Cannelés de Bordeaux - Little Fluted Cakes from Bordeaux Recipe
Cannelés de Bordeaux - Little Fluted Cakes from Bordeaux
Flavors of Bordeaux
Total time: more than 2 hours
Preheat the oven to 170° C (340° F)
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Waiting time: 1 hour + 12 hours
Baking time: 90 minutes
Difficulty: Average
Chef's Note
Much has been written about the origin of this specialty of Bordeaux… Legend has it that the sisters of the Annonciade created the cannelé (meaning "fluted") in the 16th century; their convent was located close to the St. André hospital in Bordeaux. The nuns would collect the flour from the holds of the ships (Bordeaux was a flourishing port at the time) and prepare these little cakes for the city's most underprivileged.

But the truth is certainly otherwise: the cannelé is a relative of the canole, a little cake from the Limousin, which appeared in Bordeaux during the 17th century. They were consumed in such quantities that a canole makers' guild existed with the exclusive right to make this pastry.

Then the cannelé was forgotten until it reappeared in the early 20th century, flavored with rum and vanilla, and baked in copper molds (to promote caramelization) that produced twelve fluted cakes at a time. The cannelé has a caramelized exterior with a soft tender center. Its appetizing dark brown color and its thin caramelized crust are the result of a long baking time. Cannelés will keep for 4 to 5 days at room temperature and they can also be frozen, but it's best to enjoy them the day they're made so that they stay crisp… otherwise they become soft, which is a great pity!

Ingredients for 12 cannelés
- 500 ml (2 cups) milk, warmed to 50° C / 122° F
- 2 egg yolks + 1 whole egg
- 1 vanilla bean
- 125 g (5 oz.) flour, about 1 cup
- 30 ml (2 tbsp.) canola oil
- 220 g (1 cup) granulated sugar
- 50 g (7 tbsp.) icing sugar
- 40 ml (3 tbsp.) gold rum
For the molds
- 100 g (3 1/2 oz.) flour, about 1 cup
- 50 g (7 tbsp.) icing sugar
- Butter

For the molds

  • 100 g (1 cup) flour
  • 50 g (7 tbsp.) icing sugar
  • Butter

The day before:

  1. Boil the milk with the vanilla bean (split in half) for a few minutes; remove from the heat and let cool to about 50° C (122° F).
  2. Beat the whole egg and the yolks with the sugar; blend in the warm milk.
  3. Let rest for 1 hour, then remove the vanilla bean.
  4. Add the sifted flour, oil and rum; pour into a bowl; cover and refrigerate overnight.

Baking day:

  1. Preheat the oven to 170° C (340° F).
  2. In a small bowl, combine the flour and icing sugar.
  3. Butter the molds; fill them with the flour-sugar mixture; turn them over on the table and tap sharply so that only a thin layer remains in each mold.
  4. Fill the molds three-quarters full with the batter prepared the day before; bake for 90 minutes. Don't worry if your cannelés have a "burnt head" - it's normal for them to be very brown. They are done when the tip of a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
  5. Important: don't forget to unmold your cannelés as soon as they come out of the oven; otherwise they'll stick to the molds and break.
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