To make absolutely perfect canelés, you'll need seasoned copper moulds, Unfortunately just one mould alone costs about £30... so I settled for silicone. The result wasn't perfect, as you can see by the uneven colouring, but was still pretty darn passable. After a couple of attempts I managed to get the crunchy caramelised crust and the rich, custardy centre, no bubbling over and rising, and a relatively uniform shape.
Another thing you need to make perfect canelés is food grade beeswax: traditionally you melt a bit of it with butter to coat the insides of the moulds, which makes the outside even crunchier and gives it a hint of honey. I could have bought beeswax... but then I thought about the trouble it would be to clean up afterwards, so I did without.
This recipe makes 8 x 5.5cm diameter canelés (my mould just had 6 holes, so I used a couple of other silicone moulds for the extra batter).
Ready? Let's go.
25g salted butter
1 large egg
125g caster sugar
75g plain flour
2 tbsp dark rum
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
Vegetable oil for greasing the moulds
1. Heat the milk and butter over a low heat in a pan until the butter has melted, and remove from the heat. Let it cool a little, and lightly whisk in the egg, rum and vanilla.
2. Put the flour and sugar in a bowl, and gradually pour in the liquid, stirring constantly to avoid lumps. Pour through a sieve into a jug and chill the batter in the fridge for at least 24 hours to get rid of air bubbles and let it rest.
3. Preheat the oven to 220°C, and grease the insides of the moulds with oil. Give the batter a stir, our evenly between the moulds and bake for 15 minutes. Now reduce the heat to 180°C and bake for a further 1 hours (the smaller moulds I used for the extra batter only took 50 minutes after the initial high heat bake).
4. Let them cool for 10 minutes in the moulds before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Enjoy, and have fun.