HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >

Discussion

Petit Fours Misadventures II, The Wrath of Canelé

The fearless Pilinut started a thread just over a month ago, on her trials and tribulations with baking canelés, the little cakes from Bordeaux that are so difficult to make. A number of people joined in the thread, till it grew to an unprecedented 400+ posts. She and I decided that we need a part two thread so that it loads faster, and to reduce scrolling, so this is it.

I like to think that in the discussion on the last thread we formed the crew of a virtual starship, where each person assumed a role based loosely on Star Trek, and appropriately, Part II is named after The Wrath of Khan.

Without meaning to sound corny, this virtual team's mission is to seek out new recipes and baking techiniques, and to boldly go where no Bordelais has gone before. Was that a groaner ?

Just so that newcomers know who's who, the team can be introduced as follows:

In terms of doers, there are 3 crew members on this team:

Pilinut, our fearless Captain, she who buys vanilla from Manila, her home world. She took the lead in starting the previous thread, baring her soul about successes and failures, but at all times in control of this difficult assignment. She has been a source of inspiration to us all. She has admitted to nightmares about this mission, but has surmounted them. We all look up to her, but are unsure if we would trust her with hot waxing our cars !

Trewq, the Borger Queen, First Officer. She has so far been the most successful on this mission, but at a cost, that of damaging her hands. She can easily be identified by the oven gloves she wears at all times. She is an itinerant, who has been known to troll the streets of Montreal in search of canelés and other delectables. If she confesses to a liking for chocolate the location of a superb shop will be revealed to her.

Souschef, Chief Engineer, who insists on measuring everything, to the amazement of some crew members, and perhaps the chagrin of others who lack measuring instruments.

Other crew members are the following:

Caroline1, Counsellor, who tries to keep us sane by doling out sage advice, and calling us to task when necessary.

Buttertart, visiting Vulcan dignitary, who is skeptical that the mission will be a success, and who is taking a wait-and-see approach before diving into the primeordial soup that is canelé-making. She does, however, provide a valuable service.

Chef Chicket, who unknowingly goaded Souschef into making canelés. She did not return from an away mission to locate molds used for making canelés. We all eagerly await her return.

Bushwickgirl, who is AWOL.

And last, but by no means least, imagine if you will a boat where all occupants are rowing, with the exception of one, who is sitting at the back, feet up and arms crossed. When asked why she is not rowing, she responds, "I'm a consultant". So we had to come up with a unique title, unknown before at Starfleet, that of "Consultant", which belongs to Cynsa, she who was tossed into the primeordial soup for not rowing, but was welcomed back at a later date.

Honorable mention must go to Gaetano, who posted valuable advice, then disappeared. Wish we had listened to his advice at the start.

There you have it, the principal players. There have been a number of other posters who have posted brief comments, and some who have since disappeared.

Will this mission ever be successful? Never ! As long as the human being thrives on challenge we will all look for that perfect canelé, not withstanding comments by "irritating guy" that he has already found the perfect one, or a demonstration by "manhandling lady" on how to beat them into submission.

Let the saga continue !

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. That was hilarious, souschef! I'm not sure that the Enterprise ever had such a bumbling captain, but you would have to be the equivalent of the incontrovertible Mr. Spock!

    I am considering the possibility of taking a short sabbatical and lending the unsuspecting Cynsa my canelé molds in the hope that she will take up the gauntlet and lend us her expertise.

    18 Replies
    1. re: pilinut

      Confessions of a Kitchenless Chef: 'tis true albeit unbelievable that my ol' O'Keefe & Merrit oven proves fickle and stops heating at the most inopportune moments producing half-baked cold chickens and slightly-warmed batter in place of ethereal cakes. The solution is to prop a broom handle against the reset button but that overrides the thermometer. I have no sink - there is a laundry tub on the back porch. The original 1896 kitchen was no doubt properly appointed over this current work-in-progress kitchen remodel. I traipse outside and down the back deck stairs, rain or shine, to invade my 87-year old mom's kitchen with pots to cook on her stove only to make the return journey with hot pots of dinner up the stairs - comparing the conveniences of the Victorians like poor Mrs. Bob Cratchit who sent Tiny Tim to the baker who would roast their Christmas turkey. So, in true and lasting friendship you would distract me from my condition... with the short-term loan of your treasured canelé molds to save my kitchen sanity and a challenge forthwith? I accept, with glee and apprehensions in absolute horror.

      1. re: Cynsa

        Cynsa, I fear that there is a plot being hatched by our captain to abandon ship, saying that she lent her molds to the consultant and did not receive them back (the consultant is always easy to blame).

        In order to thwart our captain's diabolical plan I would like to make you a counter-offer: I will give you free/gratis/no-strings-attached the 5 aluminum molds I used to use, and for which I no longer have any use.

        The best results I obtained with them were under the same baking conditions as the Mauviels. The only caveat is that before I put them away, supposedly to never be used again, I scrubbed them clean, so you may have to season them before use, even though I did not.

        My aim is two-fold: to keep Pikinut baking and to make you grab those oars you have been avoiding.

        Please let me know if you accept; it would be good to have one more baker (and put the consultant to work).

        1. re: souschef

          Is it not mutinous to plot against the Captain? Will the proffered molds come with your Mind Meld, Sir Spock? Do canelés multiply like tribbles? If your aluminum molds pass through Airport Security Check, bring them along - please. "No man should know where his dreams come from, it spoils the mystery" said Doctor Noonia Soong. Who is our McCoy to say "I'm a doctor, not a baker"?

          1. re: Cynsa

            This is not a plot against the captain; this is to thwart a ploy BY the captain, so it is self-defense, not mutiny. The molds do not come with the Mind Meld; they do not even come with a silicone brush. I am sure that our captain will be more than pleased to part with her brush. The molds will be in checked luggage, so should pass through easily. Dr. Soong did not try to bake canelés, so what does he know of dreams? Speaking of which, I am looking forward to tasting the real McCoy in Monterey, and perhaps in SFO.

          2. re: souschef

            Mr. Spock never won any popularity awards, did he?

            And I would never DREAM of falsely accusing Cynsa, who is the sweetest gentlest soul imaginable of kidnapping my canelé molds! But as in lending a complex and interesting book, one hopes it would provide many hours of pleasant diversion. . .

            1. re: pilinut

              Mr. Spock never won any popularity awards since he was always candid, and since a canelé shell is candy the approach is appropriate :)

              Mr. Spock also never had any fun. I do :)

              Interesting that in the first thread our captain referred to canelé-making as a "misadventure", but now hopes it will provide many hours of "pleasant" diversion. Hmmmm! I think our captain does not see that I am jes' funnin'.

              I was looking again at the video of "irritating guy", and noticed that those canelés have only a thin candy outer layer (whereas mine also seem to have a chewy inner one, but the thickness varies), and there is a lot ot air in theirs (but not as much in mine). Have any of you San Franciscans tasted one from Boulotte's?

              1. re: souschef

                RWCFoodie assures me that we have tried the Boulette's Larder canelé, and that it was very good, though I have no clear recollection of it. (Which is another good reason to go on sabattical--or maybe retirement;-) The other reason being my mother, seeing me mixing up a batch of batter, goes, "You're making canelés AGAIN?" Fortunately, I have a relation who loves custard, so some of the next batch will be foisted upon her.

                I am thinking that the mold has a "sweet spot"--the point at which it is optimally filled so that it sees just enough of the world outside when it soufflés so that it still decides to return home. I'm thinking 1/2 cm or a bit less than 1/4 inch. What sayest thou, sage Vulcan Spock?

                1. re: pilinut

                  Your thoughts are my thoughts Captain. One-quarter of one inch is what I thought when I perused again (minus sound) the video of the Cardassian Hocker at Boulette's. The artisans at Boulette's left a gap about that size when filling the molds, and when done the soufflés returned like prodigal sons to the the place where they were spawned.

                  Even now I have batter in cold storage for a baking session on Friday, those morsels destined for the sister of my wife. I tired of using thimblefuls of Terran rum that I could not taste, so instead used a goblet of Romulan brandy. Images of my efforts will be posted here on Friday.

                  If you retire, Captain, who will carry the flame? You must explain to most honorable mother that your quest knows no bounds. Do you, like me, find that you are often out of milk for your morning cereal, the milk having been used for batter ? Do you also find yourself too frequently buying chicken eggs ?

                  1. re: souschef

                    Perhaps mater has missed the au lait in her morning café as a result of my midnight baking demands once or twice too often. I shall ensure a separate vessel for her personal use. Thank you for your suggestion!

                    However, I do feel that in view of your greater Vulcan powers of observation and your tireless efforts to redeem the Noble Canelé from its evil twin persona, you should lead the enterprise. I shall be Captain Emeritus. Or maybe Captain Dowager would be more appropriate? And I shall focus my attention on finding that sweet spot in my canelé molds (which, if you must know, were waxed and ready to roll as soon as the last cakes were turned out. So there!)

                    1. re: pilinut

                      Surely you do not want to exit at such in inopportune time, when things are finally beginning to work out. Who is going to egg Cynsa on ? No, I don't mean throw eggs at her !

                      I strongly urge you to reconsider the Captain Dowager title as for me "Dowager" brings to mind cobwebs, blue hair, tiaras and warm milk (I hate warm milk).

                      You make me think an interesting thought: do the molds have to rest between consecutive uses ? Just kidding; thought I would throw that in so all would think I had lost my marbles. But seriously, if you bake with molds that you first throw into the freezer, I think it would be a bad idea to take them out of the oven, wax them, and immediately throw them into the freezer.

                      I am baking two batches on Friday, and what I plan to do is bake the first batch, make and bake scones, then bake the second batch of canelés

                      1. re: souschef

                        Woe is me! While preparing victuals in the galley it occurred to me that I forgot to add butter to the batter, which was already cool and resting comfortably in the fridge. I attempted to remedy the situation by melting some butter, cooling it, stirring a bit of batter into the butter, then adding the mixture to the batter. What think ye all? Will it work okay? Should I throw out the batter and start again? Should I bake a batch tomorrow, and if it does not work toss out the rest ? Opinions please. I think I should have no problem at all.

                        This really taught me (once again) the importance of mise en place.

                        1. re: souschef

                          I wouldn't worry too much about the late addition of butter to the batter, as long as there are no perceptible granules of fat floating around. It might help to strain it again, though.

                          1. re: pilinut

                            The butter did get incorporated well into the batter, but I do plan to strain it, perhaps twice.

                            I was recently talking to a French pastry chef who told me that I should not bake too many at the same time - there should be a lot of space surrounding each mold. We fortunately do not have to resort to force fields around each mold.

                            1. re: souschef

                              No, no need for force fields, but it would be nice if there was some way of making the batter mature at warp speed. Those two-day waits are excruciating. My molds have been sitting in their box, in a drawer for almost a week now, but I have to wait for an opportune time to make a new batch of batter. I think it may be better to add the butter to the hot milk than to melt it and add it to the beaten eggs. What do our wise counselors say? Does it make a difference how the butter gets into the batter?

                              1. re: pilinut

                                what chemical reaction occurs upon freezing the batter in smaller batches? - this could lead to a home-based business of individual frozen portions of canelé batter ready for baking. Can't you just envision individual packets to squirt into each waxed mold? or, small frozen pitchers of batter with four to six servings? remove from freezer the night before and it's ready for the molds by morning. I'm wondering if the freezing process would warp-speed the batter's maturation.
                                If we had access to the Star Trek 24th century replicator...to simply rearrange the subatomic particles.

                                1. re: Cynsa

                                  Novel idea. Freezing slows down chemical reactions, but by the time the batter was purchased it could possibly have matured. Of course anyone buying frozen batter would also use silicone molds, but hey, what do you care, you'd be laughing all the way to the bank!

                                2. re: pilinut

                                  Those two-day waits ARE a pain for sure. One of these days I am going to bake a batch after a 2-hour rest, just to see how it turns out.

                                  I have wondered about the addition of the butter as well. There seem to be as many methods as there are bakers. I normally add the hot milk to the beaten eggs and then add the butter to the mix.

                              2. re: pilinut

                                Some of the butter got set in the batter (guess I did not cool it enough), and it made for lumpy batter, so I strained it, twice.

          3. A most engaging narrative and summation, but the Counselor has but one question: Where do the petite fours enter?

            11 Replies
            1. re: Caroline1

              Canelés are so small that they may be considered petits fours. I got the idea from Michel Roux's book, where he says that they can be served with other petits fours (implying that they are also petits fours).

              1. re: souschef

                Welllllllllll.... maybe in MODERN culinary French. But I'm a classicist. When I read or say "petite fours" I expect frosting and tiny little roses, or seasonal motifs or something drop dead gorgeous! Not that caneles aren't gorgeous. But it' sort of like a nudist on the runway in the midst of a bunch of fine vintage Balenciaga ball gowns! '-)

                1. re: Caroline1

                  I hear you. I too think of petits fours as little cakes covered in poured fondant and daintily iced, but I bowed to the master, Michel Roux, who is a MOF, and is retired, so I assumed was also a classicist. I should instead heed the advice of our counsellor, but it is too late to change the title of the thread. BTW I guess you do not think that a nudist can be drop dead gorgeous. Pity!

                  1. re: souschef

                    Isn't there something in "our" Observer French Cookery School that says there are two types of petits fours: the fancypants tiny cakes, tartelettes etc and the petits fours secs genre madeleines tuiles etc? Usually made in smaller than normal size for this purpose? Now there's a thought, a mini canelé...

                    1. re: buttertart

                      You are right, I had forgotten the two types. There do exist molds for miniature canelés, but are we really willing to go to all of this trouble to bake something that has to be looked at with a hand lens? I don't think so!

                      1. re: souschef

                        Ah but it would be le comble de la raffinesse! Knock those baby madeleines out of the ballpark.

                        1. re: buttertart

                          I do actually have a sheet of molds for baby madeleines, which cost me a lot of money as it had to be special-ordered. I used it maybe twice as it seems like a lot of trouble for just a bunch of tiny cakes. They do look nice in a plate of mignardises at the end of a fine meal, but a lot of trouble as I said. Maybe some New Year's Eve I'll make them again and serve them with some marrons glacés and mini tuiles.

                          1. re: souschef

                            Invite us! His favorite cookie is the madeleine.

                    2. re: souschef

                      BTW I guess you do not think that a nudist can be drop dead gorgeous. Pity!
                      .....................................................................................souschef

                      Now, now now... Don't put words in my mouth! For many years my prime avocation and sometime vocation was as a fine artist. Many is the nude I have painted, and I'm not talking body painting as in "Laugh In." Nudes, male and female. But I will admit that one of the more awkward moments of my early college years was walking into one of my fine arts labs, and there, perched atop a ladder stark naked for all to sketch, was a guy who had been flirting with me an hour before. I had no idea we would meet again so soon....!

                      There are times when nudity is appropriate and there are times when it is just plain awkward. When I make petites fours, as with everything else, I do them "over the top." A poor darling little canele might wither with embarrassment at its au natural state!

                      Don't feel defensive. I very much like your title/subject line. But I will admit to getting all excited over little cakes to go with some lovely tea! But I will gladly settle for a lovely little nude canele and glass of Sauterne any day! '-)

                      And on another note, I *DO* like your new avatar! I'm sure you slice nice!

                      1. re: Caroline1

                        ROFLMAO!! Post of the day! Thanks for the laughs! For once I am lost for words; I cannot think and laugh at the same time!

              2. Souschef, So glad you started a new thread. Just wanted to let you know I have not abandon ship. I'm actually on the ferry crossing the St.Lawrence heading to Charlevoix, scouring for canneles. I hope to report success upon my return.
                Did someone mention CHOCOLATE? :)

                13 Replies
                1. re: trewq

                  I did not lie - Trewq is indeed an itinerant!
                  Chocolate: go to Le Maitre Chocolatier on Sherbrooke, just West of Guy in Montreal. Ask for Nada and tell her I sent you. She will direct you to my favourites.
                  Why do I get the feeling that trewq is a Quebecoise who when she says she's going to Canada means she's going to Ontario ?

                  1. re: souschef

                    Hey hey, and you in our nation's capital! Fomenting separatism!

                    1. re: buttertart

                      Not at all. I was just theorizing that trewq was trying to keep her home base (possibly somewhere in
                      Quebec) a secret, not that there's anything wrong with that.

                      1. re: souschef

                        I was just ribbing you. Certainly sounds like QC to me.

                  2. re: trewq

                    There is also "La Maison du Canelé" in Rimouski. Looking forward to your report.

                    1. re: souschef

                      Now you tell me this? I left Rimouski this morning. ;(
                      Do you know any place in Quebec city?

                      Aye aye, Captain. Shall make full report upon returning to the mother ship.

                      1. re: trewq

                        I only just found out. When you mentioned Charlevoix I googled canele patissiers charlevoix, and it came up with a couple there and Rimouski. I have actually been to Rimouski; that was 18 years ago !

                        Why did you have to cross the St. Laurent to go from Rimouski to Charlevoix when they are on the same side of the river ? Did you get out on the wrong side of the bed this morning?

                        I just found out that there is Patisserie de Gascogne in Montreal that makes canelés. They have 5 locations in the city. I could not find any places in Quebec City.

                        Correction on your last sentence: I am not the Captain, just the humble Chief Engineer, but I do have access to all the logs.

                        1. re: souschef

                          Is the St.Laurent the same river as the St.Lawrence? We went up to the gaspe and the tourism lady said we had to take the ferry to Charlevoix. Maybe she saw me coming. Crazy lady who doesn't speak french.

                          Aye aye, Scotty

                          1. re: trewq

                            Yup, it's the same river.

                            There was a tourism lady deep in the heart of Quebec who did not speak French ? Was your universal translator working ? Or were you playing Maxwell Smart and the Cone of SIlence ?

                            We never discussed this before, except for a brief mention by our Counsellor: what does one drink with canelés? I agree about the Sauternes, but it could also be a Montbazillac. How about a demi-sec Champagne ?

                            I think it's safe to discuss booze here and not in the wine thread as we are discussing a pairing with food.

                            1. re: souschef

                              It is I who does not speak french. She, the tourism lady, spoke french very well. When I try to speak french I seem to butcher the beautiful language to the embarrassment of my children. So now I speak mostly with gestures. Can you imagine if I handed her my smart shoe (now we have smart phones ;)) ). She would probably throw it at me. And I rather be 99 but then again she didn't have all the gadgets Max did.
                              As for drinking I am designated designated driver. I leave the drinking to the mr.. It's probably because I have a low tolerance for alcohol.

                                1. re: souschef

                                  Beam me up, Scotty
                                  (I must say it is much easier to read this thread on the computer then on my phone)
                                  Trewq reporting for duty, Sir.

                                  Operation cannele was unsuccessful.
                                  In Charlevoix they told me they never heard of this cannele and sent me off.
                                  In Quebec city, I went to a few pastry shops where I was told cannele is not food it is a spoon. A SPOON!!! All this time we have been making spoons. Then I was told that it is cinnamon. Cinnamon?
                                  Souschef, thanks for all the travel advice!! And I will try Patisserie de Gascogne on my next trip to Montreal. How often do you go to Montreal? And I think a nice cup of rose tea would go well with the cannele, at least for me. The mr. did pick up a nice bottle of single malt whiskey at the duty free.

                                  1. re: trewq

                                    So sorry to read that your away mission was unsuccessful, but at least the monsieur was able to get some sippin' whisky.

                                    I agree that this thread is easier to read on the computer, but accents are so much easier on my iPhone.

                                    A spoon is a "cuillère", which is nowhere near Canelé, so I don't understand that.

                                    Cinnamon is "Canelle", so the confusion is understandable. You just have to stress the wrong syllable :)

                                    I get to Montreal about once or twice a month; that said, I was last there about 6 weeks ago.

                                    You can get a selection of teas at Le Maitre Chocolatier. They do a very nice high tea, but for that you have to call ahead and reserve.

                  3. the trekky vibe to this thread is really nice - let it and live long and prosper. petit fours remind me of lee anne wong in the original top chef. if memory serves, it was wedding wars and she got sent home for them???? everytime i see petit fours in a cookbook i turn the page quickly in deep fear of something soooo french, only jacques torres can manage to read it off the page.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: epabella

                      While we certainly associate petits fours with the French, the very best petit four I have eaten was made by a German, right here in Ottawa (Stubbe Chocolates). The sponge cake was layered with white chocolate Champagne buttercream and covered with poured fondant. The taste was truly sublime; and I normally do not like white chocolate. Unfortunately Herr Stubbe does not make it any more, saying that it was a lot of trouble and did not sell well. I tried to replicate it once but failed. I'd try again, but can't remember the taste of something I last had over ten years ago.

                      1. re: souschef

                        ok, i'll take that as good advice. there's this really cute liebchien (maybe a frau now) a few streets away from where i work who does all these suckertorts (spelling intentionally wrong) - i'll go see one of these tags if she makes these frightful desserts. good luck on your voyage, i'll be reading your logs.

                        1. re: epabella

                          Haha! I think you mean "liebchen".
                          I have eaten one of those suckertorts at the Hotel Sucker in Vienna. I was not particularly impressed.

                    2. A couple of things i was thinking about:

                      1) I read recently somewhere that egg whites last only a month in the freezer, so anyone storing them may want to toss them after a month. I don't bother as I could never use that many, unless I bought a vineyard and used them for clarifying wine, and that is not likely to happen !

                      2) Anyone attempting the method in the Baillardran video should not attempt to do it by hand as in the video (it makes for clumps of egg), but should do as manhandling lady does and use a mixer. Yes buttertart, I know that you're thinking that I am the only one who would do it by hand :)

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: souschef

                        No, that's Bushwickgirl's bailiwick thinking-wise.

                      2. HI guys sorry to appears as though I bailed. I have had a very sad and and yet at the same time happy August.

                        The first thing that happened is that my middle son and wife, had a baby boy. A month and 1/2 early. The shock of this, put me in a tailspin. NO, the baby is fine except being breech, but the doctors were way off on the due date. The whole pregnancy was strange, I'll spare the details.
                        Then within a couple of days my husbands mom passed away. That took all the fun and air out of a normally joyous occassion circling around the newborn. But be that as it may, we tried to keep it seperated from them (the new parents and rest of the family), but we still had to go through this very sad time and gather troups on the other side of the US. So cooking or baking hasn't really been on mind.

                        My husbands back now and we're trying to get back into the norm of things again and me back cooking.
                        Honestly I didn't realized that I "goaded" Souschef. I'm sorry if I did that. I ask a lot of questions, perhaps that is what goaded them. I just like to know everything. I'd love to make the caneles, but I thinking back now, I mentioned that I'm just not going to spend $100 or so on these molds right now. And after researching them, I haven't found a cheaper price. Realistically, this is just not a good time for me to treat myself, I just wouldn't feel right about it, and I insist that when I do make these, I will use the correct molds.

                        You all seem to be heading down the right track, I read your posts and anxiously await your results. My other little hangup is that I have in my mind's eye the perfect canele, I think I've described it a few times so if I made these now, who knows if they'd be right. I'll try to do the best I can, and find the molds when its appropriate, but for now......
                        Forgive me! Please?

                        34 Replies
                        1. re: chef chicklet

                          What a crazy month you had. Congratulations on the grandchild.

                          I hope you join is on our trek to the unknown galaxy of cannele. I understand about not wanting to spend so much on the molds. I don't know if the proper molds are that important or just a hype (please don't tell souschef I said that he'll throw me off the ship for sure) . I've had great success using non stick popover pans, maybe you can try that first.

                          1. re: trewq

                            chef chicklet, what a difficult month, hope things are getting back on an even keel. And happy grandson!
                            trewq, what's the liquid content of the popover pans? Doesn't it make awfully big canelés? Given my husband's recently-expressed fondness for popovers (which he'd apparently been pining for but never mentioned) I could swing one of those pans more easily than the Mauviels. Which I covet even just as objects.

                            1. re: buttertart

                              I used the regular size popover pan from Williams Sonoma, I think they come in two sizes mini and regular. I don't think they are that much smaller then the mauviels.
                              When I use the Paula's recipe (yes, we are now on first name bases) I get 12 in the popover pan where the mauviels gives me 10 canneles.

                              1. re: trewq

                                Visitng Vulcan dignitary may just have to participate further in shipboard life...

                                1. re: buttertart

                                  HOOOOORRRRAAAAYYY !!!!

                                  Please let us know what route you take (molds) and what recipe and mixing technique you use. And take pictures !

                              2. re: buttertart

                                Buttertart, you should probably buy the WS mini-Bundt pans. They will make small popovers, but you can also use them for the cakelettes and for canelés.

                                Forego the latest Malgieri and buy the pans !

                                EDIT: Just checked the WS catalog online and can't find the pans.

                              3. re: trewq

                                I have been wondering about the "proper" molds myself. One of these days I will bake them in my Williams-Sonoma non-stick mini-Bundt pans, which I normally used to bake RLB's Golden Grand Marnier Cakelettes.

                                Hey trewq, why would I throw off the ship someone who is a better baker than I ?

                                1. re: souschef

                                  Already have an old yellowing copy. I haven't used it in years, my daughter loves the pancake recipe in that book.
                                  By the way I stopped off at KIng Arthur's flour today hoping to speak to the master baker but he was teaching class. :(

                                  1. re: trewq

                                    Ha! You did not see that I edited my post before you responded, as I thought of a better response to your last post. For those who missed it, the book in question is The Cake Bible.

                                    Would someone at King Arthur's flour know about canelés, I wonder.

                                    1. re: souschef

                                      "why would I throw off the ship someone who is a better baker than I ?"

                                      Better then thou? Whom may you be speaking of? Not I.
                                      I think I liked the free pass (the cake bible) statement better ;)

                                      The baker who I spoke to did not know about canneles and never heard of them she suggested I speak to the master baker. Why do I feel like I was back on the other side of the border.

                                      1. re: trewq

                                        Who is a better baker? Look at your canelé picture and at mine, and decide for yourself.

                                        When I said you were an itinerant I guess I nailed it. You seem to cross the border so much that I never can keep it straight as to which side of the border you are on. Hey, you can be Starfleet's canelé ambassador-at-large. We'll even get you a canelé-shaped hat and caramel-coloured gloves.

                                        1. re: souschef

                                          The hat could partake of the élan of Ninotchka's hat in that most wonderful of movies, if worn at the right angle.

                                          1. re: buttertart

                                            Sorry buttertart, I don't know the movie.

                                            1. re: souschef

                                              Ninotchka, with Garbo? Lots of food in that movie. A completely charming comedy from 1939, by the inimitable Billy Wilder, you must see it.

                                          2. re: souschef

                                            I do visit Montreal often. If I told you why you would know that I am crazy for sure.
                                            I don't know if I would accept the hat but I would take the gloves ( to protect my hands;) ).

                                            1. re: trewq

                                              Now I'm REALLY intrigued! Tell me.

                                            2. re: souschef

                                              Who is a better baker? Look at your canelé picture and at mine, and decide for yourself.

                                              Maybe I'm a better photographer.

                                              1. re: trewq

                                                I was not discussing the quality of the picture; my pictures are better :)
                                                What I was referring to is that your pictures had twelve perfect canelés whereas mine had maybe three of five that were perfect; the others looked like they had either spent too much time in the Vulcan sun or in the dilithium mines.

                                                I will consider myself a good baker when all of them are the same.

                                      2. re: souschef

                                        I've been ogling some of the Nordic ware pans Amazon, wondering if I can bake the canelé batter in say, the tea cake pan or the adorable Backyard Bugs pan. I'd snap one of them up if I could be sure that a non-stick pan would work for canelés as well as for madeleines (which may be my next pie-in-the sky project. Don't worry, souschef, I am not abandoning ship, merely daydreaming.)

                                        Seriously, though, what effect would using nonstick pans have on canelés? Do you think beeswax would cling to the sides? And will the non-stick coating hold up to the 450F or more oven temperatures?

                                        1. re: pilinut

                                          Just oil it lightly, I have baked them at 400f for 1 1/2 hours in a non stick pan. The only effect is that they side back down easier, they are still crunchy and shinny. Here she baked it in a bundt pan.
                                          http://www.travelerslunchbox.com/jour...

                                          1. re: pilinut

                                            I have one of the Nordic Ware pans you mentioned in the previous thread, pilinut, the one withe 12 mini-bundt cups that you noted are like foreshortened canelés - I think they're calling it a brownie pan? (I bought it years ago at TJ Maxx; it has the typical dark interior,not white.) I"ll be curious to see if you all successfully make canelés in this type o pan. No way will I be buying the dedicated molds or baking many, many batches, but if it can be done well with a pan I own (albeit currently in storage), I'd certainly be tempted to try them out.

                                            1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                              I wonder how much of the success of the canelé is associated with the specific size and shape. It would be good to compare a large one with a small, but that would involve buying small molds as well, which I am unprepared to do.

                                              I plan to try the mini-bundt pan sometime towards the end of this month.

                                              1. re: souschef

                                                See, I was wondering if stumpy ones would be all that. Popover tins do have deep, narrow cups, so are more similar in shape, just without fluting.

                                            2. re: pilinut

                                              NOTE: We split a discussion of madeleines into a separate thread, which can be found here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/731816

                                        2. re: chef chicklet

                                          Chef, congratulations on the grandchild !

                                          I just said that you "goaded" me for effect, so no apology is necessary. You just said something along the lines that I really got your attention with talks of canelés; that was all. The apology is mine to give. I needed that little push to get baking.

                                          I must admit that I waffled a lot before buying the Mauviels. Six cost me just over $100, plus shipping. That was the cheapest price I could find, and I did search a lot online.

                                          You do not need forgiveness for disappearing/not baking. We are just glad to have you back !

                                          1. re: souschef

                                            Thank you, he's a little charmer already. It's all good, August has just been so unbelievably weird.

                                            No apology needed on this side either, but lets just say that I am back and ready to get cooking, (as soon as the heat lets up) I hear the temps are going to drop for us next week so that should get things back to normal.

                                            I'm still wondering about my popover tins, they're good and heavy, coated hmmmm.

                                          2. re: chef chicklet

                                            Welcome back, chef chicklet! After that rocky ride, I hope you will soon be able to settle back into a happy groove, baking and cooking to your heart's content.

                                            A word of wisdom from someone who has had the Perfect Canelé, though it was never anything I myself baked, chasing after it has been even more fun than eating it! And since it seems to take some practice to master the process, why not use an old muffin pan for now and reward yourself with the molds once you've got the batter and baking down pat? (That's probably what I should have done, since right now I feel so undeserving of my copper molds-- not to mention my unworthiness to be Captain of this enterprise!) Do you join the baking soon!

                                            1. re: pilinut

                                              Thank you pilinut! Good to be back. Yeah I think I am going to just fool around with the batter and either my large muffin tin or popover pan. I just wish I could see the inside of a really good canele so I'd know truly the texture/creaminess. I imagine it to be almost like a bread custard and I'm probably wrong. The canele molds are on hold for the time being, we all should watch our pennie, and you're right I need to experiment with the batter. Geez I wish we could all meet like on a Tuesday night (or whatever) and bake and compare caneles!

                                              1. re: chef chicklet

                                                I can't imagine a more enjoyable cooking party than one baking up canelés. Maybe someday, when we've had as much practice as souschef has today, and when we have results that don't look like something one has to mumble about in confession, we can plan a grand canelé baking party. In my imagination, I see all of us sitting around, chattering happily while sipping demi-sec bubbly and nibbling canapés. . . More realistically, it will be utter pandemonium, beeswax seizing up, people sweating bullets and exclaiming, "Oh my god, no! Popovers! What will I do?" At which point the Vulcan souschef will tell us not to fret, take the pan out, count to 120, turn it around, and put it back in the 375F oven, and the Consultant Cynsa will come swanning over to offer to eat ALL the popovers. . .

                                                1. re: pilinut

                                                  I think we have gone past the popover stage. We can sit around drinking bubbly and eating elegant canapés made by our counsellor, while our visiting Vulcan dignitary nods sagely in appreciation of our efforts. The canalés meanwhile will soufflé and be attended to so that they deflate and form marvelous cakes. Cynsa will of course be eager to eat a canalé, and will seize the first available one, devouring it in one go. Trewq in the meantime will be in Monterrey Mexico instead of Monterey California, on the wrong side of the border.

                                                  Seriously, it would be good to plan a party where we can share good food and drink and discuss canalés.

                                                  You still go to confession ???

                                                  1. re: souschef

                                                    Confession? Isn't that what happens when we post pictures of our failures on the boards? The other kind of confession was easier because after the Hail Mary's, Glory Be's, and Our Father's (always 3 of each--a repertoire as limited as my transgressions were waaaaaaay back in the last century), one did not have to figure out egg yolks and baking temperatures.

                                                    Yes, we must certainly plan something around the canelés!

                                                    1. re: pilinut

                                                      My Confession: waiting-to-taste pilinut's canelés and tasting pilinut's canalés have made me a wannabe baker of the elusive canelé. When I have eaten that last crumb and my plate is emply, I long for more as I wonder when pilinut will grace me with another of her sublime canelés.
                                                      My Other Confession: when I offered my DH half of pilinut's canelé and he declined because he had already brushed his teeth for the evening... I was quietly gleeful that I did not have to share it... I have no qualms about brushing my teeth again... no restricting rules about not eating after eight o'clock or after brushing teeth... bring on the canelés, morning-noon-night.

                                                      Cheers to the Canelé Round Table! The Quest for the Holy Canelé - the Final Frontier "Where No Man Has Gone Before"

                                                      1. re: Cynsa

                                                        Before another week passes, Consultant, you will have no excuse for baking your own. Then our noble captain will have to find you a new title. You wil soon find yourself buying lots of cow's milk and chicken eggs.

                                                        I hope you get your oven situation sorted out soon. It must be inconvenient not having an oven, and taking your bath in the laundry tub on the porch.

                                                        Our official motto is "To Boldly Go Where No Bordelais Has Gone Before".

                                                      2. re: pilinut

                                                        When we post pictures of our failures it's a confession, but of a different kind; we are neither seeking forgiveness nor looking for penance. But in both cases we are admitting to something we enjoyed doing :)

                                                        When I post pictures I am looking for honest, blunt criticism, not compliments.

                                            2. Some interesting images here. Note that one of the molds is not flared, which is the first I have seen.

                                              http://picsdigger.com/keyword/canele/

                                              4 Replies
                                              1. re: souschef

                                                Two of them are from China...interesting.

                                                1. re: buttertart

                                                  Looking at those pictures I can't help but wonder what the optimum colour is for those babies. I would love to see a bunch of them from Bordeaux in the flesh.

                                                  1. re: souschef

                                                    http://www.baillardran.com/
                                                    "service expédition" ???
                                                    Friend mentioned "the" canelé bakery having a branch in the Gare de Bordeaux but I couldn't find reference to it in a perfunctory search.

                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                      Looks like they do mail order, but how can they when the stuff has to be eaten within hours of exiting the oven?

                                                      Cynsa's business idea really has merit.

                                              2. Looking again at the video on the Perfect Canelé, I noticed something that I had missed before - there is a rack between the molds and the sheet pan during the baking.

                                                I still have a gift certificate from a cookware store, so it's off to the store tomorrow to buy a rack. At this stage I'll try anything.

                                                14 Replies
                                                1. re: souschef

                                                  Instead of buying a rack couldn't you use the rack from the broiler pan or toaster oven?

                                                  Strange thing happened yesterday. I accidentally let the milk boil and I noticed that when i mixed in the flour I got big lumps where as before it was a smooth batter. Do you think the milk had anything to with it?
                                                  Souschef, I also weigh the jumbo egg yolks they are about 13 grams each.

                                                  1. re: trewq

                                                    The rack from the toaster oven would be too small; the molds would be crowded together. But, I do have a rack from a roasting pan that would work. Thanks for the suggestion; you saved me a trip. I think this may be the key to getting that caramelized outer crust without the chewy inner one, but then again I could be wrong.

                                                    I don't see why you are got a lumpy batter, unless you added the flour to the milk instead of vice versa.

                                                    Extra large eggs weigh 63-69 gm each, and the yolks weigh about 1/3 of the total, so 21-23 gm. So the jumbo weigh even more. Did you mean 23 gm instead of 13?

                                                    1. re: souschef

                                                      When I make the cannele batter I always have added the flour/sugar to the milk and not the other way around and never got lumps.

                                                      "Extra large eggs weigh 63-69 gm each"
                                                      Is that without the shells? The first one weighed 13 but four of them weighed 58 grams. Maybe I need to get a better scale. I will weigh them again next time.

                                                      1. re: trewq

                                                        That's the weight with the shell, but I have never weighed eggs in the shell. According to my trusty reference (The Cake Bible), one large yolk should weigh 18.6 gm, and that has been my experience too. Perhaps you just need new batteries in your scale; they do weird things when the batteries are about to die.

                                                        I always add liquid to flour rather than the other way round because in Jacques Pepin's recipe for crèpes he tells you that it is easier to work lumps out of a thick batter than a thin one. If you add the flour to the liquid you start with a thin batter. But if the opposite works for you that's fine.

                                                    2. re: trewq

                                                      It could be the boiled milk--was it warmer than usual when you added the flour? Or was the skin on top of the milk tougher or thicker?

                                                      I do agree with souschef: with a thin batter, I find it easier to add the liquid to the dry ingredients than the other way around. (Though I often have to remind myself of this since the opposite is usually the case with cakes and cookies.)

                                                      1. re: pilinut

                                                        I scalded some UHT milk (well within its use-by date) and it formed lumps, it smelled and tasted fine but looked extremely odd.

                                                        1. re: buttertart

                                                          What is UHT milk? I remember being in a relative's timeshare in Arizona, and going out looking for whole milk. I could find low fat, lactose-free, etc and a whole range of others, but no whole milk.

                                                          On top of the batch of batter I baked today there was a layer that looked like sponge; first time ever.

                                                          1. re: souschef

                                                            The Parmalat milk in boxes, ultra high temperature pasteurized, shelf-stable. It comes in skim, 1%, and whole. I keep it around for emergencies.

                                                              1. re: trewq

                                                                It has a slight cooked taste. Don't use it unless I have to.

                                                            1. re: souschef

                                                              Now that you mention it, I realize that the skin on top of the batters I've made has never been the same. And sponge-like is a very good way to describe the very thick layer I had on the last one, though it would have to be a very fine-grained sponge.

                                                              I wonder what we can diagnose from the appearance of the top layer of a canelé batter? Would there be an indication that one should simply throw the stuff out and not waste time and burned fingers on something that was doomed to become popovers? Or maybe turn the batter into some kind of crêpe?

                                                              1. re: pilinut

                                                                I don't think you can do any diagnosis of the batter based upon the skin, as with exactly the same ingredients and method of mixing, I have had no skin, a spongy skin, and even a thick skin I thought would  not dissolve.

                                                                I am convinced now that gaetano was right that you get popovers when you start at too low a temperature. The best way to avoid popovers I have found is to start at 450° for 15 minutes, then turn it down to 375°. I don't get soufflés at 15 minutes, but I do at 30 minutes, so I take them out for about 2 minutes, and they deflate by themselves; they do not have to be manhandled. That's when I turn the tray. When I started at 400° I got popovers. With my last 2 batches I left 1/4 inch unfilled at the tops of the molds; it made no difference soufflé-wise.

                                                                Captain, why are you scaring off potential working crew members with talk of burnt fingers? That, and trewq's cut fingers are enough to scare anyone off. Mind you, if you cut your fingers before, the Band Aids should protect you from burns. Maybe apply Band Aids before cutting? :)

                                                                I just figured out how trewq got her handle - typing right to left from 't'. I also figured out why she says I would say she's crazy if she told me why she is in Montreal so much - she smuggles cigarettes INTO the U.S. !!!

                                                                1. re: souschef

                                                                  "I just figured out how trewq got her handle - typing right to left from 't'."
                                                                  Hahahaha I had a good laugh over that one. I thought you figured that out a long time a go.

                                                                  "she smuggles cigarettes INTO the U.S. !!!"
                                                                  Nope, cigars!! :p and that wouldn't be crazy, it would be a living.
                                                                  Now I don't know if I should tell you or keep you guessing.

                                                                  I just put in new batter in the oven. Froze the molds this time since everyone talks about that. I also increased the egg, milk, flour to get twelve caneles (spelled the way everyone else here does). One of the molds was a little short so I add a little cream to top it off. We'll see what happens.

                                                          2. re: pilinut

                                                            It did have a thick skin on it. I let the milk sit out for a long time to cool (about 2 hours or when ever I remember) before I add the flour.

                                                      2. Scratch that rack idea. I used a rack on which I thought the molds would be steady, but when I went to turn the pan four of the molds toppled over, spilling out their contents, which were quite firm and a lovely shade of yellow. I manhandled them back in, but they got screwed up. Of the remaining two one was evenly coloured, but not as dark as I like, whereas the second one had a pale crown. They obiously need more time in the oven when on a rack.

                                                        I have a second batch in the oven. When turning the pan I left it out so that the little $&@?#€ would deflate. I need this batch to work!!!

                                                        16 Replies
                                                        1. re: souschef

                                                          Maybe if they are the rack they do not need to be turned because there is more circulation. How long were they in the oven when the incident occurred?
                                                          I hope the second batch comes out beautifully evenly colored.

                                                          1. re: trewq

                                                            They were in the oven 30 minutes when the incident occurred. The second batch was not perfect either. I am posting pictures. Some of the crowns were unevenly coloured, and you will see some of the cracking of which I previously spoke in the second and third pictures.

                                                            These things have to be the most difficult things I have attempted to bake.

                                                             
                                                             
                                                             
                                                            1. re: souschef

                                                              Are those the manhandled ones? It looks as if the bottom rose and settled back down and the crown stayed in it's seat causing the line/crease.
                                                              Do I see delicious scones? May I have one please?

                                                              1. re: trewq

                                                                No, those are not the manhandled ones. I think you have the answer to the reason for the crease; either that or when they deflate they do not do so graciously. I think it may be time for me to play with a different batter.

                                                                Yes, those are scones, made with a mixture of AP flour and chestnut flour, and they are really delicious. You may have as many as you want, but do I send them to the U.S. or Canada, or Quebec, or Mexico ? La Cucaracha! La Cucaracha! Um, sorry ma'am! Yes ma'am, I'll be quiet.

                                                                1. re: souschef

                                                                  "but do I send them to the U.S. or Canada, or Quebec, or Mexico ?"
                                                                  Since when did Quebec secede from Canada?
                                                                  Are you spying on me? How did you know I was thinking of Mexico. :)

                                                                  Have you ever used mesquite flour? I have read about it but never seen it.

                                                                  1. re: trewq

                                                                    No, I have never used mesquite flour. Don't know if I've ever seen it.

                                                                    Quebec has not split from Canada; I was just humouring you in case you were a Separatist.

                                                                2. re: trewq

                                                                  I was wondering if the reason for the crack is that perhaps I am not using enough oil in the wax mix, and so the batter has trouble sliding up and down the mold uniformly.

                                                                  1. re: souschef

                                                                    I was thinking that also since the outsides of your molds are fairly clean, no signs of oil. Unless you cleaned them for the picture

                                                                    1. re: trewq

                                                                      I did not clean them for the picture; they were too hot at that point. I wait for them to cool and then wipe them down.

                                                                      I usually leave them to heat up in the toaster oven before waxing them. Perhaps I wax them while they're too hot, and so the wax slides off. Next attempt, in about 2 weeks, will be with the molds just slightly warm. I noticed that Boulette's waxes them cold (unless the girl doing the waxing in the video has chefs' fingers).

                                                            2. re: souschef

                                                              Bonne chance, mon ami! But if any aren't up to your standards, our friend Cynsa and I will happily consume the evidence!

                                                              1. re: pilinut

                                                                Pilinut, there is no way I would give you and our friend Cynsa 6-day old canelés.

                                                                1. re: souschef

                                                                  I'm sure the 6-day old canelés you could give us would be at least as good as anything shipped from France. Maybe not as pretty, but at least as tasty!

                                                                  1. re: pilinut

                                                                    My SIL and her BF really enjoyed the day-old ones I just gave her. I'm not sure I would trust 6-day old ones because of the safety factor - all those eggs.

                                                                    1. re: souschef

                                                                      The salesperson at Lemoine told me that the canelés would keep for 10 days, and all we had to do was heat them up again for around 5-10 minutes at around 400F.

                                                                      Did you ever read Sam Fujisaka's "Magic House" thread?

                                                                      1. re: pilinut

                                                                        I had a canelé last night that was reheated after one day, and it was a pale comparison with the original. The crunch is a major part of the equation, and of course it was missing. The inside was not as light too.

                                                                        I am beginning to rethink my recipe based upon our wise Counsellor's statement that she does not use flour in custard. But we HAVE to use flour in canalés, so how do you reconcile the two?

                                                                        I did not read Sam's thread, unfortunately. I joined the party too late. I am lamenting the fact that I will not be able to take canelés to the charming Mila Oh (moh), whom I had the pleasure of meeting just once. I was looking forward to her feedback too on my marrons glacés.

                                                                        1. re: souschef

                                                                          "But we HAVE to use flour in canalés, so how do you reconcile the two?"

                                                                          Easy: canelés are not custard, they are cakes. Cakes with a custardy texture, but cakes nonetheless. Harder to explain why some calfoutis include flour and some do not!

                                                            3. I have never baked a canelé; despite my many trips to France, I have never even SEEN a canelé (in person). And yet I am looking for second-hand pans of my own. (No bundt pan here.) You are all a great inspiration. Canelé-related or not.

                                                              9 Replies
                                                              1. re: miss louella

                                                                Welcome Louella. Glad to see that you're ready to jump into the primeordial soup of canelé-making, though I doubt you will find used molds anywhere but deep in France.

                                                                1. re: miss louella

                                                                  Thank you, miss louella, and welcome aboard! While waiting to find your canelé molds, why not practice with some old muffin tins? Any of the recipes posted on this, or the canelé misadventure thread should yield some delicious little cakes, and we think (souschef's Vulcan mindmeld obviously at work here) that one taste, and the tantalizing possibility of getting your very own canelés just exactly right will have you signing up as part of the crew, not just a passenger!

                                                                  1. re: pilinut

                                                                    You are bad baaaaaad influences! I am in the middle of an everything-must-go move and yet I'm keeping an old nice heavy muffin tin for when I next alight so I can try to make this treat I've never eaten or seen. OH and I don't even like sweets! I do have a dear friend who lives deep in France (as many French people do) so she's on the lookout for me (heaven help us all).

                                                                    1. re: miss louella

                                                                      I'm curious - if you have never had one, and don't like sweets, what got you caught up in the mystique? If it's the challenge you like, come aboard, using any mold you can find.

                                                                      1. re: souschef

                                                                        It is definitely the challenge. I love trying things I have no business doing and then doing lots of tweaks and variations and side-by-side comparisons to figure out how to do them better. It's clear from reading the raucous rantings of team canelé that a single batch of canelés can be its own little side-by-side experiment with perfect specimens rubbing shoulders with delinquents. Perversely, this appeals to me.

                                                                        Besides, who wouldn't want a ride on a starship?

                                                                        1. re: miss louella

                                                                          Welcome aboard. You sound like a brave one, willing to take on the challenge even after all the rantings you've read.

                                                                          1. re: miss louella

                                                                            "raucous rantings"?

                                                                            Do we sound like a team of lunatics? Was it not the gentle Pilinut who wanted to ensure that we were always proper in our description of a canalé's anatomy, as opposed to the Bordelais' more colourful language? Okay, maybe I'll settle for mad scientists.

                                                                            Get ready for a rocky ride on that spaceship. Pack your toothbrush and molds.

                                                                        2. re: miss louella

                                                                          Canelés are ideal for people who don't like sweets ;-) as well as for those who do. We'll all be looking forward to hearing about your canelé baking adventures and predict that one taste will convince you to keep on baking them!

                                                                      2. re: miss louella

                                                                        Welcome miss louella! don't feel alone I too have only seen photos but read much about them. I am slowly gathering courage to make them. Thank goodness we have such tenacious pioneers that don't buckle at a little set back. I'm hoping some of this will rub off on me!

                                                                      3. This is what I've been dreaming about! I've been wanting to see the interior of the canele as it was described when I read about it. Its' gorgeous!
                                                                        http://www.douceurdefrance.com/canele...
                                                                        The comparison to clafouti is something I can relate to, this helps me a lot.

                                                                        1. By George I think I got it!
                                                                          I have no idea what i did but here is a picture. what do you think?

                                                                          32 Replies
                                                                          1. re: trewq

                                                                            It looks good, but then your first pictures looked good. What is the difference?

                                                                            1. re: trewq

                                                                              I wish mine looked like that! Thin crust, good luster, lovely aerated interior. . .yum!

                                                                              1. re: pilinut

                                                                                Pilinut, you described it perfectly. The other times there were chunks of custard on the bottom and the crust were thicker. These one were airy, creamy and had a thin crunchy shell. I did freeze the molds this time.

                                                                                1. re: trewq

                                                                                  I finally did get to see it on my laptop instead of my iPhone. It does look splendid. Are you still using Paula's recipe? I wonder if the freezing has anything to do with the lack of a thicker crust.

                                                                                  Amazing how many variables there are in this. I am a pretty good mathematician, but this is mind-boggling. However, I think I have sorted out one of the variables - the baking temperature, but that happened only after I started to NOT freeze the molds. Now that trewq has a breakthrough I have to freeze the molds again.

                                                                                  BTW Chowhound is frustrating these days. I keep missing posts as they are marked as read.

                                                                                2. re: pilinut

                                                                                  Can you be talked into baking some for Thursday so I can taste one, and to give Cynsa a push towards using her then newly-acquired molds ?

                                                                                  I wish I could taste one (or more) of trewq's creations. Perhaps we should all meet in Montreal (a great food city) for a nice dinner and to taste trewq's canelés?

                                                                                  1. re: pilinut

                                                                                    "Can you be talked into baking some for Thursday so I can taste one"
                                                                                    No arm twisting needed. Taste one? You can have as many as you like.

                                                                                    Cynsa, I think it's time you got out of the water and joined us on the boat. I worry when Souschef uses your name and push in the same sentence.

                                                                                    I agree we all should meet and have a cannele party.

                                                                                    1. re: trewq

                                                                                      You worry too much trewq; Cynsa is safely on the starship and will not be pushed off. I am in Carmel on vaycayshunnn (ahhhh!), so will be meeting her and Pilinut for lunch on Thursday in San Francisco. I will be giving her my aluminium molds so she can start baking.

                                                                                      We may even do a canelé crawl after. If you are so inclined, hop on a plane and join us in SFO. It would be a pleasure to meet a baker so talented.

                                                                                      1. re: souschef

                                                                                        I wish I could join all of you in SF. Check out this link they are in Monterey. http://www.parker-lusseaupastries.com/

                                                                                        Have a great vacation

                                                                                        1. re: trewq

                                                                                          Already in my plans to go there. I had posted that link too a while ago.

                                                                                          I plan to stop at Sur La Table in Carmel just to take a look at their molds made by de Buyer (expensive at $28 each), but will not be buying (no pun intended) any.

                                                                                          Thanks. I do plan to have a great vacation. At some point I want to hear about your favourite restaurants in Montreal; I assume you stay in Montreal long enough to eat dinner !

                                                                                          1. re: souschef

                                                                                            I'm jealous...as a UCB grad and 13-year Berkeley resident...it's been entirely too long since I've been back. Yes they let Vulcans live in Berkeley! ;-)

                                                                                            1. re: buttertart

                                                                                              Can you imagine a movie entitled "A Vulcan Strolled On Telegraph Avenue"?

                                                                                              I worked in Berkeley for a month in 1995, and loved it. Got to know Chez Panisse and Kirala, among others. Did not know about Cocolat, unfortunately.

                                                                                              1. re: souschef

                                                                                                Cocolat was gone by the time you were in Berkeley, souschef.

                                                                                                I have yet to hear of any Berkeley bakeries that are baking canelés. I should try to get across the Bay and to Boulette's before they sell out . If you crawl to Boulette's for canelés, souschef, there is also a Sur La Table in the Ferry Building.

                                                                                                1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                  Thanks for the info about Cocolat, CMcG; I don't feel so bad now.

                                                                                                  I plan to only browse at Sur La Table. Looking forward to Recchiutti for chocolate, one of my weaknesses.

                                                                                                2. re: souschef

                                                                                                  We lived just off Shattuck Ave right near CP...never patronized Cocolat because a friend I worked with at a bakery (summer job, I thought I wanted to become a pro baker but the hours did NOT suit) had worked there and the experience had not been pleasant.

                                                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                    Are you saying that Medrich was a precursor to Ramsey? I suspect that Ramsey's behaviour is an act for television. I did read somewhere that if he really treated his staff like that he would not be able to keep people. I do realize that to get and retain Michelin stars you have to be uncompromising.

                                                                                                    1. re: souschef

                                                                                                      Uncompromising is a mild way to put it. And I don't think that Ramsay's behaviour is all an act. A lot of kitchens are very fierce places. One of the only ones I've read about that isn't is Taillevent - you'd love "A Meal Observed" by Andrew Todhunter, on the experience of eating there and on how the place was run under M. Vrinat père.
                                                                                                      (The woman we worked for at the bakery was a martinet but I really learned a lot from her.)

                                                                                                      1. re: souschef

                                                                                                        I'm sure Ramsay is tough, but I assume more like he behaves in his UK shows than the screaming caricature of his US ones.

                                                                                                        I had plenty of cakes and confections from Cocolat in the 70s and 80s, when I was growing up in Oakland and going to school in Berkeley, and they were memorable, but I do think one can recreate them well from the book. All the stores closed in the early 90s (Medrich had sold it a few years earlier after some employee malfeasance did her in financially).

                                                                                                        Try the burnt caramel chocolate at Rechiutti.

                                                                                                        1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                                                                                          I think the only thing I ever had from the shop was some truffles which were a dinner-guest gift. Very good but I am not all that keen on truffles.

                                                                                      2. re: trewq

                                                                                        I think you've done it!!!

                                                                                        That is what I've read the interior should look like, not at all cakey. I wish I could reach through the screen and take a bite.

                                                                                        1. re: chef chicklet

                                                                                          Thank you, I wish i could reach through the screen and give you one. Can't wait to hear about your canele adventure.

                                                                                        2. re: trewq

                                                                                          OMG!!! I took another look. That crust is ABSOLUTE PERFECTION !!! Please try and remember what you did. It would be great if you could list all ingredients by weight (including yolks), method, and temperatures.

                                                                                          1. re: trewq

                                                                                            I need to learn how to edit.

                                                                                             
                                                                                            1. re: trewq

                                                                                              I was wondering what you were talking about, but going back I realized that you deleted your last picture of that wonderful canalé. I'm glad that your baking skills are better than your editing skills :)

                                                                                              I cannot begin to tell you how impressed I am with that picture. Wish I could taste it (the canelé, not the picture).

                                                                                              IIRC you use the method in the Boulette video, with Paula's ingredients, but you were supposed to reduce the amount of milk, I think. Did you, and do you remember the weight of the eggs, or was that while your scale was messed up ?

                                                                                              All Hail TREWQ, the Canelé Queen.

                                                                                              1. re: souschef

                                                                                                "IIRC you use the method in the Boulette video, with Paula's ingredients, but you were supposed to reduce the amount of milk"
                                                                                                Yes, I did reduce the milk last month. This time I increased everything to get 12 canneles. Maybe you missed that post. I know you're on vaca so I'll let it slide this time. ;)
                                                                                                By the way I did get a new scale so I will be weighing everything when I make the next batch.
                                                                                                "the Canelé Queen"
                                                                                                More like housemaid. If I were queen I wouldn't be cooking. I would on my throne eating canneles and cake.
                                                                                                What is IIRC?

                                                                                                1. re: trewq

                                                                                                  Okay Trewq, housemaid to Marie-Antoinette, by how much did you reduce the milk? I did see the post where you said that you increased everything to make 12 canelés, but was wondering about proportions.

                                                                                                  Glad you got a new scale. IIRC you bake "les maudits gateaux" at a constant 400°F. Would you please do me a favour and take a picture of the things after 30 minutes. I assume that you turn the tray after 30 minutes, but do you also leave them out to deflate? I don't think you womanhandle them, right?

                                                                                                  Oh BTW, IIRC = If I Recall Correctly

                                                                                                  and BTW = By The Way

                                                                                                  1. re: souschef

                                                                                                    I will be happy to take a picture of them after 30 mins. They are baked at 400F and no turning or deflating and certainly no (wo)manhandling. I'm wondering if it had to do with the scalding milk.
                                                                                                    When i decreased the milk it was by a 1/4 cup but it seemed a little cakey but airy. So maybe an 1/8 cup would be better

                                                                                                    1. re: trewq

                                                                                                      When you scald the milk do you use a thermometer and heat the milk to 183°F, as your friend Paula instructs, or do you do it by eye? I think I may be splitting hairs here as the small amount of evaporation that occurs should not make that big a difference, but I thought I'd ask.

                                                                                                      1. re: souschef

                                                                                                        Before I answer that question I want to remind you that I have The Cake Bible.

                                                                                                        I eyed it. It was boiling because I was doing something else at the time.There is more stuff that sticks to the bottom of the pan then evaporates. I am one of those bakers that scoops and pour rather then measures and I know it pisses people off especially my sister.

                                                                                                        1. re: trewq

                                                                                                          Okay, so we don't really know how much milk you used. You don't need TCB to protect you; you have mastered (mistressed?) the canelé, so cannot be touched.

                                                                                                          Just for my interest, you said in one of your posts that you ran out of batter and topped off one with cream. How did that turn out?

                                                                                                          1. re: souschef

                                                                                                            I stirred in about a half teaspoon of cream in three molds instead of a teaspoon in one mold. The only difference was that it bubbled where the others souffled in the mold and popovered a tiny bit. When i cut it open it looked pretty much the same.

                                                                                                            1. re: trewq

                                                                                                              Come to think about it maybe the difference between souffle and popover is the flour liquid ratio. More flour souffle, more milk popovers. Where the flour gives it more structure.

                                                                                                              1. re: trewq

                                                                                                                I wonder if this is the case for ANY given temperature.

                                                                                          2. Chef Chicklet, I just remembered that you are in the Bay area too, so if you would like to join us for lunch please email our fearless leader, Captain Pilinut.

                                                                                            I have been trying to think up clever titles for a Part III thread, but after trewq's breakthrough we will most likely not need a Part III.

                                                                                            1. Two days ago, I made another batch of batter. Essentially the same recipe, but I decided to edge closer to souschef's and Baillardran's version and try 5 yolks + 1 white, in lieu of my usual 4 yolks +2 whites. Total weight of eggs, sans shell, was 150g. Flour was 50 AP:50 cake. I did the lazy, impatient thing again with the milk, and microwaved 200 ml milk with 3 inches of vanilla bean, melted the butter in the hot milk before adding the rest of the cold milk and lightly beaten eggs. Flat whisked liquid into dry, and strained into a new plastic container. Let rest 42 hours. Baked (in my more reliable convection oven) at 450F for 15 minutes, turned the pan and baked 1 hour and a bit at 375F.

                                                                                              I filled the molds to within around 1/4 inch from the rim, and this is probably near the sweet spot. It seems that overfilling will definitely produce that burnt foot and prevent the cake from going back home.

                                                                                              Perhaps you will notice how wet the interior of the cake is. It was very soft and custardy, more flan than clafouti, and I would prefer a slightly drier interior. Next time, I'll try trewq's 400F for the entire baking to see how that differs.

                                                                                              So here are the results of my most recent baking.

                                                                                               
                                                                                               
                                                                                              30 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: pilinut

                                                                                                For a while there I thought I was the only one left in the kitchen. I noticed the nice golden brown crust. No burnt feet. Very nice.
                                                                                                I really think the flour/milk ratio as a lot to do with the dryness of the inside. If you want a drier interior I would increase the flour slightly.

                                                                                                1. re: trewq

                                                                                                  Thanks, trewq! I still have to contend with imperfectly formed crowns, though. But it does seem that our utterly consuming devotion to the canelé is slowly, grudgingly, and sporadically rewarded.

                                                                                                  Do you think that my not scalding all the milk--just 200 ml--might have some effect on the end result? I rather like the wet-ish insides, though I believe the proper version is a bit drier. Next time I'll add another 5g of AP flour and see where that takes me.

                                                                                                  1. re: pilinut

                                                                                                    I don't know the purpose of scalding the milk because you let it cool before adding other ingredients. Is 5g of flour equal to a teaspoon?

                                                                                                    1. re: trewq

                                                                                                      I think 5g should be a little bit more than a teaspoon. I, too, don't know what scalding does to milk, except for infusing it with the vanilla bean flavor and getting it hot enough to melt butter So, if one were to use vanilla extract and melted butter, wouldn't that eliminate the need to scald and cool the milk?

                                                                                                      1. re: pilinut

                                                                                                        Wouldn't you have a problem combining melted butter with cold milk? I think the butter would solidify in the milk.

                                                                                                        Hey Pilinut, isn't it great being in the same time zone? We can trade posts while Cynsa is in bed counting canelés.

                                                                                                        1. re: souschef

                                                                                                          Scalding milk serves two purposes to kill potentially harmful bacteria in the milk and destroys enzymes that keep the milk from thickening in recipes.

                                                                                                          Pilinut, What ever Souschef has is catchy. He's got me weighing stuff.

                                                                                                          1. re: trewq

                                                                                                            Wow! You mean I'm ingesting potentially harmful bacteria with my cereal in the morning! And I thought milk was good for you :)

                                                                                                            Hehe! Glad you caught what I have. Stuff is repeatable that way. Imagine what would happen if you went looking for cream for your hands and found one where the manufacturer did not weigh stuff. Would it heal your cuts?

                                                                                                            1. re: souschef

                                                                                                              Manufacturers weigh stuff? Have you ever noticed when you go shopping not all bottle are filled to the same level.
                                                                                                              I don't know how accurate the scale is. I was measuring flour before and it was 96g then a few seconds later it was 98g, it all depends on which way the wind is blowing. By the way a jumbo egg yolk with out shell weighs approx. 20g.

                                                                                                              1. re: trewq

                                                                                                                "Manufacturers weigh stuff? Have you ever noticed when you go shopping not all bottle are filled to the same level."

                                                                                                                Yes, but I imagine that it gets weighed before being mixed,

                                                                                                                "I don't know how accurate the scale is. I was measuring flour before and it was 96g then a few seconds later it was 98g, it all depends on which way the wind is blowing."

                                                                                                                I wouldn't worry about the approximate 2% error. It's within the margin of safety, i.e. You won't make brioches instead of canalés. My scale is the same.

                                                                                                    2. re: pilinut

                                                                                                      Pilinut, I thought I was splitting hairs with my obsessive/compulsive weighing approach, but if you are going to try 5 gm more of flour I would say you are splitting atoms, not hairs !

                                                                                                    3. re: trewq

                                                                                                      Those look great Pilinut. Wish my last batch was as good.

                                                                                                      1. re: souschef

                                                                                                        Thank you, but if you look more closely, you will see that only 2 out of 6 have full crowns. The other 4 have 3 pale, semi-formed crowns and one is half-and-half. It seems that my batter (or oven temp) will only allow me to fill the molds to 1/4 inch from the top before I risk having the feet get stuck on the rim.

                                                                                                        As for the 5g flour, I was thinking about 10g--a 10% increase--but I'm such a chicken!

                                                                                                        1. re: pilinut

                                                                                                          I wonder if 10% would be enough to make a significant impact. Live a little - go to 20 or 25 gm :)

                                                                                                    4. re: pilinut

                                                                                                      Lovely pix! I can almost taste it! I think I'd like 'wet' and warm with a glass of Flor de Cana 12- year aged Centenario rum from Nicaragua on the side.

                                                                                                      1. re: Cynsa

                                                                                                        Cynsa, Have you started your batter yet?

                                                                                                        1. re: Cynsa

                                                                                                          The consultant has expensive taste. Is this the rum you will be using when you make your batter?

                                                                                                          1. re: Cynsa

                                                                                                            Yes, wet and warm is an entirely different experience from the usual room temperature, purchased canelé. I had just been thinking that canelés don't make such good Christmas presents, but they would be a very nice after-dinner treat served warm, maybe with some berries and cream on the side.

                                                                                                            1. re: pilinut

                                                                                                              But if served warm you would not have crunch. It would be nice, though. How about with chocolate sauce?

                                                                                                              1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                I agree, when re-heated, the canelés do not regain their original crunchy exterior, bit if they are within half an hour out of their original baking they should still have a good crunch. I'm not sure I'll ever be efficient enough to bake canelés properly during a dinner party at which I am hoping to be part of the party, but it's a nice little fantasy. Of course, if I ever get to trewq's level of expertise and I can get the little beasties to bake properly without supervision, then it may just be possible. . .

                                                                                                                1. re: pilinut

                                                                                                                  What I would like is to be present when trewq is baking so I can observe exactly what she is doing, It strikes me that while I can be precise and get weights exact but not have success in baking, trewq has the ability to eyeball things and get everything right.

                                                                                                                  Another thing that puzzles me is that trewq bakes at 400, the temperature at which I get popovers, but she does not. Maybe it's the oven, or maybe I should just throw in the towel and order canelés from her.

                                                                                                                  1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                    I tried once to calibrate my oven by throwing in three thermometers. They all had different readings.
                                                                                                                    NO, you can not throw in the towel. We're in the last few minutes of the game. The goal is in sight. You can do it. I know you can. GO!! SOUSCHEF!!

                                                                                                                    1. re: trewq

                                                                                                                      Did you seriously think I would throw in the towel that easily. I do not give up without a fight.

                                                                                                                      1. re: souschef

                                                                                                                        No, not really. I just wanted to be a cheerleader. rah rah.

                                                                                                                        1. re: trewq

                                                                                                                          And I want to see you get thrown into the air and caught on the way down.

                                                                                                                          Make your way over to the new thread.

                                                                                                                  2. re: pilinut

                                                                                                                    Did someone say party? Aren't you having a lunch party on thursday?

                                                                                                                    1. re: trewq

                                                                                                                      Shhhhhh. . . we are on a very brief top secret mission to seek and demolish rogue canelés, should they materialize at one or two selected locations somewhere in a city by a bay. . . Of course, we will need to fortify ourselves beforehand for this hazardous operation.

                                                                                                                      Should you be willing to volunteer for this dangerous quest, please contact me for the coordinates to which you will be beamed up, and set your phasers on "eat and enjoy" mode.

                                                                                                                      1. re: pilinut

                                                                                                                        You know me. Willing to go anywhere for a cannele, even to Canada. ;)
                                                                                                                        Beam me up, Captain.

                                                                                                                  3. re: souschef

                                                                                                                    No chocolate sauce with these at least for me, I mean really, does everything have to have chocolate on it?

                                                                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                                                                      What can I say ? I love chocolate. But you may be right, these have to be enjoyed without any adornment. I guess you could go the extra length and eat them naked ! :)

                                                                                                            2. At close to 200 posts, this thread causes my iPhone constipation, so I have started a new one:

                                                                                                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7328...