food recipes

Cannelets bordelais or canneles de Bordeaux

It is one of my biggest regrets at this point of my life that I didn’t copy down the cannelet recipe that a German guy posted on a forum in the early noughties, because now it’s gone.

So I will have to attempt to recreate it from memory and other people’s recipes.

I go through a large amount of vanilla beans (my stock of 35 bought 15 months ago is long since gone), so because my blender is not up to cutting up the vanilla beans to make vanilla sugar I just store the beans in a bottle of decent quality rum, which is excellent in cocktails and of course, cannelet!


500mL milk
30 g semi-salted butter
1 vanilla bean, split, or 1 teaspoon vanilla essence, the husks of 3 vanilla beans which have already lost their seeds or just use vanilla rum
100 g plain flour
180 g sugar
3 eggs
80 ml rum

Yields about 20 medium cannelets.

Heat the milk, butter and vanilla (scraping the seeds out first & adding them to the mix) in a medium saucepan (or a pyrex measuring jug in the microwave), to 87 – 90 degrees. In the meantime, combine the flour and sugar in a medium mixing-bowl and break the eggs into the middle.

Pour the milk mixture (which should be at the above temperature still) into the flour + eggs, and whisk until well combined.  This temperature is very important for getting the elements to bind together & the butter to not separate out – I think it has something to do with heating the flour enough to activate it’s properties without cooking the eggs.

Add the rum and whisk well. Let cool to room temperature on the benchtop, then cover and refrigerate for at least 24 hours and up to 3 days.

When you are ready to bake your cannelet (or cannele or canele, but imagine the accents in this spelling variants), preheat the oven to 250° C. Remove the batter from the fridge: it will have separated a bit, so whisk until well blended again. Pour into the prepared molds using either a drip free jug or a ladle, filling them approx 2/3 full. Put into the oven to bake for 20 minutes, then (without opening the oven door) lower the heat to 200° C and bake for another 40 to 60 minutes, the exact time is experiential depending on how cooked you like your cannelets, your oven and of course your mould size – if you have the mini moulds which are something like 30 cannelets to a sheet I give them 15mins on 250 then another 20 on 200. The cannelets are ready when the bottoms are a very dark brown, but not burnt (the bottoms being the bit on top when they are in the moulds).

Unmold onto a cooling rack (wait for about ten minutes first if you’re using silicon molds or they will collapse a little) and let cool completely before eating.

I use a silicon mould for this which I had a friend bring in from France, they appear to be surprisingly tricky to find.  You could try other shapes, if possible something substantially taller than its diameter, if you can find a tall muffin tin that may be appropriate, just keep an eye on the cooking times.

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