Saturday, July 10, 2010


Why pay $$$ for something you can make yourself in a healthier version and at a much cheaper price? If you started cooking from scratch on a daily regular basis, you might have wondered the same. While I had always balanced the pros&cons of purchasing this or that based on my desire ability to make it, I have become much stricter since I started this blog. After 10 months of easy homebaking, I have stopped purchasing biscotti, pizzas, granola, guacamole, or hummus. I am still buying tomato pasta sauce because I have yet to come up with my own recipe (I don't like canned tomatoes); we still purchase jams and Nutella (but I am hoping to make my own hazelnut-chocolate paste soon); we still purchase chips and tortillas (could I make them?) and I have a few frozen Chinese dumplings for emergency dinners. Et c'est à peu près tout!
The most difficult to get rid of are cookies: because my husband needs some sugar when he comes home from work but I don't want to make dessert/cookies everyday (yes, even for my beloved husband). So oui, de temps en temps, we still purchase a few industrial cookies. And chocolate, because making my own chocolate bars is beyond what I can imagine and I love chocolate with my after-lunch coffee! I figure that it's not that bad considering all the homemade food we eat otherwise!

Cannelés, a pastry from the Bordeaux area in France, are an example of pastry I would not purchase. When I first moved to the US, you could not find Cannelés in this country. Nowadays, albeit less ubiquitous than fancy-highly-sugar-coated cupcakes or upcoming macarons, a few bakeries sell them in Philadelphia.But at a price that I would not even consider!
I had never made them myself before my brother and his wife lived in Bordeaux for a few years. There, my sister-in-law started making her own and we made some together for our children' baptism two years ago. I think that we both remember it because we had planned to offer two Cannelés to our guests (one would have been trop peu) and, albeit a "small" baptism, we had to make at least 8 batches! And there were not enough! Evidemment!

Cannelés are really easy to make. Trust me: a little bit of ingredients stirring, a lot of resting, a lot of baking ; the only drawback is that you need to bake them at least 24h after you started making the batter. And for about one hour in a special mold! So yes, it's not a recipe pour le jour même... but even that would not be enough for me to go and spend $$$ on Cannelés at the pastry shop. I would change my plans for dessert instead!  Even if we all love Cannelés in my family! Especially my husband! Cannelés are perfect to have with a cup of coffee/tea; they are also great to bring to a picnic! So plan ahead for next week-end! Bon Appétit!

- 50 cl (16.9 Fl oz) milk
- 2 eggs + 2 yolks
- 1 ts vanilla extract
- 3  tb rum
- 100 gr (3.5 oz) AP flour
- 200 gr (7 oz) sugar
- 25 gr (o.88 oz) butter

Day Before:
  • In a saucepan, bring milk, vanilla extract and butter to a boil.
  • In a large bowl, mix in flour, sugar and eggs together
  • Pour boiling milk over the flour mix and let cool.
  • Once cooled, add rhum.
  • Place in the fridge for at least 24 hours (48h max)
Next Day:
  • 1 hour before cooking the Canneles, bring the batter back to room temperature for one hour.
  • Pre-heat oven to 270C
  • Fill the Canneles molds to 3/4.
  • Cook in the oven for 5 minutes at 270C then bring the temperature down to  180C and cook for one hour. The Canneles should be brown on the outside and soft inside.
  • Unmold while still warm. 
My Personal Comments:
  • You might want to have two sets of molds so that you can cook them at the same time instead of spending more than two hours cooking the Cannelés.
  • You can keep the Cannelés for a few days in a box. 
  • I have both mini and regular size canneles molds and I like the regular size best. I have the Silicone ones and they are OK with me. I can't see myself buttering (and cleaning) copper molds!
  • Don't worry about the rum in the batter; you can not notice it once the Cannelés are cooked.

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