France s favourite afternoon treat, The Canele is becoming the fashionable pastry amongst the swish set. For the illiterate a Canele is basically a cocktail- sized custard confection with origins from Bordeaux. Due to its bite -size this versatile sweet is consumed at breakfast, tea and as a dessert treat. Mixing well with most wines and spirits makes it an ever popular item.
Small enough to eat out of hand, these little cakes have recently gained popularity due to their size and unique custardy flavour and loyalists hope they will beat the other famous French desert - Crème Brulee. Many recipes don't carry a tale; the canelé carries many. One of the oldest refers to a convent in Bordeaux, where, before the French Revolution, the nuns prepared cakes called canalize made with donated egg yolks from local winemakers, who used only the whites to clarify their wines. Any records that might verify this were lost in the turbulent revolution, thus relegating the convent story to legend.
The best way to describe this delectable desert is its high hat appearance thanks to the special mould it is baked in. In taste it has a delicate custard filling glazed with a caramelized exterior.
RECIPE FOR CANELES
Makes about 10 - 11 canelés
2 cups whole milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled
3/4 cup cake flour
Pinch of salt
1 cup minus 2 tablespoons sugar
4 extra-large egg yolks
1 Tbsp. dark rum
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1. Rinse a saucepan with cold water; add the milk; set over low heat; heat to 183 degrees F
2. Place butter, flour, and salt in the bowl of a processor; pulse until combined. Scatter sugar on top; pulse once or twice to mix.
3. Add egg yolks; process until mixture begins to tighten.
4. With the motor running, quickly and steadily pour hot milk into batter; stop motor; strain through very fine sieve into clean container; press any congealed yolk through; stir in rum and vanilla extract; cool to room temperature; cover; refrigerate 24 to 48 hours.
5. About 6 to 7 hours before serving, lightly brush the interior of each copper mold with lightly warmed white oil; set on paper towels crown side up to avoid pooling of oil in crevices; set moulds in the freezer at least 30 minutes before baking.
6. Heat oven to 400 degrees F;
7. Place chilled moulds 1 1/2" apart on baking sheet; gently stir or shake batter; fill each mold almost to the top; place on lower oven rack; bake 1 3/4 to 2 hours, or until canelés are deep, deep brown in colour, or if desired, almost black.