Sweet Eats :: Caneles
I love petit-fours. I'm not sure if it's their miniature size or the don't-feel-as-guilty-having-more-than-one factor that attracts me. Nevertheless, I was prompted to make these little caneles the other day. Caneles date back to the 18th century, a specialty from Bordeaux in the south-west of France made from a batter using eggs, milk, rum & vanilla. A brotherhoood was even set up in the 1980's to protect the traditions of this little cake! Don't you just love that idea?!
Caneles are pretty easy to make. Traditionally they are made in fluted copper moulds (of various sizes), but since my baking budget doesn't stretch that far, I made them in mini silicon canele moulds that I picked up at a kitchenware supplier in Paris. Apparently the batter is best made in advance & left in the fridge to rest for at least 24 hours. Using the recipe over at C&Z, most of the work came in preparing the silicon moulds, greasing them & sprinking them with icing sugar so I would get the crispy caramelization happening on the outside. And then it's just a matter of waiting patiently for them to bake in a very hot oven...they take a while depending how dark & crispy you like them. Luckily they are pretty impressive to watch during baking cos they rise up out of the moulds like souffles, only to sink back down again.
What you end up with is a little cake that's dark & crispy-chewy on the outside, but moist and custardy on the inside with a lovely rummy vanilla flavour. They are delicious and you can't stop at one...or two! These cakes keep pretty well...but they never last long enough in our household for that! N