Tuesday, March 30, 2010

No TWD this week....Chocolate with Francois instead, and I'm hosting!

Even though I love coconut, I did not make the Coconut Tea Cake chosen by Carmen of Carmen Cooks.  I may end up making it for Easter this weekend...we'll see!

Instead, I have a very special event today...even though I've only been in the group for a very little while, it is my turn to host for Chocolate with Francois!!!

I must admit, I feel a bit guilty to be hosting so quickly since I have only baked along once before, but we're still a small group and we've got to start somewhere!  Chocolate with Francois is a small group baking through Francois Payard's Chocolate Epiphany.  I was so lucky to have found the book right at the time that the group was starting and have enjoyed looking through all the amazing recipes.  It was really hard to choose one--the pictures are absolutely gorgeous and since the group is so young I had so many options!

I ended up choosing the Chocolate Canneles from page 48--I was interested in these from my very first glance at the book!  I have never had a cannele, but the picture and description were just wonderful:

"Canneles are a specialty of southwest France.  Their thick exterior crust is very crisp and dark, while their inside is moist and lighter in color, with a distinctive chewy 'crumb'..."
My only reservation is that they are baked in special molds, which I do not have, an imagined that most of the other bakers would not have either.  After much online research I found that canneles can be made in muffin tins instead of the molds so we were good to go! (thanks to Tartlette for this information!)  I was very tempted to buy some cute little mini bundt pans that were shaped like a little squat cannele mold, but we're trying to save money, so i passed...:(

These really were not hard to make...but you do have to allow the batter to rest.  Francois also recommends inverting the molds over the cooling rack in order to prevent them from sinking...but I think that this caused mine to sink from the bottom.  However, the way that they sank kinda made them look like the shaped ones from the book! 

I hope that everyone enjoyed baking along with me this month, and if you are interested in joining the details are on the group blog

Chocolate Canneles
Chocolate Epiphany p. 48

  • 3 ounces (90 grams)  72% chocolate, chopped (i had  some 77% and some 60%, combined them)
  • 2 cups (500 grams) whole milk (used a mix of skim & cream as usual)
  • 4 tablespoons (2 ounces; 60 grams) unsalted butter
  • 1 vanilla bean, split
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (90 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons (14 grams) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 2/3 cup plus 1/4 cup (180 grams) sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons (40 grams) dark rum, such as Myers's or Armagnac
  • Vegetable cooking spray, for the molds
Make the Batter: Put the chocolate in a medium bowl.  Put the milk and butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, and scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the pan (reserve the pod for another use).  Scald the mixture, removing the pan from the heat when small bubbles form at the edges.  Pour the mixture over the chocolate, and whisk until the chocolate is melted.
Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, and salt over a medium bowl.  Combine the egg, egg yolks, and rum and whisk until the mixture is smooth.  Slowly whisk the egg mixture into the dry ingredients.  If you go too fast, lumps will form.  Slowly whisk in the chocolate mixture, whisking until the mixture is smooth.  Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl, cover, and refrigerate overnight or for up to 4 days.
Bake the Canneles: Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400* F.
If using copper molds, heat them in the oven for 10 minutes, or until they are hot.  This step is not necessary with silicone molds (i used a metal muffin tin but did not do this step)
Spray the molds with vegetable cooking spray, doing so more generously if using copper molds.  If using silicone molds, arrange them on a baking sheet.  Stir the batter, and transfer to a large measuring cup or to a pitcher if desired, which will make it easier to pour the batter into the molds.  Fill the molds almost to the top, and let the batter rest in them for 30 minutes.  This allows the flour to settle at the bottom, so the canneles won't rise during baking.
Bake for 60 to 75 minutse, until the exterior f the canneles is crisp and set and springs back when you lightly touch the top. (since muffin tins are shorter, i reduced the time to 45-50 minutes...i think that 50 might have been a tad too long as mine got too dark in some places.)
Remove the molds from the oven, and turn them over on a wire cooling rack.  Let the canneles cool in teh molds, which keeps them from sinking and becoming dense.  When cool, unmold them, and keep them in an airtight container.

These were definitely best on the first day...I didn't put them in a container so they lost their crispy exterior after a day or two, but the flavor is still great.  I love the chewy center...I want to try them in some different flavors now!  


  1. Wow. These actually remind me a lot, looks-wise, of chocolate Yorkshire Puddings!

  2. How fun to try something new and you can't go wrong with chocolate!

  3. I loved loved loved this recipe! It was a huge hit at work, and I will definitely be making it again and again. Thanks for hosting us this month!

  4. I have never heard of a cannele. Cannoli, yes...cannele, no. They look good! How could they not be, if they're chocolate?!

  5. Thanks for hosting! Mine were overbaked.

    Hope you are feeling lots better!

  6. Thanks for hosting! This was a good one! I'm going to make these again.

  7. Great pick. We really enjoyed them. The first F.P recipe I've liked in a while.
    Great job and they look super.

  8. They look delicious and it sounds like you made a great pick for this month!

  9. They look fabulous! Sorry I didn't bake with you. I started working a second job and didn't think about this recipe until it was too late to get it done. :( Great job and thanks for hosting. :)