I saw this dark brown cake beside the churros and asked the chef what it was. She said it was a canelé. It didn’t look appetizing to me so I didn’t bother getting one. It’s a good thing my friend Elizabeth got one and made me try it. Wow it was so good! It was totally different from anything I’ve ever eaten. The texture reminded me of a rich, dense and moist bread pudding. It’s a good thing Sarah had her ever ready ziplock and I was able to bring a couple home to shoot first then definitely eat later.
I did some research on the net and found out that canelé (or cannelés Bordelais) is a French pastry with a soft custard center and a dark caramelized crust. It originated from the Bordeaux region of France. It’s made from a crepe like batter and baked in special copper molds.
This is what it looks inside. I’ve never seen this in any bakeshop or buffet in Manila except at Heat. So if ever you eat at Heat be sure to try this delicious sweet cake.
1/2 liter (2 cups) milk
30 g (3 tablespoons) salted butter, diced
1 vanilla pod, split, or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste
100 g (3/4 cup) all-purpose flour
180 g (1 cup minus 2 tablespoons) sugar
3 eggs80 ml (1/3 cup) good-quality rum
Combine the milk, butter and vanilla in a medium saucepan, and bring to a simmer. In the meantime, combine the flour and sugar in a medium mixing-bowl. Break the eggs in another, smaller bowl, and beat gently. When the milk mixture starts to simmer, remove from heat, fish out the vanilla pod if using, and set it aside.
Pour the eggs all at once into the flour mixture (don’t stir yet), pour in the milk mixture, and whisk until well combined and a little frothy. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod with the dull side of a knife blade, and return the seeds and pod to the mixture. Add the rum and whisk well. Let cool to room temperature on the counter, then cover and refrigerate for at least 24 hours and up to 3 days.
The next day (or the day after that, or the day after that), preheat the oven to 250° C (480° F). Butter the canelé molds if they are made of copper (unnecessary if you’re using silicon molds). Remove the batter from the fridge: it will have separated a bit, so whisk until well blended again. Pour into the prepared molds, filling them almost to the top. Put into the oven to bake for 20 minutes, then (without opening the oven door) lower the heat to 200° C (400° F) and bake for another 40 to 60 minutes (depending on your oven and how you like your canelés). The canelés are ready when the bottoms are a very dark brown, but not burnt. If you feel they are darkening too fast, cover the molds with a piece of parchment paper.
Unmold onto a cooling rack (wait for about ten minutes first if you’re using silicon molds or they will collapse a little) and let cool completely before eating. Yields about 20 medium canelés.
Edsa Shangri-La Hotel
1 Garden Way, Ortigas Center
Mandaluyong City, Metro Manila
telephone: 633-8888 loc 2740 or 2741