If you are buying the pastries in situ, get them early. They tend to lose that crunchy exterior as the day gets long. If you would like to try them at home, here’s a kitchen tested recipe that delivers a very good version.
- ½ liter or 2 1/8 c milk
- 2 eggs, plus 2 yolks
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 3-4 T of top quality dark rum (Goslings)
- 1 c flour
- 1 c light brown sugar
- 2 T butter
- (extra butter and white sugar for molds)
1. The day prior to making, bring milk and butter to simmer. Remove from heat. Add vanilla. Let cool slightly.
2. Mix flour and brown sugar together. Add eggs and yolks. Pour this mixture into the milk mixture. Mix gently to achieve a pancake-like batter. Let cool. Add rum. Refrigerate 24 hours.
3. Melt some butter and use a pastry brush to coat the inside of the cannelé molds. Chill in the refrigerator and repeat. The second time, coat the inside of the mold with white sugar. Tap out excess. Chill again.
4. Remove batter from refrigerator and mix well. Preheat oven to 250C/495F.
4. Fill molds no more than 3/4’s full and bake in a 250C/495F oven for five minutes, then reduce heat to 175C/350F for an hour. The tops should have a brown crust. Some ovens may require an extra 15 minutes.
5. Unmold while hot. Cool. Serve with tea, coffee, Cognac, Armagnac or Calvados.