Cannelé Recipe (as Received)

This is remarkably similar to a crêpe batter. It needs to be made one day ahead and refrigerated overnight to allow the air bubbles to rise out of it. You need special fluted molds to make cannelés, economical silicone versions can be had from online baking equipment suppliers.

16 ounces (2 cups) whole milk
1 ounce (2 tablespoons) butter
3 egg yolks
1 egg white
8.75 ounces (1 1/4 cups) sugar
4.5 ounces (1 cup) cake flour
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon rum

Combine half the milk and the butter in a small saucepan and bring it to a full boil. Turn off the heat and set the mixture aside. Next, in a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, the white and the sugar. Whisk in the flour, then the remaining cup of milk.

Once all that is combined, steadily whisk in the warm milk-butter mixture. Pass the mixture through a fine mesh sieve, then refrigerate it for at least 24 hours, up to 48.

When you’re ready to bake, preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly butter your cannelé molds, and fetch the batter container from the fridge. Very lightly whisk it if it has separated. Fill the molds to the top (technique to follow) and bake for 1 hour, rotate the pan and bake another hour until they are very dark. Cool, unmold and eat.

18 thoughts on “Cannelé Recipe (as Received)”

  1. Curious if there would be a difference between baking these in metal and silicone molds. I mean since the texture of the surface seems to be 98% of the game.

    1. There is a difference, but not enough in my opinion to justify the expense for first-timers. A lot of bakeries do use silicone however, with very good results.

      Thanks Rainey!

      – Joe

    1. No, no wax. Not going there. How many people out there in the blogosphere are going to make their own beeswax lubricant for their $200 set of individual copper molds? I’m going with butter and silicone and let readers take the next step on their own if they like where this is going. It’s the best I can do!

      – Joe

      1. Lol! I’m kidding–I looked into cannelle’s a while back, when I saw the instructions for wax I was totally put off. I prefer walking over to my local patisserie and picking up some. Cheap, easy, and does not require turning on my oven in this dreadful NYC heat. Maybe one day i’ll try your recipe, when the weather is a little more tolerable.

        1. I don’t blame you for that, June. Me I have a dragon to slay here, otherwise I wouldn’t be messing with it! 😉


          – Joe

      2. Last year while on holiday in France I bought not one, not two, but 10 copper cannelé moulds, and when I got home (to New Zealand, no less) I arranged to get beeswax. The resulting cannelés were superb on the second try (let’s not dwell on the first one…)

        1. Amen. Why dwell when it only leads to uncontrollable crying fits?

          Um…excuse me, won’t you?

          – Joe

  2. Silicone molds, while seemingly the perfect alternative to the pricey copper molds, yield disappointing results. The exterior does not crisp, and the interior lacks the custardy interior. Not worth it at all.

    1. It all depends on your point of departure, Mary. For a first-timer curious to try cannelés it’s the perfect solution. 1 3/4″ copper molds are $20 each and you need TEN of them for a half batch of these. Compare that to a silicone 10-cannelé mold for $22.00. Certainly they won’t be perfect reproductions of Bordeaux canelés, that’s a given. But they can make awfully nice ones in my opinion. True cannelé lovers can move up if they like!

      Thanks for comment!

      – Joe

      1. I heard about a trick to get the crispy exterior : butter the molds and then coat with sugar.

        PS : awesome blog Joe (it’s been my food science fix since I finished Good Eats).

        1. Very interesting, François! I’ll try that. And thanks very much! I wouldn’t be doing this had Alton Brown not shown the way with his terrific show.

          I appreciate you weighing in on this!

          – Joe

  3. LOL …$200 copper molds? I thought I was out of my league when I bought $18 worth of Cardamom for to make the Kringles’ raisin filling, and $30 for saffron to make dinner rolls…bottom line is the rolls were a huge hit and the Kringles are the BEST thing to happen to me pastry-wise since apple pie…maybe I can buy the silicon molds?

    1. St. Lucy buns and kringles? Sounds like you were hit over the holidays, Dave! Very glad to hear they went so well!

      But yes, do start with the silicone molds if you’re interested in these. If you like them enough to move up to copper you can, well…cash in your trust fund.

      – Joe

  4. More rum! My flavoring ratio is 1 tsp vanilla extract and 1 TBSP rum. Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate’s life for me!

  5. By the way, try this: throw all of the ingredients (room temp) in a blender until mixed. Then let it rest and bake. Just as good as heating the milk, mixing egg with flour, etc… although I feel a lot more involved when using a whisk.

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