I was first exposed to cannéles six years ago when I was living in New York. I had bought Pierre Hermé’s La Patisserie de Pierre Hermé and found a recipe for these small cake-like pastries in his book. Although I didn’t know it at the time, it would be five years later before I would actually have a chance to make these addictive little pastries.
I first tasted cannelés several years ago in Singapore from Canelé Patisserie. Cannéles are not common items you would find in mass market bakery or pastry shops in Asia. Canelé Patisserie and Bakerzin are the only two shops here in Singapore that I know of that sell these cakes. Traditional cannelés, originating from Bourdeaux, France, are normally bite-sized and have a crunchy dark caramelised exterior while the interior is moist with a vanilla/rum flavor. My wife and I can finish a half a dozen cannelés within a matter of minutes.
Fulfilling my ambitions to make these pastries, I finally bit the bullet and set off to buy these very expensive specialized copper molds. As usual, for any hard to find baking tools, I headed to my trusty friends at Eurochef in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I decided on the 3.5cm x 3.5 cm size (yes, they are that small) molds and bought 12 pieces accordingly. By the way, these molds cost me a small fortune…
Since my purchase, I’ve made quite a few different vanilla/rum flavored cannelés recipes and my favorite continues to be that of Pierre Hermé’s. However, the subject of today’s discussion isn’t on the traditional type of cannelés which you could find recipes posted everywhere but the rare chocolate version found in Frédèric Bau’s Au Coeur des Saveurs. The chocolate version is slightly denser on the inside, more chewy than its vanilla counterpart and it is packed full of chocolate flavor for the chocolate purist.
My wife still prefers the traditional vanilla/rum version but I am partial to both the vanilla and chocolate kinds. It all comes down to taste and preference. I’ve scaled down and adjusted the original recipe and used a lower cocoa content chocolate (the original recipe called for Valrhona Extra Amer, 67% cocoa but I used Callebaut’s 55% cocoa dark chocolate):
Chocolate Cannelés (adapted from Frédèric Bau’s book “Au Coeur des Saveurs”)
1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped
38g unsalted butter
60g chocolate (Callebaut 55% cocoa dark chocolate)
110g confectioner’s sugar
43g all purpose flour
4g dutch processed cocoa powder
1 whole egg
1 egg yolk
10g dark rum
Yield: 24 cannéles (3.5cm molds)
-Boil the milk, butter, and vanilla beans together.
-Pour boiled liquid over the chocolate and mix to create an emulsion.
-In a separate bowl, sift the confectioner’s sugar and cocoa powder together. Add the whole egg and egg yolk to the dry mixture and mix. Fold in the all purpose flour.
-Add chocolate mixture to the egg mixture. Add dark rum.
-Let combined mixture rest overnight in the fridge for 24 hours.
-When ready to bake, fill the mixture into the molds leaving a 1-2cm gap from the top.
-Bake at 180 degrees Celsius in a convection oven for 45 minutes.
-When done, let cool and unmold.
Cannelés are best eaten within the first two hours of baking.