The Metropolitan Cannele
These french cakes are moist and flavorful, not to mention gorgeous. Maybe that's why they are one of Oprah's faves. Now you can try making them at home...
Yields 12 Cannele.
- 2 cups milk
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
- 2 large eggs
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- Pinch of kosher salt
- Grated zest of 1 orange
- 1/2 teaspoon dark rum
- Combine one cup of the milk and the butter in a small saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean; add the seeds and the bean to the milk mixture. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from the heat; cool to room temperature.
- Meanwhile, whisk together the remaining one cup milk, eggs, and egg yolk in a large bowl. In a small bow, combine the flour, granulated sugar, and salt. Whisk the flour mixture into the egg mixture until smooth. Stir in the cooled milk mixture. Strain the custard through a fine sieve into a medium bowl. Discard the vanilla bean. Stir in the orange zest and rum. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Spray 12 (2 x 2) copper cannele molds with vegetable cooking spray or brush with clarified butter. (More on clarifying butter, below.)
- Stir the custard to redistribute the orange zest. Fill each prepared mold with 1/3 cup custard. Arrange the molds on a baking tray. Bake on the center oven rack 40 to 45 minutes until the tops are dark golden brown.
- Cool the cannele in the molds 10 minutes. Unmold and cool completely on wire racks.
Clarified butter is unsalted butter that has been melted to separate the milk solids from the liquid. It has a higher smoking point, which makes it useful
for sauteing. Since it will keep for several weeks in the refrigerator, we recomend making a large quantity that is then readily available for use.
To prepare, cut 1 pound of unsalted butter into large cubes. Place in a heavy saucepot and melt over medium heat. Bring the butter just to a boil.
Turn off the beat and allow the butter to cool. The milk solids will sink to the bottom of the pan. Skin foam from the surface. Slowly pour the clarified butter (the clear liquid) through a strainer lined with dampened
cheesecloth into a bowl or airtight container. Do not strain the milk solids at the bottom of the pan. Refrigerate until ready to use.
You don't have to be a master baker like Metropolitan's James Barrett to make delicious French-inspired delights at home. Here are several favorites—some savory, some sweet—adapted by James for the home chef.