Once many years ago I had my first cafe au lait sitting along the Champs-Élysées in a small cafe. It was summer and I was in love with life and that coffee is the one I have remembered each morning as I drink my cup of coffee with milk. That was also my first cannele (Cah-nuh-lay) and croissant...both eaten after dipping into the hot creamy coffee. A few weeks ago I decided to try making canneles after having one here in Nashville at Crema. I ordered a pan/mold and it has been sitting in my kitchen since. Canneles are small vanilla pastries that have a custardy sweet inside with a crusty, caramel outside. They’re not difficult, but do require a bit of thought, which makes them a perfect project for long nights and short days. Bon appétit.
By | January 04, 2016


1. The day before you bake the canneles, boil the milk with the vanilla bean, vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons butter. Turn off heat right as it boils and let cool for 5 minutes.

2. In a bowl mix the flour & sugar together. Add the whole eggs and egg yolks to the flour mixture stirring well. Add the flour-egg mixture to the milk mixture stirring with a whisk until smooth and fluid. Batter will be like pancake batter.

3. Cool batter completely & add the rum. Cover and chill for 24 to 48 hours. I put the batter into a small pitcher so I could pour into the molds easily.

4. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees.

5. Melt butter for greasing the mold. Using a pastry brush, coat inside of molds. Sprinkle each with granulated sugar across the bottoms and sides. Fill each mold 3/4 full with batter. Bake for 5 minutes.

6. Turn heat to 350 degrees & bake one hour or until canneles have a dark brown crust and are still a bit moist in the middle. Immediately remove from pan to a rack to cool. Repeat with any batter that is left over.

I made 24 canneles with this recipe, but depending on the size of the pan/molds you purchase you may bake more or less. Note: These pastries are worth the bit of time it takes. Really one day you make the batter, put in the cooler, pull it out the next and bake. I got lots done while my canneles were baking. Tidied my office, made some calls, read my book and when the first batch was done I made a hot milky coffee and had a couple “dipped”. 


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  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 vanilla bean (split)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2-4 tablespoons dark rum
  • extra butter for greasing mold
  • extra sugar for dusting mold
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