Monday, June 23, 2014

Canele, Take One

I made them. I feel deflated. They were not the magnificent, glistening, caramelized-encased pillows of custardy dreams that I had envisioned for two weeks while I waited for that dang silicon mold from New York. Yes, I read in multiple places that they are really difficult to perfect. But part of me didn’t really believe it. My roller coaster ride of cannele baking proves them right. In a nut shell, here was the process, after letting the batter sit for three days in the fridge:

1.       Butter the mini-cannele molds, using my fingers, with Plugra. Place in freezer for 5 minutes.
2.       Fill the molds, just barely below the top.
[transfer batter to something with a small pour spout]

[mini-canneles mold, silicon]

3.       Set mold on a baking sheet and place in pre-heated oven.
4.      Keep peeking through the oven window, which isn’t a very clear look, so sneak the oven open. Faux pas? I think yes, but I couldn't help myself.
5.       Smile as you watch them sizzle in the butter.
6.       Worry as you watch them rise way up out of their molds.
7.       Ponder if maybe they’re OK after all as you watch them sink back down to the level of the mold.
8.       Observe a level of “golden brown” that makes you wonder if they’re done.
9.       Let them cook a minute longer.
10.   Take them out and let them cool.
11.   Eat one.
12.   Be disappointed by all these things: crooked, not caramelized properly or uniformly, undercooked on the inside.
13.   Place back in the oven to bake longer.
14.   Be more satisfied that they’re not undercooked anymore….but wonder if maybe they could cook longer and they’d get crispier on the outside?
15.   Leave them be.
16.   Allow yourself to admit they are pretty tasty and it’s a good sign that you want to just keep popping one more in your mouth.
17.   Try baking two more of them with the remaining batter.

[two of them cooked up pretty straight and even!]

18.   Be happy these last two cook more evenly, and wonder if your oven temperature is accurate because you cooked them at a higher temp than the original batch.
19.   Notes to self – try a higher starting temp and a higher temp to go down to; try filling only the outside molds, allowing for more heat to circulate around each one, as you’ve read in a couple places; try adding rum next time versus going strictly vanilla; buy an oven thermometer.
20.   Finally – don’t get discouraged! Someone left me a nice note on the Instagram photo I had posted of my canneles, saying they were “super delicious” (someone who got to try a couple I had left with my son and his fiancĂ©e….my son’s future mother-in-law…that should make her something to me, no?)
21.   Just like Celine Legros says at the end of her recipe – they’ll be better next time!

On a side note, I used my leftover vanilla bean pod by placing it in some sugar in a small container. Every so often now, I crack it open and smell the vanilla-infused sugar. Ahhhh….that’s some aroma therapy. (If you live near a store that offers spices in bulk, look for a vanilla bean there. One vanilla bean at PCC in their bulk section cost me about $1.50. If you have to buy it in a brand name spice jar, it will be much more expensive.)

Canneles – je n’ai pas fini!
(Canneles – I am not finished!)
[mixing butter, milk and vanilla in a saucepan over heat; the seeds were scraped out of this vanilla pod eventually and the pod was re-purposed by placing it in a small container of sugar to make vanilla-sugar]
[in the midst of mixing sugar & flour with egg]
[the final batter...look at all those yummy vanilla bean seeds ready to infuse the batter with their punch of flavor...and into the fridge went the batter for three days before baking]
[the day after I baked them was Father's Day -- this was taken on the ferry leaving Seattle to go meet my padre for brunch]
And the sun will be new another day for Canneles, Take Two.

No comments:

Post a Comment