Happy French Friday Birthday Dorie! – Cannelés

Baking Chez Moi

Today is a very special French Friday for our FFwD group.  First, we couldn’t be more excited about the release of Dorie Greenspan’s newest tome, Baking Chez Moi.  Imagine the beautiful section on desserts at the end of Around My French Table and super size it.  Or that AMFT and Baking from My Home to Yours had a baby.  Or… yes, you get it.  Wonderful recipes with easy to follow directions, and the stories about the people and places that inspired them.   

In addition to the arrival of Baking Chez Moi, we are also celebrating Dorie herself on her birthday by showcasing some of the delicious recipes from BCM.  Here’s to another happy and healthy birthday for you, Mme. Greenspan!  May the success of BCM be the icing on the cake.  I hope to see you in DC during your book tour – it would be one of the highlights of my trip in a few weeks!

For more on our double celebration, make sure to visit the rest of the Doristas’ blogs. The recipes we have selected this week are all from Baking Chez Moi.  What a great way to preview the book!

On to our regularly scheduled programming…

Frozen mini bundt pan for canneles

Cannelés don’t have cannelle.

For the longest time – right up until I actually read the recipe I’m showcasing today – I thought cannelés were little cinnamon cakes.  Blame the similarity between the name of the baked treat and the spice and the rich, dark crust in the cakes.  Instead, the cannelés are flavored with vanilla, butter, and rum.   The thin batter is prepared at least 12 hours in advance and then baked for about an hour.  I thought the hardest aspect of making the little cakes was finding freezer space to place the two buttered, mini bundt pans.

The oven hissed for a few minutes while the cold mini bundt pans adjusted to the blistering oven.  After the first twenty minutes, the cannelés were happily frying to a golden brown color.  In a matter of ten more minutes they were coppery brown.  On the fortieth minute mark they looked DARK and I rushed to tent them with foil.  After an probably a little over 30 minutes I was kicking myself in the shins for forgetting to set up the timer for for the last stretch of baking.  The smell of the, ahem, over-caramelized cakes slapped me and I rushed to get the two pans out of the oven.  They looked darker than most of the pictures of cannelés I had seen online, but with Dorie’s reference to the almost black cake bottoms I held my breath and hoped for the best.

Ever wished you could recapture that child-like innocence, when you walk up to someone and say “I made something for you”, and it was terrible but no one would dare tell you it was because they were so pleased with your effort?

This is so embarrassing.  I burned the cannelés on Dorie’s birthday, of all days.

Good thing I’ll get a do-over when Tuesdays with Dorie: Baking Chez Moi goes live.  Until then… over and out.

French Fridays with Dorie is an online cooking group in which home cooks and bakers from all over the world work their way through Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table.  Tuesdays with Dorie: Baking Chez Moi kicks off on the first week of November.  

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Adriana is a financial analyst by day, avid home cook in the evenings, and food blogger and runner in the strange hours between those two. When not in the kitchen concocting meals and stories to pass around, she is out looking for the next great bite (or the ingredients to make it at home), checking what's new at the market, or planning a trip around great food and wine.

37 Responses to “Happy French Friday Birthday Dorie! – Cannelés”

  1. October 24, 2014 at 6:57 am #

    Adriana, but these look perfect! did you cut them open to see the insides?

    • October 24, 2014 at 6:59 am #

      There was too little ‘insides’, plus the sides and tops of each cake were completely black. I really messed this one up. 🙁

  2. October 24, 2014 at 7:10 am #

    Oh, no! How disappointing. I’m sure your next attempt will be perfect. Darn that hot oven 🙁

  3. October 24, 2014 at 7:19 am #

    Oh no! I think that with metal pans you might need to reduce the temperature maybe? Mine didn’t need as long as the book said (in some cases, depending on the size of the mold) but I had a lot of variation in what they looked like depending on the mold/ size etc… You might need to make another batch 😉

    • October 24, 2014 at 7:21 am #

      I know better now! I know I’ll up my baking acumen after joining TWD:BCM.

  4. October 24, 2014 at 8:01 am #

    Whoops! I’ve had that problem trying to make caramel, when instructions say that you want it really dark. At some point, it stops being delicious and starts being burnt. At least it sounds like the batter itself was pretty easy to throw together, so you didn’t waste a ton of time/ingredients on something that you couldn’t eat. Next time!

    • October 25, 2014 at 7:29 am #

      The batter was simple to pull off, and fortunately I have everything on hand to try again.

  5. Mary Hirsch
    October 24, 2014 at 3:18 pm #

    Hey, Ms. Puerto Rico, I think you summarized Dorie’s Chez Moi in the most perfect of ways. Those first two paragraphs are so clever and explain Chez Moi in a manner we can all understand. Now that you’ve gotten the test run out of the way, you’re golden. Did you notice that Ro (Nana, to us) made 3 test runs before hers turned out. And, let me tell you, that lady has been cooking and baking for a long time. She’s very accomplished. So, don’t beat yourself up. I do think Mardi may be right. It’s all about your molds. I’m going to give these a Go but want to have a few more successes with Dorie’s book before I tackle this one. It has been so, so gratifying to cook with you, Adriana, then, meet you and your husband, then, follow you through other social media. Still salting with sriracha!

    • October 25, 2014 at 8:47 am #

      I have to admit it made me feel infinitely better. I still shouldn’t have left the baking for the last minute. And forgotten to set up the timer. The next time I’m sitting next to the oven-vision.

      Thank you for your encouragement and I look forward sharing the BCM successes! XO

  6. October 24, 2014 at 4:45 pm #

    Oh no, I’m so sorry. But don’t feel too badly, from what I have read so far, the timing was the most difficult part of the caneles. Did you notice that quite a few Doristas needed multiple attempts to get them right? So, just consider this your first try and now you’ve learned some valuable lessons for your next tries.

    • October 25, 2014 at 8:55 am #

      I’m glad I got the trial run out of the way. The batter is so easy to put together that I have no excuses for not trying again – and again as necessary. And I’m in good company if Nana and Kathy have had challenges baking up the cannelés.

  7. October 24, 2014 at 6:32 pm #

    A lovely post, Adriana! Any true baker has had her share of failures! I’ve been baking Cannelés for years, and have definitely burned my share! I lowered my temperature to 400 when I saw they were browning too quickly, after just 10 minutes. I think the temp may be set quite high because of the silicone pans. Just a guess! I originally made six in my copper molds and didn’t adjust the temperature! They burned!
    Happy Friday and Happy Anniversary!!

    • October 25, 2014 at 8:53 am #

      Well, I hope to be well on my way to getting my bakers’ wings or whisk. And yes, the temperature definitely seems to be correlated to the type of pan. Thank you for the kind words, Kathy.

  8. October 24, 2014 at 9:01 pm #

    I had some bad luck in the initial stages of this recipe, so you definitely weren’t the only one. I totally agree about making room in the freezer for the pans! Did you try them?

    • October 25, 2014 at 9:12 am #

      I cracked one of my cake briquettes open. I spooned a little from the thin stripe of non burned custard, but the crusts were definitely inedible.

  9. October 24, 2014 at 11:45 pm #

    Oh no! They look promising from what I can see. However, as you say, you can have another go with TWD. Mine took forever to go the right colour.

  10. October 25, 2014 at 12:19 am #

    I call it Baking Rehearsal, you know the rehearsal before you actually have to do something – you will be so far ahead of everyone else.

    Love your post, and yes, I know that look well.

    Happy FFWD and how fabulous to have met Eric Ripert:)

    • October 25, 2014 at 9:30 am #

      Oh gosh, it was surreal to see him out of TV/the Internet and thisclose. He’s so handsome! Maybe that’s why I messed up the cannelés. 🙂

  11. October 25, 2014 at 2:24 am #

    I think I’m learning a lot just from reading everyone’s experiences with these. When they come up in the rotation, I’ll be prepared to give them more than one go. I love the photo of your frozen pan – there’s something about it that suggests all the hope and magic that goes into a new baking project.

    You have the best description of Baking Chez Moi that I’ve seen – it’s been such a pleasure cooking and baking alongside everyone for four (!) years now. I’m looking forward to our Baking Chez Moi adventures.

  12. October 25, 2014 at 4:56 am #

    I think Dorie would be touched by the effort you put in!
    There was a lot of talk about how the exterior needed to be dark so I was a bit unsure of when to stop cooking myself! Love your moulds 🙂
    (And I think they look great!)

    • October 25, 2014 at 10:12 am #

      They looked okay… until I unmolded them. They were completely blackened. Lessons learned!

  13. October 25, 2014 at 10:33 am #

    did you really burn them? aren’t they supposed to be that dark all the way around? were they custardy on the inside?

    either way, things happen and Dorie would be the first to tell you that! You did a great job and its been really lovely knowing you Adriana!!

    • October 25, 2014 at 11:43 am #

      I had charcoal briquettes. Click here if you dare look. And it was my fault for not setting up the timer correctly. They wouldn’t have burned as badly if I hadn’t messed up.

  14. October 25, 2014 at 11:17 am #

    You know, I have to say that your honesty has been one of the things I appreciate about you and the other Doristas during this adventure. So often we follow the recipes under a self inflicted spotlight of blogging and once in a while, something simply goes awry. When I read about what my fellow cooks deal with in the kitchen (recall Nana made these THREE times last week) it provides me way more INSPIRATION and DETERMINATION than simply reading a cookbook. And by the way, I still thought yours looked fab (they WERE supposed to be dark….) and I totally would have eaten them, though maybe with a little syrup 🙂 ( I have got to start running like you do to offset these little eating habits…….) Also- thanks for the cinnamon info. I do not speak french but a co-worker does and seemed confused when I told him that no, no cinnamon was in them…why do you ask ?? Now I know. Great post.

    • October 25, 2014 at 5:37 pm #

      I can read a little French – or would like to think I can – so I had an inkling that Spanish canela and French cannelés were related. Almost!

  15. October 25, 2014 at 4:38 pm #

    OMG! I am so NOT accomplished as Mary says. The only reason I gave this recipe three
    tries was that I never realized Dorie’s baking time instructions were for the smaller version.
    I finally adjusted the baking time to 45 minutes at each temperature level. I also tried
    to arrange them for photos so you could not see the burnt bottoms. I am looking forward to
    baking with all the Doristas and the new book, it should be a lot of fun.

    • October 25, 2014 at 5:30 pm #

      Ro, you are our FFwD Nana. You have been baking for way longer than what I have and that experience has had to come in handy at some point. 🙂

      The bottoms were the least burned parts of my cannelés! If only they had looked like that all around… the sides and tops were scorched.

  16. October 26, 2014 at 5:53 pm #

    A for effort. A great post anyway. Sorry they didn’t turn out for you. The Palets des Dames will make a great addition to your Christmas cookies. Since they are small that means there is room for more:)

  17. October 26, 2014 at 9:06 pm #

    I love your description of the new book. Perfect, and clever. From reading everyone’s posts on the canneles, it seems like it’s one that hard to get right on the first try. Good thing you can do it again for BCM. I want to try this one.

  18. October 28, 2014 at 12:55 pm #

    Adriana, this was a great post – “dark-brown” canelles and all! Love your description of the book – mine has shipped so I’m hoping it will be there when I get home from my trip. This has been a wonderful group, and I’m looking forward to even more cooking/baking to come!

  19. October 28, 2014 at 2:24 pm #

    First of all, I am glad to see someone try these without the molds. It gives me courage for when I have to make them that way.
    And i have to believe they were better then you are giving yourself credit for.
    I was wondering a little about the cinnamon thing too 🙂
    Glad you will baking along with the next installment.

  20. November 12, 2014 at 3:55 pm #

    Oh no. I’m so sorry! I absolutely hate when I burn things. I’m always stubborn and insist on eating them anyway, but that’s really a total waste of calories….Thanks for the warning. I’ll have to be extra careful when we make these with TWD.


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