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Cannelés
First made by French nuns in the early 14th century, these small, sweet cakes take their name from the baking mold that is used (cannelé means "fluted").

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 vanilla beans, halved lengthwise
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
  • 1 Tbs. dark rum
  • 4 Tbs. (1⁄2 stick) unsalted butter, melted,
     plus more for brushing
  • 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour

Directions:

In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm the milk. Using the back of a knife, scrape the seeds from the vanilla beans and add the seeds and beans to the milk. Bring just to a boil, then immediately remove from the heat. Cover and let cool for 20 minutes. Strain the milk into a small bowl.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and egg yolks. Whisk in the confectioners' sugar. Add the rum, the 4 Tbs. melted butter, the flour and the cooled milk and whisk until smooth. Cover and refrigerate for at least 24 hours or up to 4 days.

Preheat an oven to 400ºF. Generously butter an 18-well silicone cannelé mold and place on a baking sheet.

Whisk the batter until it is completely smooth. Fill each prepared well three-fourths full of batter. Bake until the cannelés are dark brown and puffed, 40 to 45 minutes.

Immediately invert the mold onto a wire rack and remove the cannelés, using a toothpick to gently loosen them, if needed. Let the mold and the baking sheet cool completely, then repeat with more melted butter and the remaining batter. Makes about 54 cannelés.
Hubert Keller, Chef/Owner, Fleur de Lys Restaurant, San Francisco