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Canelé Misadventures Part IV

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We are now at Part Four of our canelé misadventures. I couldn't work the Star Trek IV "Journey Home" title into the thread title, so skipped it.

We have made a lot of progress. Recipes have been tried and tweaked, and we are at the stage where our canelés stand comparison with anything commercially available that we have tasted. A bold statement, but true. In a taste test in San Francisco, Pilinut's easily beat those made by Boulette's Larder, Patisserie Philippe, and La Boulangerie.

At this point the bakers on Starship Canelé are:
- Pilinut, intrepid Captain. Claims to be a teetotaller, but knows a lot about rum; even has preferences. Generous - Cynsa and I received gifts when we met her for our canelé tasting. 
- Trewq, aka "Q", as in the Star Trek troublemaker with the quirky sense of humour. Itinerant, makes frequent visits to Montreal from her lair in the Q continuum. An expert baker of Canelés.
- Souschef (me), whom the Captain thinks has Vulcan tendencies. 
- Cynsa, consultant, who has not yet baked canelés, but has batter resting in the fridge. We are anxiously awaiting the results of her baking, due to take place on 30th September 2010. She has recovered from her toss into the primordial soup, aided no doubt by a stiff dose (or seven) of Flor de Caña rum. When she delivers proof of baked canelés to our captain, and posts pictures here, she will be promoted from consultant status.

Pilinut and I played catchup to get to the same stage as Q, who has been refining her canelés. 

During the course of these threads we had some Chowhounds express an interest in joining us baking, but then dropped off into the abyss of some black hole. We will gladly have them on board if they show up again.

Besides the bakers and the Consultant we have just one person who has steadfastly remained with us - the Visiting Vulcan Dignitary. Thank you, and take a bow, Buttertart. We look forward to the day when you start applying your formidable baking skills to making canelés. 

Unfortunately we seem to have lost our counsellor, Caroline1, who is probably on the Holodeck, hypnotizing some admiral with her charm. Hope she returns here soon.

On with the continuation of this voyage of discovery.....

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  1. Hey Q, I got your baking temperature of 400 degrees to work for me. After 30 minutes of baking, when I went to turn the tray, the canelés were about 1/3 to 1/2 inch above the molds. I left the tray out for about 2 minutes till they deflated a bit, then put it back in.

    After 1 hour 20 minutes I turned out two of them; they had very pale crowns, so I quickly stuffed them back into the molds and stuck them into the oven. That is the reason that a couple of them each have a small gash in the crown. I took them out after 1 hour 45 minutes. They all slid out easily, nicely coloured. This was the most uniform of all the ones I have made so far.

    There was a thick skin on top and sludge on the bottom, so I had to stir the batter very well.

    I think I'll stick with this recipe. No reason to mess around with any other, except perhaps for small tweaks.

    Looking forward to tasting them.

     
    17 Replies
    1. re: souschef

      I must say they look very nice. Actually they look beautiful!!!
      Did you heat the baking pan before putting the molds onto it?

      1. re: trewq

        I completely forgot about heating the baking pan.

        Also, as I was baking at a lower temperature I did not freeze the molds.

        The insides are a bit wetter than usual - very custardy.

        1. re: souschef

          "I completely forgot about heating the baking pan."
          :(((
          I guess there's always the next batch. ;)

          1. re: trewq

            I promise - tomorrow, if I get more beeswax - I'm all out.

            1. re: souschef

              Sorry Q, but it will not happen today as I could not get beeswax. Hopefully tomorrow - I have to wait, just like Barkeep Cynsa.

              1. re: souschef

                Beeswax?
                Maybe you should get extra, winters coming. I bought two bars from the farmers market.

                1. re: trewq

                  I tried to get some from the farmers' market today, but got there too late - they were sold out. I ordered some (and paid for it) for next Saturday - 1 lb. Do you think that will see me through the winter?

                  I asked the guy if all beeswax was edible, and he said he didn't think so as some people use insecticides and antibiotics, though how antibiotics could be used I have no idea.

                  1. re: souschef

                    "Do you think that will see me through the winter?"
                    So many thing I can say to that but I'm restraining my quirkiness. ;)

                    A POUND!! That is a lot of beeswax. Do you know how many bees it takes to make a pound of wax? ; ))

                    I just bought 2oz.

                    What are you going to with the remaining batter?

                    1. re: trewq

                      Don't restrain your quirkiness; give it free rein.

                      No, I don't know how many bees it takes to make a pound of beeswax. How many does it take? I expect that in the dead of winter you'll ask me to send you some beeswax.

                      I didn't want to throw out the remaining batter, so I sprayed a mini-muffin tin with vegetable spray and filled it with the batter; it was enough to make 24. I baked them (with a preheated sheet pan under, just for Q) for 15 minutes at 450, then turned down the heat to 375, and baked them for 75 minutes more. They did not soufflé. I found out the hard way that you cannot fill the pan to the top; the pseudo-canelés developed slight feet, so the underneath did not brown. A few were on their way there, but I think I took the pan out too soon; maybe another 15 minutes would have done it. They were crisp but not crunchy. In any case, they were too small, in my opinion.

                      1. re: souschef

                        "No, I don't know how many bees it takes to make a pound of beeswax. How many does it take?"

                        I don't know how many bees it takes, but from a beekeeper friend of mine, the bees have to eat 8-9 pounds of honey to create 1 pound of beeswax. (And I just checked the wiki, and it says that bees fly 150,000 miles to produce a pound.)

                        I've never eaten a canelé, and likely never will. (The closest bakery that might have one is at least 100 miles away, and maybe as far as 400 miles away.) I suck at all baked goods, and so I won't try to make these. But I have adored the ongoing saga of your (and the rest of the crew's) pursuit of the perfect canelé. Thanks. :)

                        J.

                        1. re: Cady

                          Wow! Those bees are going to do a lot of work and flying for my pound of honey; too bad that they don't get frequent flyer miles :)

                          I'm glad you are enjoying our canelé threads. In my opinion people give up too easily on baking. I think baking is far easier than cooking if you get the right recipe and follow it exactly. There was a time when I did not know how to bake, and I think I'm a decent baker now.

                          1. re: Cady

                            Cady,
                            I love that you answered my question!!! If you only lived closer I would send you some canneles!!!

                            Q

                            1. re: trewq

                              You are, of course, assuming that Cady does not live close to you. He/she could well be your neighbour.

                              1. re: souschef

                                If she was my neighbor then she wouldn't say she never tasted one because I give my neighbors most of my baked goods. I beginning to think they maybe be tired of canneles.

                          2. re: souschef

                            "I expect that in the dead of winter you'll ask me to send you some beeswax."

                            Why wait for the dead of winter. :)

                            1. re: trewq

                              Okay, where do I send it? Or do you want me to leave in on some street corner in Montreal, for you to pick up?

                              Seriously, though, if you ever run out please let me know.

                              1. re: souschef

                                "if you ever run out please let me know"
                                Thank you!!!!!

        2. A tale of the three-way rum bombs, from 9:48 am to 2:32 pm today. Playing the waiting game; wait for the beeswax, wait for the batter to rest, wait for the oven temperature to reach 450°F, wait 90 minutes... wait to taste so I don't cauterize my taste buds... with the wisdom gleaned from our intrepid Captain Pilinut , our Vulcans Souschef and Trewq-Q and our consultants, buttertart and Caroline1, plus any other stalwart crew members... I am gingerly stepping out of the primordial ooze with 32 oz. of batter spiked with 2-1/2 tablespoons of Meyers Dark Rum and 5 egg yolks — baked in popover pan (6) and tea cake molds (12) just for buttertart... and five precious aluminum canelé molds for souschef - I was timid and fearful of the dreaded foot... I did not top-off the batter, filling only within 1/4-inch of the tops - baking all pans at 450°F for 15 minutes... reducing the heat to 375°F for 90 minutes ( the tea cake pan came out of the oven after 30 minutes at 375°F). The canelé molds were baked nestled securely inside my second popover pan instead of a baking sheet. My mom's oven bakes hot and I watched the thermometer carefully + and - with each breach of the oven door. Next time I throw caution to the winds and bake batter to the rim!
          The tiny tea cakes have the best crunch of carmelization - baking quickly as miniatures with a soft rum center. Here are Baby's First Steps... tastes good... not classic in form but I love 'em... and now I need a grocery run for more milk and eggs... Ave Cesare! Morituri te salutant.

          (note: pix #4 is beeswax freshly scraped from a frame from the hive - it has a bit of honey mixed with the beeswax and the fragrance is enticing... and pix #12 is the beeswax that poured out with the baked canelé hot from the oven, I have scraped this cooled wax to reuse it next time)

           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
           
          34 Replies
          1. re: Cynsa

            Did you use beeswax to coat the molds? I really must get going on these. That tea cake pan is a cutie!

            1. re: buttertart

              beeswax + oil to coat the canelé molds, Baker's Joy spray of flour+oil in the tea cake pan, and just canola oil in the popover pan. (buttertart, it's really e-a-s-y; while pacing in the kitchen... I also made David Lebovitz's Candied Peanut recipe and vegan black bean brownies)

              btw, I believe now that the beeswax is imperative to the crunch and shine of the shell ;^)

              1. re: Cynsa

                Just seems so daunting given all the disparate results and variables.

                1. re: buttertart

                  Buttertart, we've done all the leg work, so it should be easy, as Cynsa has demonstrated. Per the second post on this thread, I had to modify my technique a bit, but it works fine. If you like, I will post again the ingredients, method of mixing, and the temperatures, all in one place, and as a double-check, have Q give it all her blessing.

                  1. re: buttertart

                    not at all daunting, bt - it's absolutely fun to mix and match the variables and see what comes of it! one from column one and two from column C .... = a tasty treat. come and play with us!

              2. re: Cynsa

                Cynsa, welcome to the club! Those look really good, and I'm glad that you're so pleased with the results......that you need a run for milk and eggs is proof enough!

                "Hail Caesar! Those who are about to die salute you"? What is that all about?

                1. re: souschef

                  I was wondering the same thing? Surely you don't think that the eggs and milk will kill us? This is such a healthy little treat--better for you than granola :-)

                  1. re: pilinut

                    nah! just joining the rank and file. xoxo - c

                    1. re: Cynsa

                      Now I'm even more confused.

                      I agree with our esteemed captain that these are better for you than granola ....and there is no challenge in baking granola.

                  2. re: souschef

                    (traditional greeting of the gladiators prior to battle; passed on by Suetonius, Claudius 21) just a trifle joke, now a red herring

                    1. re: Cynsa

                      Cynsa, I have great trouble seeing you as a gladiator. BTW Madame Souschef says you will make a fine Guinan/bartender.

                  3. re: Cynsa

                    WOW, I must say for someone who was hesitant you certainly jumped in with both feet. And may I say they all look so tasty.
                    Souschef, I would like to recommend Cynsa for a promotion.

                    1. re: trewq

                      Q, that recommendation (with which I agree) has to go to Captain Pilinut, not to me.

                      1. re: souschef

                        I thought I had to go through the chain of commands. ;)

                        1. re: trewq

                          As First Officer you outrank the Chief Engineer, Q.

                        2. re: souschef

                          This is a democratic (and idiosyncratic) ship, and I think it's unanimous: Cynsa is promoted! But what would be a worthy position?

                          1. re: pilinut

                            Re a worthy position for Cynsa, I was just wondering- what was Gilligan's official position ? :)

                            1. re: souschef

                              He was the first mate. If you sing the song you would know. ;))

                              1. re: souschef

                                if I may interject, Guinan the Bartender is a coveted and esteemed position - not on the Bridge...

                                1. re: Cynsa

                                  Henceforth you will be Cynsa the Bartender. Ingenious that you positioned yourself close to the booze.

                                  It seems appropriate now that you be tasked with finding the best rum to use in canelés. I have to abandon the brandy I have been using as the taste does not come through. Do try to find something non-eXOtic.

                                  1. re: souschef

                                    aye, aye! me hearties.

                        3. re: Cynsa

                          BRAVO, Cynsa! Those look terrific! And the teacakes are adorable. You have decided my next kitchen expenditure for me.

                          I can hardly wait for a taste of those canelés! The color and texture of your cakes would not mark you as a first-time canelé maker--you'll be giving lessons in canelé making soon! Well done, my friend!

                          1. re: pilinut

                            now I blush - I am following in giant footsteps - and the path is well-paved with good intentions, humor and Bon Ami (that's good friends - not the cleanser)
                            yes, you may correct the syntax and spelling, please...

                            1. re: Cynsa

                              Barkeep, "Bon Ami" should be "Bons Amis" (good friends), or if you wish, "Bonne Amitié" (good friendship). The cleaner references one friend only :)

                              BTW did you buy any hats à la Guinan, to go with the position?

                              1. re: souschef

                                oh, I have hats galore à la Guinan and searching the Galaxy for new hats and new places to wear them while channelling Guinan's persona. Thank you, bon ami, for the bons amis and Bonne Amitié.

                          2. re: Cynsa

                            Hi, Cynsa, I'm itching to know which of the canelés held up best--i.e., which ones held their crunch longest. Have we been making work for ourselves using beeswax-lined copper molds while we should have been spraying teacake molds?

                            1. re: pilinut

                              I hope it was the beeswax-lined molds that held their crunch the longest; I don't have teacake molds.

                              1. re: souschef

                                Yes, the beeswax-lined canelé molds held their crunch the longest but the DH complains of a waxy aftertaste - he prefers the "popovers" with canola oil in the popover pan. I suspect that he likes the "popovers" because they were underdone to his liking 'half-baked' and pillowy soft.
                                I like the crunch and shine of the canelé with its interior of rum fragrant custard -
                                Caveat emptor: Next-Day Tasting of the canelé is a disappointment - in other words - gross.
                                I scraped wax from the roof of my mouth - it's no wonder that the DH tasted waxy buildup which was undetected while fresh and hot...
                                Baking is a balance of temperature adjustments and timing. The tiny teacakes bake quickly and caramelized nicely... not burning — another few minutes and they would be nearly solid with their caramelization... as it were, we had a kernel of rum custard at the center... less time-next time? is it a Frankencanelé with a heart of rum?
                                mini muffin tin next, buttertart?
                                Rather than wax poetic, I will wax delicately on the next round.

                                1. re: Cynsa

                                  Day Three: the last canelé from Thursday, reheated and crisped in toaster oven, nibbled between sips of coffee... no discernible rum flavor remains, still creamy, nice crunch... no waxy buildup. rule of thumb: eat warmed-crisped canelés

                                  1. re: Cynsa

                                    I have mini muffin tins, how long should I bake them/temp in such a tin?

                                    1. re: buttertart

                                      Cynsa is better-qualified to answer this, but I'd say 15 minutes at 450, followed by 90-105 minutes at 375.

                                      1. re: souschef

                                        yes, 450°F for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 375°F and continue to bake for 90 minutes - start checking after 50 minutes ... turning the pan from front to back.

                                        1. re: Cynsa

                                          With those little teenyweeny 2 oz max cups?

                                          1. re: buttertart

                                            The "full size" canelé molds hold only 3 oz. In any case, my understanding has always been that the smaller the cake the higher the temperature at which it should be baked.

                            2. Did any of you Canele bakers see this post on kitchn?
                              http://www.thekitchn.com/thekitchn/gu...

                              Apparently Trader Joe's now carries frozen Canele! Trend surfing again, Canele bakers!

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: roxlet

                                I did see a review somewhere of TJ's frozen canelés, which said that they were not as good as freshly-made ones, which is easy to believe from my experience.

                                1. re: souschef

                                  Well, that wouldn't surprise me at all, given all the gymnastics you guys have performed to make fresh ones! I have never had them and but perhaps this is a quick and easy way to see what all the hullabaloo is about!

                                  1. re: roxlet

                                    If you buy them to get an idea of what canelés LOOK like, well, maybe. But once you taste them, I'm pretty sure you won't see why we've been jumping through burning hoops. I have tried the frozen canelés from TJ's, and, had they been the first canelés I had ever had, they would have been my last. The difference parallels that between canned ham and jamon iberico.

                                    Buy a box of TJ's, then suspend your disbelief, AND then join us in making your own. I think that's when you'll understand what the fuss is all about. (Oh, do come aboard and bake with us, roxlet! You won't regret it!)

                                    1. re: pilinut

                                      I beg to differ! I KNOW I would regret it!!! That's all I need -- another obsessive hobby. I have quite a few already. It would probably be cheaper to plan another trip to France!

                                      1. re: roxlet

                                        This hobby just SOUNDS obsessive. You actually spend very little time on the process. The ingredients are cheap and the batter goes together very easily. Once you spend the $100 on six copper molds you are done with the expensive part. And you get to trade war stories with people with cool names like Pilinut, Q, and Cynsa. Jump in Roxlet, even if you do regret it after. The results are worth the effort.

                              2. Why are people so scared to jump in and start baking? So far four of us have demonstrated that it CAN be done, with delicious results. Sure, we jumped through burning hoops, but we did manage to sort out the variables and come up with solutions that work every time, QED.

                                Can anyone explain why in the Wolfert recipe she tells you to rinse in cold water the pan you are going to use to heat the milk? I don't do it, and was wondering if it is one of the booga-booga steps in the mystique of this all.

                                38 Replies
                                1. re: souschef

                                  I did it—poured iced water into the saucepan to chill it, then heated the whole milk to 183°F - and wondered the same "Why am I doing this?". I think I can skip this ritual next time.

                                  as for jumping through burning hoops... I looked at Thursday's two burns from the hot oven racks and with the immediate application of aloe, they are healing nicely and will probably not scar. Red Badge of Courage. Piffle - burn marks are merely annoyingly stupid kitchen accidents-that happen.

                                  as to the 'daunting' and 'obsessive' gymnastics — 'tis true, souschef, reading four threads is revealing of our natures. Why do you think I rowed by in the boat, dangling my toes in murky waters and making tiny circles in the foam with my fingertips - until thrown in to feed the crocs? Timidity, not temerity.
                                  - I confess to all - this is easy - and the the taste is in the pudding - tasting freshly baked canelés is incomparable.
                                  - The MOLD - the copper icon of sanctity - with each added post, the copper mold was unattainable... I continued to read daily with fascination and admiration. souschef's generosity removed my barrier to baking canelés and my last excuse for jumping into the fray. I am very fond of these five aluminum molds and will name each one as we get to know one another on this Quest... 'Betty' stands alone... my Fearless Five will prove their worth and we will admire the exalted copper brethren. Read here for the further adventures of the Fearless Five and the Tiny Teacake elves. mini muffinettes are practicing their pirouetting - this is a call to arms, you have your marching orders... buttertart, roxlet...

                                  1. re: souschef

                                    Those are all good questions. Maybe we should rename our thread "Canele EASY as pie" then people would jump in.

                                    Cynsa,
                                    Betty can't wait to finally make new friends. I'm really happy your finally out of the dingy and onto the ship making cocktails. The crocs will miss you..

                                    Chocolate canneles next!!

                                    1. re: trewq

                                      Good idea about renaming the thread Q, but I don't think the mods would go for it. Perhaps the next thread? Mind you, some people do have problems with pie! We should all give sone thought to the next title as we have passed the misadventure part.

                                    2. re: souschef

                                      I love it--the "booga-booga" part! There has been some of that in the instructions from some of the pros. To add to the "canelé mystique"? The little monsters can be hard to control, if you haven't figured out what makes them misbehave. Often, it's something obvious, in hindsight: beating in too much air, overfilling the molds, using a baking sheet that warps. . . some of my errors that were not immediately apparent to myself.

                                      If and when we get this right, souschef is correct, we should start a new thread, something along the lines of "Almost Foolproof Canelés: Our Gift to the Chowhound Galaxy".

                                      I've got batter in the fridge: I've dropped the eggwhite and have gone all yolk with this one, but my "Large Grade A Organic Omega-3" eggs took 8 to get to around 110g! We shall see what happens, since the batch souschef and Cynsa tasted had 150g of egg, including 1 white. And I'm off to buy my precious Pyrat XO. (Note to self: it will be just my luck to think that it's finally coming together when I bake them for a favorite aunt tomorrow and they turn into popovers. Beware hubris! Remember how humbling a simple batter and an oven can be.)

                                      1. re: pilinut

                                        Pilinut, we have to give credit where it's due - the new thread title Idea was not mine; it was Trewq's.

                                        1. re: pilinut

                                          Pilinut, about beating in too much air, I have come to the conclusion that the batter should be mixed with a wooden spoon, not a whisk. When I used a whisk or the whisk attachment of my KA I got blisters on the tops of the canelés.

                                          Let us know how your baking for your favourite aunt goes. I made some for my sister and her daughter as well as for a friend and his wife, and in both cases the canelés were great.

                                          It very definitely is time to change the tone (title) of the next thread. We don't have to wait to go to 200 posts; we can do it now, at your discretion, O Fearless Captain. In addition to the already-proposed titles, I propose the following:

                                          "Baking Canelés - As Easy As Putting On Pants"

                                          "Baking Canelés Without Working Up A Sweat"

                                          "The Easy-Bake Road to Canelé Heaven"

                                          "A Bartender's Guide to Baking Canelés"

                                          1. re: souschef

                                            The Upstarts Guide to Easy-Bake Canelés

                                            1. re: Cynsa

                                              Canelés - Easy to Bake-More to Eat

                                            2. re: souschef

                                              Easy-Bake will make the literal-minded think you need an Easy-Bake Oven. I had one (natch). Not high-powered enough to get a canelé baked! ;-)

                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                It would grab their attention, at least. I like my first title best.

                                                1. re: souschef

                                                  one leg at a time?

                                                  1. re: Cynsa

                                                    Is there any other way? If there is, I'd like to see it :)

                                                    1. re: souschef

                                                      my guess is that you've never put a leg into the wrong pant leg and attempted pants-on-backwards? and never put shoes on first, before pants! and never watched episodes of Mr. Bean... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_...

                                            3. re: pilinut

                                              The canelés were duly baked Sunday morning, with much the same results as the last time, though with--wouldn't you know it?--still some kinks. I.e., though I filled the molds a shade less than last time, I have to cut the quantity even more--little feet were still forming, though there was no evidence of the little beasties lifting off their crowns.

                                              The oven, which I set at 400F (convection) and which had been behaving since I threatened to call in the repairman, decided to stop heating at 380F. I threw in the canelés anyway and thought a few minutes later, "Why not try the 'convection roast' setting at 400F?" Fifteen minutes later, the temp had shot up to 425F. When I checked the cakes after a total time of just over an hour, most were at the right color, and one was burnt! Okay, okay, human error (mea culpa)--I'm no Vulcan, after all--but I should have known better and been more careful. Still, I think this was the best interior I've had yet--nicely aerated and moist, though the difference between all yolk and 1 white is not distinguishable to me. The difference in rum though, would be apparent to someone tasting the canelés carefully. The Pyrat XO definitely has more flavor.

                                              Four out of seven of this batch had white buttons on the crowns. There may be a correlation with the wax droplet in the mold, but I'm still not certain.

                                              I was at Patisserie Philippe the other day, and I must say that the canelés that day did NOT look good. Quite a few had sunken white crowns and splotchy caramelization--not at all appetizing. Only goes to show that canelés are simple--but not easy.

                                               
                                               
                                              1. re: pilinut

                                                I like that - "canelés - simple but not easy" for the next thread title.

                                                1. re: Cynsa

                                                  Cynsa, great idea for the next thread title. SO, I hereby nominate you to start the next thread, at your leisure, or of course Trewq could do it; the two of you can cyber arm wrestle to do it. You both have a quirky sense of humour, but different from each other.

                                                2. re: pilinut

                                                  Cap'n, that inside does indeed look wonderful.

                                                  On looking at the cut one I noticed that the one on the left seems to have a horizontal crack of the type I used to have when I had an inadequate amount of wax. Is that the case with all of them? I was wondering if your molds are all hot when you wax them, as I determined that if they are do hot that you can't hold them, you do not get enough wax on them.

                                                  1. re: souschef

                                                    Merci, souschef! I'm not sure what you mean by a "crack": sometimes, I have seen a line--a wrinkle--in my canelés, and I think it may have to do with the way they come out of their molds. Immediately after they come out of their molds, they seem especially vulnerable. If they land a little too hard on the rack, if the sharp (hi, Q!) edge of the mold nicks the side, if the air pockets inside the cake are too big or in the wrong place. . .

                                                    I do wax the molds while they are hot--too hot to handle without gloves, but not hot enough to cause a burn--and I have wondered whether I need to use more wax. But I rarely have any problems with sticking and have taken that as a sign that I've got enough wax lining the molds. Someday, I may find the right temperature to get that perfect coating of wax, but I do know that by the time the molds have cooled to a comfortable temperature for my delicate hands, the wax coating looks pretty thick. (And since most of the wax comes out during baking anyway, more wax seems to equate with more mess to clean up.)

                                                    Any pointers on the right thickness of wax?

                                                    1. re: pilinut

                                                      Hi, Pilinut
                                                      From what I've read the" white ass" (not my wording) is due to oil puddling on the bottom of the mold so maybe you are using too much oil. Do you turn them upside down after you oil them so that they drain?
                                                      I have a chocolate cannele batter sitting in the fridge.
                                                      Q

                                                      1. re: trewq

                                                        Oh, yes, I do turn them upside down as soon as I'm done swirling the wax and pouring it out. There's usually a droplet of wax that forms on the bellybutton (not the bottom). The wax coating on the rest of the mold is usually invisible. I did try to keep track of which molds had the wax drop and relate that to which canelés had the white navels, but I'm not sure there's a correlation. In any case, for now, I'm just too happy that I'm not getting popovers to quibble about pale navels.

                                                        What intrigue me right now are two things: 1) why a rapidly darkening bubble forms at the top of the batter within minutes of putting the canelés in the oven; 2) whether scalding milk (or not) makes a difference.

                                                        I'm sure we'll all be waiting to hear about the chocolate canelés: they sound delicious!

                                                        1. re: pilinut

                                                          Pilinut, re the rapidly darkening bubble: there is a vortex in the centre of the canelé, and so the heat is concentrated there. How's that for a New Age booga-booga explanation?

                                                        2. re: trewq

                                                          Q, did you use chocolate or cocoa in the batter, and how much? Chocolate gets burnt easily in high heat, but I don't know about cocoa.

                                                          1. re: souschef

                                                            I used 5tbs of cocoa powder and no rum. I tested it by making tiny pancakes to see if it was chocolaty enough. I remember the last time I used chocolate chips, they sank to to bottom and burned.

                                                            "New Age booga-booga explanation"
                                                            :))

                                                            1. re: trewq

                                                              So they will be cocoa canelés, not chocolate ones. If you mixed the cocoa with the flour you may well find the canelés on the dry side. That has been my experience with cocoa in cakes.

                                                              1. re: souschef

                                                                "cocoa canelés, not chocolate ones"
                                                                Technical, aren't we. :)

                                                                If you don't mix it in with the flour, what do you mix it in?

                                                                "on the dry side"
                                                                Do you over bake? Mine are usually moist.

                                                                1. re: trewq

                                                                  I don't use cocoa; I use melted chocolate instead.

                                                                  I don't overbake. I just find cocoa cakes dry and heavy. Even the ones from RLB where she mixes cocoa with flour don't work for me. The only ones that work are those where cocoa is first mixed with water.

                                                                  1. re: souschef

                                                                    You have to try that chocolate valentine heart cake from RLB's Heavenly Cakes. Since it gets enduit de ganache it's amazingly good even w cocoa (which I don't like in things either).

                                                                    1. re: buttertart

                                                                      IIRC she mixes the cocoa with water, so it should be okay. Definitely on my list. It's too bad that all of her Bernachon cakes involve mixing cocoa with flour. I discussed my cocoa problem with a professional baker; he told me that he has the same problem, and that he always mixes in some melted chocolate.

                                                                      1. re: souschef

                                                                        Yes you're right. You can still taste the difference between cocoa and chocolate in cakes made with bloomed cocoa.

                                                      2. re: souschef

                                                        The crack can be due to MANhandling.

                                                        1. re: trewq

                                                          Remember that the original manhandler (i.e. in the video) was a WOman!

                                                          1. re: souschef

                                                            "you do not get enough wax on them."
                                                            It could be that she does get enough wax on them but since the molds are hot the wax drips to the bottom and not sticking to the sides.

                                                            1. re: trewq

                                                              My thinking also.

                                                              1. re: souschef

                                                                Great minds.........

                                                            2. re: souschef

                                                              I believe it was I who named the procedure manhandling, was it not?

                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                I don't remember, but yes, it could well have been you.

                                                    2. re: souschef

                                                      That (rinsing the pan with water) was something my mother did religiously before heating milk (her grandmother taught her to do it) - she swore it lessened the likelihood of the milk scorching, that the water coated the pan. I do it too but don't see why it would do anything, really.

                                                      1. re: buttertart

                                                        another mystery revealed - I love it. chanting bake-buttertart-bake!
                                                        I shall continue to rinse the pan with cold water before heating the milk, thank you!

                                                        (your mother's and grandmother's advice is good enough for me! I obey.)

                                                    3. Cynsa, what recipe did you use? If you used the Wolfert ingredients how did you mix it all?

                                                      9 Replies
                                                      1. re: souschef

                                                        in my food processor... the Wolfert ingredients:
                                                        2 cups whole milk
                                                        2 Tbl. unsalted butter, chilled
                                                        3/4 cup cake flour
                                                        pinch of salt
                                                        1 cup minus 2 tablespoons baker's sugar
                                                        4 extra-large egg yolks (I used 5 jumbo egg yolks)
                                                        1 Tbl. dark rum (which I increased to 2-1/2 Tbl. of Meyers Dark rum)
                                                        1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
                                                        white oil

                                                        1. re: Cynsa

                                                          http://www.paula-wolfert.com/recipes/... for baking method.

                                                          My temperatures were the 15 minutes at 450°F; reduce to 375°F and continue baking for 90 minutes or longer - watching for the caramelized color.

                                                          I did not chill the molds before filling. I filled to within 1/4" of the tops and will fill batter to the rim on the next round. No foot developed in my first attempt.

                                                          I altered Step 4: "With the motor running, quickly and steadily pour hot milk into batter "
                                                          by tempering the egg mixture with spoonfuls of the hot milk before adding the remaining hot milk in a steady stream with the motor running on the food processor.

                                                          The food processor batter is foamy - after 40 hours of refrigerated resting, the foam vanished and the batter received a perfunctory stir with a wooden spoon. No skin developed on the top of the batter.
                                                          booga-booga - this is Easy-Bake.

                                                          1. re: Cynsa

                                                            Did they soufflé after 30 minutes?

                                                            Considering the fun you are having, do you not regret not jumping in earlier?

                                                            1. re: souschef

                                                              I listen and learn. Reading these 4 threads has been my learning curve, an immensely valuable safety net - No, I do not regret my hesitant nature. I am totally jazzed now and encourage all to bake their canelés -
                                                              I do regret all the canelés I could have been eating if I'd only jumped in sooner!

                                                              I did fret when the batter did not soufflé after thirty minutes... yet, the custard had its light structure and was silky in texture, rising just slightly to the rim of the mold.

                                                            2. re: Cynsa

                                                              Cold butter into the cold milk and eggs in the FP? Does it diffuse throughout or remain in chips?

                                                              1. re: buttertart

                                                                Step 2: butter- flour-salt in the bowl of food processor; pulse to combine. Scatter sugar on top; pulse once or twice to mix. Diffuses throughout. I added the 5 egg yolks, one at a time. Directions to pulse until mixture begins to tighten; no clumping just evenly yellow sand. Milk is warmed to 183°F before adding to food processor bowl with motor-running (I tempered the egg yolk mixture with small amount of warmed milk before adding the rest of the milk in a steady stream) - Rum and Vanilla, added last.
                                                                http://www.paula-wolfert.com/recipes/...

                                                                1. re: Cynsa

                                                                  Aha, I see. I really must try these.

                                                                  1. re: buttertart

                                                                    Yes, you must!

                                                                    1. re: souschef

                                                                      Aye aye, sir!

                                                        2. A semi-related aside:

                                                          If one were to wrap caneles, it would only require minor alphabetic surgery to make then into warp nacelles...

                                                          In my best Dr. McCoy voice, "I'm a trekker, not a baker."

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: eclecticsynergy

                                                            And of course any canelé that turned out twisted (as some of them have) could be called a warped canelé.

                                                          2. Next Thread here: Canelés - simple but not easy - Part V
                                                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/738446

                                                            5 Replies
                                                            1. re: Cynsa

                                                              Hey Cynsa, I was expecting a humourous intro in the new thread.

                                                              1. re: souschef

                                                                Am I thrown into the Black Hole? - sorry to disappoint you, souschef, it's been a very long day - my plate is full. :^(
                                                                I hope to emerge on the other side of the Galaxy.

                                                                1. re: Cynsa

                                                                  Cynsa, you have proven yourself by baking canelés, so you are firmly on board and cannot be thrown anywhere.

                                                                  You have to be thankful for a full plate; I hope it's delicious!

                                                                  I do still think we need an intro explaining the change in title; perhaps once you have polished off that plate you can do it........or any volunteers?

                                                                  1. re: souschef

                                                                    jump to http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/738446
                                                                    my dark side unleased
                                                                    how dark can a canelé truly be?
                                                                    is there darkness beyond caramelizations?
                                                                    Is the Canelé a Black Hole?

                                                                    1. re: Cynsa

                                                                      "how dark can a canelé truly be?"

                                                                      Good question. When I offer one to someone who has not had one before, I explain that it is not burnt, but has to be that dark.

                                                            2. Today at a conference there were trays and trays of things that looked like lovely caneles, which I know about because of reading your amazing thread. However, they were savory. One type had PEAS baked into it. Does anyone know if the savory version has a name? I can't find anything relevant on Google.

                                                              10 Replies
                                                              1. re: Schmitt

                                                                The mold can also be used to make a savory "timbale". It's nothing like a canelé; the only thing they have in common is the shape. Here's a link to a recipe:

                                                                http://chestofbooks.com/food/recipes/...

                                                                1. re: souschef

                                                                  greetings canelé/cannelé makers,
                                                                  i slogged through most of the four consecutive cannelé threads and wanted to finally chime in.

                                                                  usually starting around this time of year, especially after the first of the year when the only decent fruit i can source is citrus, i look to Paula Wolfert's cannelé recipe and method from The Cooking of Southwest France.

                                                                  i had problems with blonde spots (among other things) on the finished pieces at first and thought i had to tweak the recipe.
                                                                  then i started baking them in a convection oven instead of a conventional still oven. i actually went back to the original un-altered recipe.
                                                                  it made all the difference.

                                                                  to reiterate a few points spread throughout the four threads, based on my own tests:
                                                                  incorporate as little air in the batter as possible. that's what turns them into popovers.
                                                                  i made the batter like a creme by tempering the eggs with warm steeped/flavored milk. dont whisk.
                                                                  it rests in the fridge for at least a day like a crepe batter.
                                                                  before using, i skim any foam bubbles from the surface of the batter.

                                                                  i dont wash the molds either. they’re so greasy with butter and beeswax, any crusty bits come off, more or less, with a paper towel and strong fingers. you dont want to damage the tin interior.
                                                                  the mold seasoning itself is adapted slightly from Paula's recipe. instead of oil, i use clarified butter with the beeswax, cuz why not.
                                                                  i make a small batch, store the excess in a mason jar and then reheat in a water bath when i need it again.
                                                                  warm the molds in the oven for a minute until they’re very warm to the touch. then safely pour the hot butter-wax to nearly the top of the mold.
                                                                  when all are filled, empty them out and rest/drain upside-down on a rack over some foil to catch the excess. i may help this along by warming on top of the preheated oven for several minutes.
                                                                  sometimes a drop of wax remains on the inside center dimple-indentation of the mold (this will be the top of the finished piece-- gently remove this extra wax or you'll get a blonde dimple).

                                                                  after all the excess has drained, and the molds are cool, they go in the freezer for at least 30 min. also, the batter must be super-chilled.
                                                                  they’re filled nearly to the top and baked to within an inch of their lives. it defies normal baking intuition.

                                                                  i don’t know if the forced convection air is drier or better regulated or what, but they turned out so much better than before:
                                                                  even color, shiny flavorful crunchy exterior, light creamy center.

                                                                  it’s funny, i've known very few people who like them. i have no idea why, they’re awesome.
                                                                  next batch i make, i'll post pics.

                                                                  after all that, when i don’t want to bake them myself, or if i need a benchmark to strive for, i’ll go to Mission Beach Café on Guerrero at 14th. they're the best i've found.

                                                                  happy holiday cannelé baking!

                                                                  1. re: MuybridgeMoves

                                                                    Wow, I think we have new expert!!!

                                                                    Welcome to the world of cannele. And yes please post pictures.

                                                                    1. re: MuybridgeMoves

                                                                      Wonderful! It sounds like you have it down pat. I'm glad to see that clarified butter works--it can only make things taste better. What temperature do you use on your convection oven? Do you turn the trays? Have you tried NOT chilling the molds before baking? Do your canelés rise straight up, like soufflés, or domed?

                                                                      I know what you mean by not many people liking them. They are not impressive to look at and are so simple as to appear primitive by pastry standards. The people who enjoy them most those who appreciate the craft that goes into the baking.

                                                                      It looks like you're in the SF Bay Area, too! We must have our canelé conclave in San Francisco and get souschef, trewq, buttertart, and all those other canelé lovers over here!

                                                                      1. re: pilinut

                                                                        Sounds like a great idea! We're overdue for a trip to the Bay Area.

                                                                        1. re: pilinut

                                                                          hi p-nut,
                                                                          looking back at my notes, i baked them last time at 375° instead of Paula's 400°, either to control browning, or to adjust from still-oven to convection. and strangely, baked them for less time, 1:15 instead of 2hrs.
                                                                          i always turn the trays because my oven has some seriously lame hotspots.
                                                                          so far, i've had better results baking one sheet at a time, not stacking two.
                                                                          opening the door to rotate the pan helps to deflate them a little too. luckily they bake straight up. maybe a few bubble warts, but mostly straight and flat. it's neat.
                                                                          i've never not chilled the molds. at this point i'm too afraid not too because they finally turn out so well.

                                                                          for me, if nothing else, cannelés have so many great textures and flavors in one little bomb.
                                                                          vanilla, egg, rum, butter, caramel, cream, honey-like beeswax (nothing beats it), cruch, chew, silky smooth.
                                                                          so freaking awesome.
                                                                          (and great for breakfast.)

                                                                          i tried a bitter almond batter once, cuz i loves me some bitter almond, and i liked it, but not as much as the traditional flavor profile.

                                                                          1. re: MuybridgeMoves

                                                                            Thanks, MuybridgeMoves! I may just try freezing those molds next time. You may well be correct to lower your oven temperature--a friend who worked in a pastry shop told me they bake at 385F.

                                                                            And I agree about the beeswax--it's one of the most important flavors/textures in this pastry.

                                                                            Your description makes me want to bake some, but I'm afraid I'll have to wait until January. . .(sigh) Enjoy the caneles for me!

                                                                            1. re: pilinut

                                                                              hey guys

                                                                              I hadn't been following this discussion and i was amazed to see that it gone on and on.

                                                                              I haven't read the nearly 5 months worth of comments. I did skim through. Since my last post I've baked thousands of canele (like 30 or 40 thousand). I have been observing slight tweaks in the out comes. But in general i have used a recipe very very close to Clothilde on Zucchini and chocolate. I also follow her temps pretty closely. I believe the steady cooking temps are the main necessary ingredient for success.

                                                                              We are Market Day Canelé
                                                                              http://phillymarketcafe.blogspot.com/...
                                                                              I'm happy to share info you can get me at Gaetano@marketdaycanele.com

                                                                               
                                                                               
                                                                               
                                                                               
                                                                               
                                                                               
                                                                              1. re: gaetano

                                                                                Gaetano, welcome back. I was hoping you would jump in earlier. You were right, of course, in your first post, that they should be baked at high temperature.

                                                                                In your attached picttures I was wondering why some have brown dimples while others have pale ones. Are both from your shop?

                                                                                1. re: souschef

                                                                                  Yes they all came from the same oven. I do use different molds though. The more rounded form is from copper molded canele. The canele with more prominent edges are from silicone molds. They are equally superb.