Cannelés are a French treat that are a bit hard to classify. They're sort of like a cross between a cake and a crepe. The crust is dark and crunchy but inside it's like a sponge-y custard. Hard to describe, but delicious nonetheless.
When I lived in France I didn't really pay much attention to cannelés. I stuck to the classics: croissants, pain au chocolat, lemon tarts, etc. But my sister really loves these things and they're not what you'd call standard bakery fare here in the US. Sure, in San Francisco we've got several French boulangeries that sell them, but who wants to pay $3 each? Not me!
I figured I'd take a crack at them since I'd never made them before. My mom always says you should try something at least once to know how it is and I'm always looking to expand my baking repertoire. Only downside to making them is you've got to use a cannelé mold if you want to be authentic. Traditionalists swear by the individual copper molds, but I'm not rolling in the moolah as of late (each small mold is about $17!) so the mini silicone ones worked just fine for me. If it ended up being a disaster then it wouldn't be too much of a dent to my wallet.
For a first attempt I think these turned out pretty good. At least they taste good and that's half the battle.
(from Cannelle et Vanille)Makes 3 dozen mini cannelés
225 grams milk
30 grams butter
75 grams milk
1 egg yolk
90 grams flour
24 grams rum
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
150 grams sugar
Boil the first two ingredients together. In a separate bowl, whisk the remaining of the ingredients together and slowly add the boiled milk and butter. Whisk until there are no lumps. Refrigerate for at least 24 hours.
Pour the batter into the canneles molds and bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes or until dark brown exterior. While they are baking, the batter will puff up and it will seem like the canneles are going to fall out of the mold. Don't worry, that's normal and they will go back down.