The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Canele help needed SOS!!!

wvdthree's picture
wvdthree

Canele help needed SOS!!!

Hello all,
                I have posted a canele question before and only got one reponse. I am experiencing further issues so thought I would try to post again.

     Briefly, my problem is that after a year of making canele (and having had some pretty good success) I have been back sliding recently. I intially started with flexible silicone molds but have switched to metal non stick pans and have had success in the recent past with these metal non stick pans. Thin walls, sides that are seriously dented or tilted, bottoms that are very puffed up/domed and interiors that are more cakey than open crumb and custardy. I am baking in a metal pan which is non stick and holds twelve large canele.

     This is my recipe and I can’t remember the source.

2 cups whole milk
4 Tbsp butter
2 egg yolks and two whole eggs
1 1/4 cups sugar
One cup flour  (AP Trader Joes’s around 13%)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tp salt
1/4 cup dark rum

Heat 1 1/4 cups milk and butter to 180 degrees on the stove top.

Whisk together eggs,sugar,rum,vanilla,salt in a mixing bowl. Add remaining 3/4 cups milk and flour and mix.

Pour milk mixture into egg/sugar mixture and wisk to mix. Cover and let rest in the frig for 3 days.

On day of bake fill molds 80% full. Bake at 475 for 15 minutes and then 50-60 minutes at 350 degrees. Only coating is a bit of cooking oil spray. I tried the whole white oil thing many batches ago and honestly didn’t notice a big difference.

Again, I have had some nearly perfect results which you will see in the photos. Evenly carmelized, thick crispy walls,custardy interior and flat bottoms. I have recently been trying slight differences in baking temps/times and lowering the quantity of sugar to 1 cup or even 3/4 cup. All of this to no avail.

I am totally frustrated and have no idea why I am getting these wild fluctuations.  Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Best,
         wvdthree
kendalm's picture
kendalm

Hey there, 

I really think you need to hit up sur la table or whoever's sells individual molds and bake right on stone.  One key thing with canele quick heating of the metal and I think the single 12 cavity mold is a problem. I've never used these but there are plenty of comparison videos out there that show uneven browning like this.  The aluminum are cheap and very good.  

 

From here is follow bruno albouze, he combines milk butter and vanilla in the initial stage.  Although I don't think it's a big deal the more important thing I think is to make sure you whisk gently you want to avoid airation.  Also bread flour is not recommended - pastry or AP with some cornstarch is called for.  

Other things is that I'm thinking you're cooking to hot and short at the beginning.  I would try 425-450 for longer (25 or so minutes) then about 400 for about 35.  Alot of these look really good.  It's the consistency yeah that you want.  Go with bruno's recipe and individual mold.  Also look up 'Niko Triantafillou' he is amazing ! 

 

wvdthree's picture
wvdthree

Thanks for your reply Kendalm! I have watched Bruno's canele video but for some reason never tried  his recipe. I have also noticed that some recipes don't call for any high temp ( 425-450) begining time but cook for 75 minutes or longer, the whole time at 375. Seems to be some pretty wide variation in temp/time and ingredient incorporation techniques. I'll post my next results so you can see. Thanks again.

 

Cheers,

               wvdthree

wvdthree's picture
wvdthree

An update: I had some of my original batter left over so baked them today using a different time/temp combination. 375 for 75 minutes on bottom rack of my oven on my pizza stone. Pretty happy with the results. Pretty flat bottoms, even crispy,straight sided caramelized exterior and nice crumb. T

hey are dark however I always like them just this side of burnt and that's the way I've always found them when in France. I'm going to try a recipe with some cornstarch but as far as a baking technique for this batter, this one seems to be working.
semolina_man's picture
semolina_man

Agree that Bruno Albouze is a good reference. 

 

As you proved to yourself, the oven temperature was too high in the examples you pointed to as not meeting your expectations.   If your results change, then something changed in the ingredients, recipe or procedure.  

kendalm's picture
kendalm

I keep saying that knowing your equipment is half the challenge.  I gotta day I rslly love the consistency in your crumb.  I find that it's very easy to have a dense area around the base - you have none of that its consistent all the way.  Just out of interest, do you use vanilla essence or beans ? 

wvdthree's picture
wvdthree

Thanks Kendalm,

                              I wanted to stick with my 12 cavity metal non stick molds as I have gotten good results with them in the past and felt I could get back there. I just seemed to have temporarily lost my way. Just the lower baking temp and adjusted time made all the difference. I'm still going to try Bruno's recipe and actually bought some cake flour to try in a batch. For now I have a combination that works but I'm always interested in experimenting. BTW I do use vanilla essence and not beans.

 

Best,

          wvdthree

kendalm's picture
kendalm

Hi, I did a batch today and was pleasantly surprised by the consistency.  I did 450 for 25 mins then 385 for 30 and this is what I got - copper 3 on the left - 

wvdthree's picture
wvdthree

Hi Kendalm,

                      I baked a batch of canele yesterday with middling results. Using my 12 cavity metal non stick mold which again, I have been able to get excellent results from in the past. Four were quite good, evenly caramelized,straight sides, flat bottom, decent crumb etc.. The other eight were defects of sorts. Dented/crooked, some white tops, mushroomed bottoms that never flattened out.

     So, I started a batch of batter last night using Bruno's recipe but using Swans cake flour instead of my Trader Joes AP which is 13% so yes, almost really a bread flour. It will be interesting to see if this makes a difference. I am also going to split the batter in to two tests. On batch of six I will bake using his recommended temp/times. Briefly high and then longer at a lower temp. I am going to bake six at 375 for 75 minutes. I know that flies in the face of "most" recipes but I've seen it used in several recipes. And I've tried it once before and it worked. One famous author of this baking technique is Paula Wolfert who you may be familiar with. She published her recipe in one of cook books probably 20-25 years ago so well before the canele craze. She has spent considerable time in France and particularly in Bordeaux.

 

     I'll post results in a few days with photos.

Best,

         wvdthree

kendalm's picture
kendalm

Fantastic and looking forward to the results.  I am really interested to see what happens.  I havent tried too many flour variations but I currently have some french pastry flour which I am planning to try soon.  I Usually use KAAP with some cornstarch but always find the crumb a little gummy.  As for temps, like bread it seems a good throttle down is best - figuring how how high to start and when to lower and to what temp.  Its hard to just trust a recipe thanks to ovens all performing differently.  ok ! lets go - I am ready to get deeper down this journey ;) 

wvdthree's picture
wvdthree

OK, I did the Bruno Albouze recipe but used Swans cake flour to see if that provided better/more consistent results. The short story is that it was not the magic bullet. The batter developed lots of small lumps and had to be strained. Caneles came out relatively evenly browned but a few with white tops. The ones with white tops were also dented in. Several had that frustrating crooked tilt to them. The crumb was relatively dense and custardy like I like it. I don't like it when it gets much lighter and "cake" like. The one odd thing which has never happened before is that there was a small,empty cavern at the top of most of the canele.

 

I tried a recent batch using Albouze'

s recipe but just AP flour instead of cake flour. I baked them on the bottom rack on my pizza stone at 425 for 25 minutes and 375 for 40 minutes. They didn't rise out of the molds so had very nice flat bottoms when unmolded. Browning was good (2 out of 12 with white tops) and the crumb was excellent. So, this is the recipe I'm sticking with for now. It's the best I have achieved recently. Chasing the perfect canele for me is going down the rabbit hole. I had it nailed months ago and have now fallen from grace.

 

PS. The canele were a bit lighter than how they appear in the photos.

retired baker's picture
retired baker

They're supposed to rest overnite in the mold before baking.

kendalm's picture
kendalm

That wiuld be interesting - necer saw that recommendation before.  Is there an advantage to resting in the molds ? 

retired baker's picture
retired baker

its why they coat the mold with beeswax.

You see the result. The darker color might be because more sugar has dissolved.

kendalm's picture
kendalm

I coat mine with beeswax but rest for 24+ hours in a sepaeate container then pour into molds before baking.  Are you saying its better to pour the molds then rest ? 

retired baker's picture
retired baker

that was my understanding.

 it could be a problem with copper molds, the wax is a barrier.

Untinned copper can cause severe food poisoning.