What is a Canele de Bordeaux (Cannele Bordelais)?
Canelés are creamy, bittersweet baked confections that sometimes hard to find in bakeries. The burnt or heavily caramelized sugar exterior gives them their characteristic flavor that pairs well with the smooth and sweet interior.
anyone wanting to know more about this delectable treat, I would refer
them to an article in Food Arts magazine, July/August 2001
edition, entitled "France's Little Cake That Could,"
and written by Paula Wolfert. It's a great read: if you do not have
that issue on hand, purchase a back issue from somewhere. Wolfert
writes about the mystery surrounding them, and the history and tales behind
them on her website. She gives a detailed recipe and shares her cook's notes including
her "white oil" recipe for coating the pans. Her recipe and
an article on these from one of her books can be found here: Canele
According to the
article, canelé is the official cake of the city of Bordeaux.
The 'varietal' name, so to speak, or the name given to the cakes not
deviating from the original recipe, is canelé de
Bordeaux while cannelé bordelais is the name of the dessert that can be used anywhere and incorporating
differences to the original recipe, such as adding flavorings like chocolate
or other garnishes to the batter.
In 1985, a group of French
pastry chefs and cooks formed a group stemming from the
seemingly eruption of popularity for these tiny caramelized grooved
cakes and all the variations from the original recipe that popped up.
They established a unifying name, canelé with one 'n', and setting
on one basic recipe that separates it from all the others. Canelés
are those treats that can be found in Bordeaux strictly baked by-the-book.
Cannelé with two n's is any version of canelé that is
not 100% true to the secret recipe. Wolfert, in the Food Arts article, gives an easy way to remember the spelling: one /n/ for the
original and two /n's/ for any other version other than the original.
Wolfert writes in
her Food Arts article that the cakes are
a magical bakery
confection, a cake endowed with a rich custardy interior enclosed
by a thin caramelized shell...Nearly black at first sight and bittersweet
at first bite, the crunchy burnt sugar shell makes an exquisite complement
to the smooth sweet filling fragrant with vanilla and rum.
About what they
are baked in and how they are baked, she further writes
the general recipe
calls for a cold batter to be poured into an ice-cold fluted, tin-lined
copper mold, then placed in a very hot oven and baked for a very long
time...Many pâtissiers line their molds with a film of "white
oil" containing beeswax.
mold is a small individual, grooved mold that can be found in a variety
of materials. Below are some examples of what they look like.
And just what is
beeswax? Beeswax is a natural product, collected after harvesting honey.
Beeswax can be found from honey farmers, and below are a couple of bee farms
that sell beeswax via the internet.
River Apiaries Washington
Neez Apiaries Beechina, Australia
FXcuisine, a step-by-step
class on making Cannelés Bordelais with
pictures from Lenôtre. Be sure to click the underlined words as
these all show detailed pictures (like pouring
the wax into each mold)
que le canelé?
For those who speak/read in French: a step-by-step
French instruction on making them at home,
fully with pictures and recipe.
Information on the canelé (all in French).
Information on the Canelé from Wikipedia.com.
From eGullet, here
is a canele
forum that is great to scroll through. Read
what others have said and learn from their trials and tribulations,
recipes, pictures, what works and what doesn't. Great talking points
on the subject of the canele; long running forum dates back to 2002.
with these recipes!
a French site:
photo of what they look like: Cannelés
From the Chocolate
& Zucchini blog, a great conversation all
about them (scroll down to read all the comments). From the site this picture shows what they look like on the inside.
used and sites accessed:
Paula. "France's Little Cake That Could". Food Arts July/August 2001 edition.
le Cannelés de Gloria. "LES CANNELÉS, par Gloria
(publié le 14 juin 2005)". Site accessed 17 May 2006.
As of 25 March 2008, this link was no longer active.
La communauté des gourmands. "Cannelés bordelais."
Site accessed 5 June 2005.
Cannelés rapides. "Cannelés rapides." Site
accessed 17May 2006.
Recette Cannelés de bordeaux. "Cannelés de bordeaux."
Site accessed 17 May 2006.
Recette Cannelés bordelaise. "Cannelés bordelaise."
Site accessed 17 May 2006.
& Zucchini: Canelés. "Canelés." Site
accessed 17 May 2006. Link was updated when accessed 25 March 2008.
Recipes "Canelé de Bordeaux." Site accessed 26