Canelés de Bordeaux, also know as cannelé Bordelais, are magical French bakery confections, little fluted cakes with a rich rum and vanilla interior enclosed by a thin caramelised shell. This brilliant recipe was developed a long ago by an anonymous Bordeaux cook, whose innovation has been subjected to 300 years of refinements. Glossy and dark brown almost black at first sight, bittersweet at first bite, the crunchy burnt sugar canelé-shell makes an exquisite contrast to the smooth, sweet filling, fragrant with vanilla and rum.
These little cakes have recently gained cachet after years of neglect, to the extent that they may one day rival the popularity of crème brûlée in the category of caramelized French desserts. Baked in special tin-lined copper moulds, these delicious dessert cakes are often served with Cognac and Wine if you partake of a local degustation! The copper moulds are quite hard to find even in France - if you cannot find them, then these cakes can be made in individiual dariol moulds, small pudding basins, or the silcon moulds which are quite easy to find. This recipe makes 12 to 16 canelés, depending on the size of your moulds. Traditionally beeswax is used to line the moulds, I have dispensed with this and have suggested a sprinkling of sugar inside the well buttered moulds.