Thursday, October 5, 2017

Caneles #2

Caneles #2 - made September 15, 2017 from iFood Blogger
Since my first experience with canelés was reasonably successful, I got all fired up to try them again, this time with the right ingredient (milk instead of cream). But (insert baking obsessive personality trait here), the lure of those damnably expensive copper canelé molds started to sing their siren song to me. And you know I have ears like a bat when it comes to stuff like that.
Yes, I broke down and bought one of those ridiculously expense copper canelé molds for $25(!). But I’m so cheap that I used reward points to pay for it so I spent nothing out of pocket. I’m crafty like that. I also bought a (much cheaper) set of 4 nonstick metal-but-not-copper molds. Otherwise it would take me a long time to make one batch of canelés with one little copper mold.

All the blogs detailing out how to make good canelés talked about how to season copper molds. According to Pierre Hermes, you should heat them in a hot oven for 20 minutes with melted butter. When using metal molds, the recipe I used said you needed to have a beeswax-butter combination to coat the inside of the molds to get that shiny, crunchy crust. I used the 40 grams of beeswax and 60 grams of butter per the recipe, melted and whisked them together. Then I poured the warm mixture into each mold until almost the top, turned the mold upside down to pour the mixture back into the bowl and kept it upside down to let the coating set and the excess drip out.
You want to work fast as the beeswax hardens quickly, similar to candle wax. You do not want to have a thick coating so make sure your mixture is very warm to hot, not lukewarm, and as soon as you’ve filled it almost to the top, turn it quickly over to pour out the mixture and keep the mold upturned. You don’t want any drippy mixture hardening at the bottom curved part of your mold. Do not chill the molds until after you’ve coated them with the beeswax-butter.
With the crispy outer shell since it was baked properly
When you’ve heated the oven to the first (and highest) temperature, fill the molds with your chilled batter and place on a foil-lined baking sheet to put in the oven. Don’t skip the foil. Even if the batter doesn’t overflow from the molds, the coating spits and spatters in the heat and it makes cleanup much easier if you have the foil lining.
Having had a successful first attempt with canelés, I was not prepared for failure. But fail, I did. Somewhat. The first batch came out mostly fine. The one in the copper mold came out perfectly. But the metal molds were a bit smaller and much darker so baking them all at the same time for the same length of time meant that while the slightly larger copper mold canelé came out perfectly, the smaller ones in the dark-colored metal molds came out too dark and had too much of a crunchy coating. I brought them to my parents’ house for them to try and my dad unknowingly referred to them as the “chocolate ones”. Uh, oops.
The second batch, I was more careful to watch the baking time but I made a tactical error in not doing the beeswax-butter coating on them. I thought the molds were still rather shiny and should already be greased enough from the first time. Yeah, no. Wrong again. They stuck to the inside of the molds and had to be pried loose which added to their misshapen appearance. Fail.
For the third batch, I coated the molds properly and watched the baking time on the smaller metal molds but then got too conservative and took them out too soon. The insides were done but I hadn’t left them in the oven long enough for the coating to become caramelized and crunchy. They still tasted good but that traditional canelé exterior was missing. Oops. Fail again.
Not baked long enough, soft outer shell

Canele mold not greased properly, canele not cooked long enough
Lesson from this second go-round is canelés may look simple and are easy to mix together but the process does have some pitfalls. They’re not insurmountable so just make sure you grease your molds each time and bake them long enough for that crunchy exterior to materialize.
The not-chocolate canele, baked too long

2 vanilla beans
500 ml cold whole milk
250 g granulated or cane sugar (I cut it to 225 g)
100 g all-purpose flour
50 g butter, melted
2 large eggs
2 egg yolks
4 tablespoons dark rum

For the mold coating
40 g beeswax
60 g butter

To season your copper canele molds for the first time: clean them then season them by coating with butter and placing for 20 minutes in a 500-degree F oven for 20 minutes or more. Remove from oven, clean with a paper towel while still hot and cool before using. Never wash the molds; simply wipe with a dry cloth or paper towel after each use.
  1. Slit the vanilla beans lengthwise and scrape the seeds with the back edge of a small knife. Combine the seeds, vanilla pods and milk in a heavy saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer. Turn off the heat and let sit for 2 minutes.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk sugar, eggs and egg yolks. Add melted butter and whisk until combined.
  3. Remove the vanilla bean pods from the milk. Add 1/4 of the milk into the egg mixture and whisk. Add flour and mix until combined. Slowly whisk in the remaining milk, tempering the egg mixture gradually with the hot milk mixture and keeping the batter smooth. Add rum and mix until combined. 
  4. Cover and refrigerate at least 24 to 48 hours. For optimal caneles, this resting period is mandatory.
  5. When ready to bake, melt beeswax and butter in a heatproof glass measuring cup; whisk until combined. Pour melted mixture into each canele mold then turn upside down to pour the mixture back into the measuring cup and keep each mold upturned on a wire rack with a paper towel underneath to catch the drippings. Once cooled, chill in a freezer or refrigerator until ready to bake.
  6. Preheat oven to 550 degrees. Fill the molds with batter to 3/8 inch (1 cm) from the top. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake the caneles at 550 degrees for 10 minutes. Without opening the oven, reduce the temperature to 375 degrees and continue baking for another 45-50 minutes.
  7. Remove caneles from the oven. Turn upside down to release the caneles from the molds and let cool on a wire rack. Let cool to room temperature. Best eaten on day they're made.

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