Pastry expert Niko Triantafillou of Dessert Buzz has made creating the perfect canelé one of his life quests. His recipe is the real deal: crunchy and caramelized to a deep mahogany brown on the outside, moist and custardy within, and deeply perfumed with dark rum and vanilla bean.
Though Niko bakes his canelés in traditional copper molds lined with melted beeswax and clarified butter, we have adapted his method to use inexpensive silicone molds and nonstick cooking spray for ease and thrift. But if you are ready to take the plunge and buy a pricey set of copper molds, then coat the insides with a paper-thin layer of “white oil” (equal parts beeswax and clarified butter), and be sure to chill them thoroughly in the freezer before filling with batter and baking atop a pizza stone.
Practice makes perfect with these tricky little pastries, so don’t worry if your first couple of batches aren’t flawless. Give your batter plenty of time to rest in the fridge, and don’t rush the baking.
What You Will Need
- 2 1⁄2 cups (587 gr.) whole milk
- 1 3⁄4 oz. (50 gr.) unsalted butter
- 1 cup (220 gr.) sugar
- 2⁄3 cup (100 gr.) all-purpose flour
- 1⁄4 tsp. kosher salt
- 2 large eggs, plus 2 large egg yolks
- 1⁄4 cup dark rum
- 1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped and reserved
- Nonstick baking spray
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat the milk and butter until the butter is melted and the mixture comes up to a gentle simmer. Add the scraped vanilla bean and its seeds, then remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool to room temperature.
- In a medium bowl, add the sugar, flour and salt; stir with a fork to combine. Add the eggs and yolks and use the fork (not a whisk) to gently combine.
- Remove the vanilla bean pod from the cooled milk mixture and set it aside. Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture, then use a rubber spatula to gently combine (smooth out as many lumps as possible). Add the rum and return the vanilla bean pod to the batter, cover, and refrigerate for at least 2 and up to 3 days, giving the mixture a gentle stir once daily.
- Set a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 450° for at least one hour before you begin baking. Place a sheet of 12 silicone canelé baking molds on a very flat baking sheet and coat the inside of the molds lightly with nonstick baking spray.
- Retrieve the batter from the fridge and stir gently with a rubber spatula to redistribute any flour and vanilla seeds that have settled at the bottom. Remove the vanilla pods and discard. Pour ¼ cup plus 2 teaspoons (71 grams) of batter into each cannele mold.
- Transfer to the oven and immediately turn the temperature down to 425°. Bake for 15 minutes, then lower the temperature to 350° and continue baking for 1 hour and 50 minutes, rotating once halfway through cooking.
- Remove the pan from the oven and let the canelés cool in their molds for 10 minutes before unmolding onto a cooling rack. For the best texture, let cool completely (45-60 minutes) before serving and consume within 1 day.