Joe! Stop! We beg you!

No, no, I’m not going to stop as I’m feeling better about failing than succeeding at the moment. I appreciate all the good-intentioned folks out there asking me to please, just follow Chez Pim or Paula Wolfert’s instructions to the letter and everything will be alright. The problem is that I have a very good idea about what’s at the end of those roads, and I just don’t enjoy it. It’s very dense and custardy and I just don’t see the French getting very excited about that. Not enough to justify 100 years of baking tradition. So I’m going to keep working.

Interestingly a Pierre Hermé recipe supplied by reader Lester is almost identical to the one I’m currently working with, save for the fact that the sugar and flour proportions are flipped. Pierre and me, we think alike, no?

No, not really.

16 thoughts on “Joe! Stop! We beg you!”

  1. Just caught up after a holiday. Canelés are the best! I have a great recipe somewhere, i will look for it.
    Its been a while but i always lake the batter a day in advance!

  2. Thanks for the showing the results of the trials – seeing these helps me understand better how to troubleshoot when things don’t go correct on my own efforts.

    1. Hey Mark!

      Thanks for saying that. I’m not being terribly methodical at this point, more trying to find the outer limits so I can find the tastes and textures I like…then try to dial them in! I appreciate the encouragement!

      Your friend,

      – Joe

      1. Maybe not methodical, but showing images along with descriptions of the issues you’re hitting is much better (for me, 🙂 ) than reading “dag-nabbit, took me a few try’s, but here’s what worked once I figured it all out”

  3. After all this talk of this baked good, I have to say I do prefer the custardy centre. I’ve had them more custardy and less custardy and I just assumed the ones that are drier are substandard. Never occurred to me that those might be the “good” kind. Goes to show it takes all types 🙂

  4. No, don’t stop! Watching your trial and error is incredibly fun, as well as informative and educational. Can’t wait for the next try. (And in the meantime, I think I might need to stop by the patisserie on the corner and pick up a few canneles tomorrow, since I’m mysteriously now having a major craving…)

    1. Yep, something along those lines I think. We’ll see if I can get there!

      – Joe

    1. Nice! Thanks, Eric. I appreciate that, and you’re right, it makes sense to stick with a winner. The sweetened condensed milk is an interesting twist. I’ll have to try it!


      – Joe

  5. Joe, you’re really making me feel that I need go go out and invest in a pan for a pastry I’ve never even tried – well done 😉

    I can’t remember whether you – or Mrs. Pastry – speak French, but I found this recipe ( which is virtually identical to yours except that the egg yolks are reduced to 3 and the rum is increased. Less egg but similar thickness might mean less of a custardy texture in the end product, no? It also starts at a blistering 270/300 C before being turned down.

    I also found an amusing mini “news” clip about cannelé-making at, featuring a very different recipe (that of the “World Champion Cannelé-Maker, Amateur Category”) that contains milk and a mixture of white sugar, coarse brown sugar, and icing sugar. It’s interesting to speculate on the effect of the corn starch in the icing sugar.

    1. Oops, I don’t know why I mentioned the milk – the only difference in the second recipe is the sugars! And it seems that whole eggs are used, although it isn’t clear.

      1. It’s all fascinating, Jen! Thanks very much for these. I can remember enough French to get through these, I think.

        I hope. 😉

        – Joe

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