Category Archives: Cooking

The quest for Canele – Roundup & Troubleshooting

I’ve made a lot of batches of Canele and I want to share what I’ve learned along the way with a few troubleshooting tips.

Mixing air into the batter

In many recipes it says to be careful mixing the batter because air will cause them to rise out of the molds. I experimented with this. What I found was that whisking or mixing vigorously for me made no difference! In fact now I mix the batter in a blender which incorporates a ton of air. After a 48 hour rest and several stirs over the period of days causes the air to come out.

What is causing the Canele to rise out of the molds?

In one word, egg whites. They do still rise a bit with only yolks, but I’ve found that every time I’ve used egg whites they have risen out of control. Another change I made was to use granulated sugar instead of powdered sugar. I also stopped sifting my flour. I mix my ingredients in a blender and I rest the batter 48 hours.

I’m thinking, this may not occur as much if baking in copper molds. I’ve read that the first 20 minutes of baking may set the batter and keep it from rising. More testing will be needed.

Update: Recently, I purchased copper molds. So far, they are rising more out of the copper then the silicone.

Why is the Canele sinking in the middle

I think this is caused by too much liquid. Here is an example. canele attempt 4

This is mid bake, you can see how they caved in the middle. To fix this I used less milk. I lowered the amount from 1cup to 7/8 cup.

How to get that really crips and mahogany crust (the molds)

A large part of the flavor and experience of Canele is that dark brown exterior. There are a few types of molds. Copper, Silicone, and Aluminum. I can confirm it’s true what they say. you simply won’t get the deepest darkest crusts unless you use Copper. This is because copper conducts heat the best. You can get a great result however with silicone, it won’t be as dark as with copper, but it can still be awesome. I have gotten a good result from aluminum, better then silicone but as a rule I don’t like cooking in aluminum.

This is about the best I can do with silicone in my electric oven. I’ve seen them darker made with silicone, but I think they were made with a convection oven.

canele color

I have got them darker using silicone, but I think they were a bit burnt an dried out. Image below.

Canele color

I did get them darker once with out burning, I used a dutch oven. I baked them in a Le Creuset braiser with the lid on. Below is the result.

canele in a duch oven

Below is an example of aluminum vs silicone. The one on the left was made using an aluminum mold. The two on the left were in silicone. All baked at the same time.

aluminum silicone

The beeswax and butter mixture

I really wanted to make a video of my technique, but I can tell you less is more. A really thin coating is best. The image below shows the amount of beeswax butter mixture that I use. I gently warm it then brush it into the molds. I brush the bottom first then brush each of the fluted sections with one swipe from the bottom to the top. This would be enough for 12 molds.

beeswaxbutter

Below is an example of too much wax. in the mold. You should have a very thin and very even coating.

too much beeswax

This is the current recipe that I’m using

Here is the recipe I’m using

 

The quest for Canele – Batch No 6

Things are getting better. Using less liquid provided a flat bottom once again and I removed the egg whites in this recipe. Here is the recipe

Canele Recipe (makes 6.5 Canele)

7/8 cup whole milk
1.5 tbp unsalted good quality butter
1.5 – 2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup cane sugar
.5 tsp sea salt
2 large egg yolks (or you can use 2 whole eggs)
(if you use the whole egg it will be lighter/less dense)
1/3 cup flour + 1 tsp + 1tbs  (95ml)
2 – 2.6 tbs Kahula (yes, this is the secret to my Canele)

Add milk and butter in saucepan
Scald milk, bring to 180-185 degrees (183 degrees)
Add the sugar to the milk & butter mixture and dissolve

Put 2 egg yolks in a small bowl and scramble a little bit
pour over milk mixture slowly to temper eggs

In a bowl combine sugar, salt, & flour
Pour egg mixture over dry ingredients
Blend together in a blender or try to mix out all lumps
(some strain the mixture, this can help, but I don’t usually do this)
Add vanilla & rum

Refrigerate for 48 hours
Coat  molds with beeswax and butter mixture

Bake

Fill molds to about .5″ below the top
Use lower middle oven rack
preheat oven and dish to 475 then lower to 450 and bake 15-20 min
lower oven to 375 bake 40-45 min (look for the rich deep brown color)

Testing baking in a Le Creuset (I don’t recommend this)

My wife is a great cook and has good taste in cookware. She recently bought a Le Creuset dutch oven. We talked about it and thought would be a good idea to bake the Canele in the dutch oven. These are heavy cast iron pots. The retain heat really well. We figured because of this the cooking temperature would be more consistent. This turned out to be a bit scary I’ll go over the details below.

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I preheated oven along with the Dutch oven. Then I placed the molds inside this screaming hot pot with high sides. Just getting close, I could feel the heat radiating from the pot. I couldn’t use tongs to place the molds inside because the silicone with soft sizes and liquid batter would be crushed. I couldn’t use gloves because with them on I didn’t have much dexterity. I had to put them in with my bare hands. I thought several times I was going to burn my arm on the high sides. This was terrifying and I would strongly recommend against it unless you are armor plated. Next time I’ll use my wife’s Le Creset braiser. It has much lower sides.

This batch came out really well, however they didn’t have a very dark crust. The flavor and texture was excellent. One nice thing about cooking in a pot was the ease of taking them in and out of the oven. I could easily grab the handles and take the entire batch out. My new cotton oven gloves were just barely up to the task. I could feel the heat of the 450 degree pot as I lifted it. I know that I couldn’t have held it too long with out temperature rated gloves.

The damn things raised way out of the molds again. Higher then I’ve ever seen them. Here is a photo, it doesn’t show it, but they raised up two or three times higher then the one on the right.

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I took this batch out several times to tap and shake them back into their molds. My wife was very enthusiastic about this and helped by using tongs and shaking them side to side. The funny thing was the pot was so hot that they kept rising even after taking them out of the oven. I placed the pot on top of a cutting board and could smell the remnants of the pot cooking onion bits left on the board.

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One thing I don’t like about the rising effect the exposure to the oven heat over bakes and burns the edges. For some reason even thought they rose significantly out of the molds somehow the pot protected the edges from burning. There were air pockets in some of them, others were more consistent.

The quest for Canele – Batch No 5

This batch had a different flavor. The big change in flavor was due to adding Kahlua in lieu of Grand Marnier. In prior recipes I used Grand Marnier, and Rum. This time I used Rum and Kahlua. This is my best tasting batch so far. Here is the recipe.

 

By using less milk (liquid) the problem of the hole in the bottom of the Canele went away. The bottoms of this batch were flat. (see photo below) In prior posts I attributed the hole to excessive bees wax. I’m still not sure what would happen if I used excessive wax and less liquid. I do no that using too much wax will cause it to pool while baking.
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I had two problems with this batch. One they raised out of the molds, and two because they raised out of the molds the bottom edges got burnt. You can see that in this photo. I guess a third problem was a large air pocket that was trapped in the top (bottom while cooking) I believe egg whites cause excessive rising. I will not be using the whites in future recipes.
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Can you tell which in the above photo had large air pockets? … There are two in this photo that do, the front right and back left.
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Above is the air pocket. The one on the left in the back has the air pocket and the one on the right does not.

I absoutely hate when they rise out of the molds. I don’t like taking them in and out of the oven. Currently I am trying to find a technique that does not cause rising. One thing to note; I did talk to a French bakery. They told me they take them out and “knock” the molds. The woman said she can tell which chef is baking by the sound it makes when they knock them. So, maybe it’s not possible to make them without rising, but I am going to try. I had to take this batch out several times to get them to settle back into the mold.

Here is the recipe I’m using