Canelés de Bordeaux

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These fluted confections are the official dessert of the Bordeaux region of France. The interior of canelés is like a lovely, creamy custard that is rich with both vanilla and rum. The trick to success, IMHO, with making canelés is using Copper Molds lined with beeswax and butter. That’s how you get the luxurious color, shine and crisp shell. 

You can also use silicone molds, which don’t achieve quite the same texture, but are still excellent and totally worth making. Not to mention much less expensive and easier to find.

The latest batch I made was from The Fearless Baker by Erin Jeanne McDowell. Erin is a trained pastry chef and her recipes represent her knowledge and love for the craft. A cookbook should be lovely and inspiring, but the recipes need to work to gain my respect. She has delivered all of it and it brings me great joy to see someone elevating the art of pastry as she does.

The crêpe-like batter is super simple to make, but the batter requires a day of rest, before baking, so plan ahead. The outcome is delicious and sometimes the best things in life are worth waiting for. 

canelés molds | zoebakes

Canelés de Bordeaux

(click here for the recipe) from The Fearless Baker: Simple Secrets for Baking Like a Pro by Erin Jeanne McDowell

In the post on Food52 she will walk you through using the silicone molds. Below are my instructions for preparing and using the copper molds.

Makes 1 dozen 2-inch canelés – I only have six Canele 2-Inch Molds, because they’re rather expensive, so I bake them in two batches.

Coating for the molds:

1/2 ounce/15g beeswax

1/2 ounce/1 tablespoon/15g unsalted butter

On baking day:

Place the canelés molds on a baking tray in a 425°F oven for about 5 minutes. You want to heat the molds so that the beeswax/butter mixture won’t get too thick when you brush it on.

canelés | zoebakes

In a small pan heat the beeswax and butter over medium low heat. The beeswax is highly flammable so you want to make sure you are careful and only heat until melted and then remove from heat.

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Take the molds out of the oven and carefully brush the insides with the melted beeswax mixture. Tongs and oven mitts will be helpful.

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Once you brush them with the beeswax, place the molds upside down on a cooling rack that is set over parchment. If the mixture is not liquid, but sticks to the mold, place back in the oven. Once the wax melts, remove from oven and flip them upside down. You want the excess beeswax to drip out and you don’t want to get it all over your counter.

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Unmold the canelés by flipping them upside down and tapping them on the baking sheet. They should slip right out. If they are not dark on the tops then work them back into the molds and put them back in the oven.

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13 thoughts to “Canelés de Bordeaux”

    1. Thanks Marsha,

      They look great. The molds she uses will produce a softer crust and you can see the color is not as deep, but I bet they taste great.

      Cheers, Zoë

  1. After eating canalés last year in France, I was determined to make them myself once I returned home. I passed on the copper molds that made my heart skip a beat and purchased silicone. I tweaked Mimi Thorisson’s recipe for canalés since my first attempt just didn’t work. My success came when I starting lightly brushing the silicone molds with canola oil and freezing for an hour before filling. Since then, the canalés are very close to what I remember having eaten in France.

    1. Oil on silicone doesn’t typically stick. And freezing the mold to chill it or to freeze the oil? Doesn’t seem a mold needs an hour? Please clarify why this is done?

  2. This recipe is a true public service. Thank you. I’ve had copper molds gifted to me, but seasoning them has, until now, seemed formidable (in French).

  3. I made canele quite frequently at a job a while back and I’ve never heard of the removing and pushing in the canele back into the mold. I would think they’d deflate but an interesting idea. But our chef was adamant that we only position the molds along the edge of the sheet pan (none in the center) and that the pan was rotated every 15 minutes for an even bake. They were perfect. I miss those days 🙂

  4. Hi Zoe, I just found this and was so shocked! I have never seen s Canele that puffed up over the tins like that. I fill mine almost to the top and they barely puff at all. Wonder what the difference is? They turn out beautiful and crispy just like that. Maybe it’s the kind of flour? That was so wild I am still amazed. I think my recipe is almost the same as I can tell. Mine are a dark mahogany like yours too. I make them a lot and use the copper molds also. My recipe makes 18 of the 2inch molds. Thanks, I love your recipes!

  5. Wow! who discovered the beeswax solution? does the butter keep the beeswax from adhering to your pan and brush?
    The photography is beautiful.

  6. Caneles are on my baking bucket list and these photographs and tutorial are inspiring me to take the plunge and invest in some copper molds! These have been so intimidating for me to attempt. I had a canele when I was in San Francisco at Dandelion Bakery and I fell hard for these. The crispy shell and custardy center is a baking phenomenon. My birthday is coming up next month and I usually bake my own dessert so this just might be the recipe I make this year! Thanks for sharing!

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