for a crepe or a waterdowned pate choux?Whilst I ask dumb questions, what or who's recipe are you now using? Photos (not yours) seem to range from cakey, to pate choux. I am so confused. My readings on the subject took me to believe the canele is a very moist pate choux (webbing and airholes) and then the center becoming like custard. The out surface with thin thin layer of sugar that breaks with deep caramel notes, and the center with a hint of rum.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Am I even close?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: chef chicklet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                souschef Aug 1, 2010 03:55 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I'll try and clear it up, but please bear in mind that I have only eaten canelés that I have made; the ersatz ones I ate in Montreal were rubbery affairs.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The batter resembles crêpe batter, but that's where the resemblace ends. It bakes up into a cake with a custardy interior, the cake part being more moist than a usual cake. It does not resemble pate à choux at all; choux is mostly air.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Please take this with a grain of salt. If I am blowing smoke up everyone's skirt someone please correct me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: chef chicklet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  pilinut Aug 1, 2010 04:26 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The canelé is the duck-billed platypus of the pastry world. It is cake, cookie, pudding, and custard all in one. Possibly a cocktail, if souschef ups the rum ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The batter is a little thicker than the one for crêpes. (Caveat: based on my obviously imperfect results.) On the other hand, a good canelé, once cooked and cut neatly in half, will exhibit some similarity to pâte à choux. The custardy-ness comes as much from the flavor as from the texture, but is is a firm custard, not at all runny. The caramelization of the exterior is not due to a layer of sugar applied to the mold, but to the sugar already in the batter and the long cooking time. The exterior gloss is the result of beeswax, butter, or oil coating the mold.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: pilinut
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    souschef Aug 1, 2010 05:17 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    In what way is it similar to pâte à choux? Looks alone, or looks and texture? I have difficulty imagining that it has the same texture as choux.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Are you supposed to have an air space between the top of the canelé and where the custard starts?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. re: chef chicklet
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    souschef Aug 1, 2010 07:52 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    To answer your question about whose recipe I am using: I am using the ingredients in pilinut's recipe in the first post, except that I am using 6 egg yolks instead of 2 eggs and 2 yolks. As well, the technique I am using is my own, well, I call it my own but you may well find it on the Internet somewhere.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    BTW Chef Chicklet, thank you for unwittingly giving me a much-deserved prod into trying to make these things. It was when you said on the other thread that I really got your interest that I decided to try to make them.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    On gaetano's link is a statement from a chef in Philly that it took him months to work out the recipe, so we should not feel too bad about stumbling in the dark for the last week or so.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Cynsa Jul 31, 2010 06:04 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  ♥ this word-by-word canelé thread! Thank you for taking us along on a pleasure-ride. With each bite into the mysterious realm of the canelé, I will reflect on your discoveries.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Cynsa
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    pilinut Jul 31, 2010 11:36 PM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Really, you should be joining the fray! I'm sure your expertise would help.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: pilinut
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      souschef Aug 1, 2010 02:17 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Are you saying that Cynsa is an expert who has just been sitting with her feet up at the back of the boat, enjoying the ride, but is unwilling to come up front to help us row?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      If so, I think we should throw her off the boat, into the swamp we are passing through :)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: souschef
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Cynsa Aug 1, 2010 09:13 AM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I bow to y'all with subject humility. My 'expertise' is eating the elusive canelé with passion and delight. Timing is crucial and I was fortunate to be with pilinut to taste a batch fresh-baked at a favorite San Francisco patisserie that surpassed all others - the creamy custardy center enrobed with the crunch of its delicate caramelized mahogany shell. I marvel at the mystery and the science of this.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Throw me into the swamp - I've pulled on the hip-waders.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: Cynsa